ITP makes British storage invasion

ITP makes British storage invasion

A British invasion has reached Australian shores with the arrival of UK storage reseller, IT Partnerships. The storage specialist, focused on HP storage and backup, launched its Australian business this week.

ITP Australia is co-owned by ITP UK, a privately-held company with a turnover of nearly $50 million. The seven-year-old company made waves in the UK last year with an aggressive ad campaign wooing customers away from purchasing direct.

The Australian company launches with a small local workforce, using services offerings from HP and storage distributor, Lynx. But it also has the muscle of its UK parent behind it, ITP UK commercial director, George Harold, said.

ITP UK would support its Australian subsidiary with both infrastructure and investment, Harold said. It is also relying on existing supplier relationships with HP, Veritas, UPS vendor APC and Australian security software vendor, Drakar.

The operation launches under managing director, Robert Ritchie. Along with a stint at HP UK, Ritchie was most recently enterprise manager for HP reseller, Centari Systems, which was acquired by Commander in July 2002. He left Commander in October to head up ITP.

As one of HP’s top five storage resellers in the UK, it was an easy decision to go with the vendor exclusively for storage and backup products in Australia, Ritchie said. But the business model haf been tweaked to suit local conditions.

While initially Sydney-based, Ritchie said ITP intended to build up to national coverage. It had already begun supplying existing ITP UK customers in Melbourne in December.

“I would like to think that within 18 months we’ll have a presence in Melbourne,” he said.

ITP would target corporate customers with 200-1400 seats, Ritchie said. “We’re playing within the datacentre,” he said.

ITP’s differentiator would be its focus on providing solutions encompassing storage, backup and security, Ritchie said.

The company would continue its campaign to woo direct customers from vendors such as Dell, which had been very aggressive in tackling the international market, he said. But with lessons learned from ITP UK behind it, the Australian company would begin with less of an emphasis on shifting product, instead going for high-level solution sales.

Head of HP services channel relationships, Mike Bazely, said that ITP would join its specialist storage partners providing value services including Volante, Starcom and Newcastle-based Rich Computers. However, the vendor had taken a great deal of care to ensure that it wasn’t cannibalising its existing channel.

While ITP would have a strong niche in enterprise back up and security, both Volante and Starcom had a broader focus, he said. “ITP’s sole focus is on the data continuity area,” Bazely said.

For more on this story, see this weeks issue of ARN.

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