Mainframe vendor Hitachi Data Systems has marked its entrance into the mid-range and PC LAN storage market with a lucrative program offering resellers a 40-point margin on its products.
HDS is looking for 20 to 25 partners nationally, with first cab off the rank being Computer Merchants. According to HDS product manager for mid-range systems Alex McDougall, HDS is still looking for more partners to move the products. These include the HiLANder family of intelligent backup storage systems, the 5700 mid-range disk cache/RAID series, and the 5400 tape series.
McDougall says the Computer Merchants deal is a logical progression in the two company's relationships, as HDS has dealt with them for some time through its PCM business. Computer Merchants will have sole to access to the disk and tape systems for the AS/400 market.
The reseller program being put in place by HDS certainly has some attractions. The company is marketing its products with an RRP 40 points above the reseller price, and will give its partners access to other services. "They'll be able to work with our services division in three areas: disaster recover; rapid application development, and in Year 2000 scopes.
"And of course we've got cooperative marketing agreements which will help fund the promotion of the product through Australia and New Zealand, where we will pay up to 50 per cent of promotions, based on certain criteria. We've looked very hard at what's available out there for resellers, and we really believe we're bringing to the table a package that is very, very attractive."
One thing McDougall is adamant about is that HDS will not sell directly. "All sales will go through resellers. Now it may well be that there are joint efforts, but at the end of the day the reseller will be credited one way or another. We have chosen to go with channels so we're going to protect our channels, and we'll also feed our channels."
In setting up its strategy HDS has also been careful to avoid channel conflict, by opting for resellers on a geographical, vertical or operating platform basis.
While Computer Merchants has been given sole distribution in the AS/400 arena, McDougall says no HDS contracts are exclusive. Although HDS is already well down the track with several other resellers, McDougall says new partners are still being sought. "We're looking for people in the open systems marketplace who are looking not just for product for the short term, but for a long-term relationship."
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