Networking specialist, Lan Systems, claims to have beaten its first EMC quarterly revenue targets by 50 per cent. The distributor was appointed to build an SMB channel for the storage giant in October.
Denise Overs, formerly Canberra branch manager for the distributor, relocated to Sydney to head up its EMC business. She said the vendor wanted Lan Systems to act as 'vendor in country' for its SMB business.
Lan Systems has signed up 14 partners since partnering with EMC.
Overs said that number would reach 20 by the end of March, at which point the distributor would reconsider whether it needed to bring on any more. The initial target for dedicated partners had been 30.
General manager of partners and alliances for EMC A/NZ, David Henderson, confirmed it was unlikely any new partners would be added to the program if a total of 20 were signed up by next month.
"Those 20 partners have multiple branches and it is a major exercise for us," he said.
Henderson said he had already been pleasantly surprised by the range of deals coming through the relationship with Lan Systems.
"We are getting a blend of business from the sale of a single AX100 product at one end to total infrastructure deals at the other," he said. "The distribution pipeline has a number of $10,000 pieces of business in it and one valued at $900,000."
While all Lan Systems partners were eligible to resell EMC product, signing up for the program unlocked access to lead generation, discount pricing and deal registration as well as marketing, pre-sales and technical support, Overs said.
In return, resellers must commit to building a storage practice and hit monthly revenue targets. Lan Systems general manager, Wendy O'Keeffe, would not say exactly what these targets were but indicated they were below $100,000. While some interest had come from Lan Systems' traditional networking reseller base, O'Keeffe said the distributor had also been contacted by telephony specialists.
"As telephony becomes an application it needs to be stored," she said. "Voice is becoming part of the information network and we are seeing a growing market for that."
O'Keeffe also said it would not be long before there were some serious business opportunities at the SOHO end of the market.
"Storage isn't simple but some of the products are going that way, almost to the point where it is shrink-wrapped," she said. "But I'm not sure small business owners will want to buy from retail because they prefer to deal with a trusted advisor. We will target those advisors."
At the time of signing the deal, O'Keeffe said the EMC partnership was the start of a serious move into the storage arena for Lan Systems. The next initiative, she said, would be to find complementary tape drive and host bus adapter (HBA) vendors.
Lan Systems was also currently looking to build a services business to support its EMC channel.
"We will get our people up-to-speed to sell these services," O'Keeffe said. "They will include pre-sales, configuration, understanding a customer's site, implementation and back-ending it into workflow and applications." If this proved successful, the distributor would extend the offering to its other technology practices, O' Keefe said. A financing and leasing option in conjunction with EMC was also under consideration.