Looking to increase the size and scope of its storage services business, IT services group Data #3 has launched Australia’s first IBM TotalStorage Solution Centre (TSSC).
The TSSC, situated in the ASX-listed company’s Sydney office, will use hardware and software from IBM to provide customers with a testing ground for storage infrastructure implementations.
Data #3 general manager, Laurence Baynham, said it was important for services providers to be able to do proof of concept for the customer to reduce the financial and integration risks of storage implementations.
Using the new TSSC, Data #3 would be able to assist customers across Australia evaluate and architect storage solutions prior to purchasing, he said.
Data #3 will invest $1.1 million into the new storage centre, under a three-year development plan.
Data #3 manager for enterprise infrastructure solutions, Bruce Crouch, said examples of work to be undertaken at the TSSC could range from reviewing a customer’s current storage techniques and technologies at a pre-sales level, to architectural plans and proof of concept at a consulting level.
The TSSC would also allow the company to perform interoperability testing against non-IBM technologies and products, he said.
Crouch said storage now represented 60 per cent of Data #3’s total enterprise services business.
“We’ve had 40 per cent growth per year over the last two years across Data #3’s storage business,” he said. “We see this as sustainable in future.”
Baynham said Data #3 had not yet trialled any customers through the TSSC.
Several of its existing customers, however, had already expressed interest, he said.
The company would be looking to bring current enterprise customers as well as new customers to Data #3 through the centre.
Baynham anticipated the company would have a return on its investment into the TSSC within 18 months.
He said IBM reported 80 per cent of customers with storage solutions produced by a TSSC had chosen to have their full storage solution developed by the partner.
IBM currently maintains 140 TSSCs with various reseller partners globally, including 30 in the Asia-Pacific region.
IBM vice-president of storage systems for Asia-Pacific, Brian Hamel, said IBM’s services partners, especially in the local landscape, were critical to the success of its business.
“In Australia, 70 per cent of our services business is coming through our partners,” he said.