US-based archiving vendor, Plasmon, has launched a channel program encouraging partners to migrate customers across to the new Ultra Density Optical (UDO) storage format. The move follows HP's decision to discontinue its range of Magneto-Optical (MO) and UDO jukebox products from June 30.
Launched globally last month, the Plasmon Archive Partner Program introduces rebates of up to $US2000 per unit to resellers who register customer opportunities.
Managing director at Auststor, Plasmon's sole Australian distributor, Lachie MacDonald, said it was the vendor's first official registered channel initiative. It had previous offered ad-hoc incentives solely via distributors.
Registered partners would have access to sales support, marketing materials, demo stock and Auststor's local helpdesk. All products are bundled with 12 months end-user technical support from Kodak.
Optical jukeboxes are a professional archiving platform used by a wide variety of institutions including imaging vendors, health and government agencies, banks and police departments. Local users include the Australian Tax Office, Department of Defence and several hospitals.
The latest generation of the technology is UDO, which offers greater capacity via blue laser technology, WORM data integrity and mixed MO and UDO media support.
MacDonald said Plasmon's decision to ramp up its UDO migration efforts was the direct result of HP's decision to quit the optical jukebox market.
According to an official HP statement, the vendor has chosen to cease production after the recent establishment of Europe's RoHS laws. These environmental policies restrict the use of certain hazardous materials within electronic products shipped across Europe. HP was unable to comply with the criteria.
HP stated it would continue to produce media for both its MU and UDO products indefinitely, as well as provide replacement parts and support until 2011. Upgrade and conversion kits are available until June 2007.
HP's exit was a golden opportunity for resellers to help customers migrate to the next generation of UDO products, MacDonald claimed. HP had previously accounted for up to 70 per cent of the local market.
"This opens the door to resellers. Plasmon will be one of the few, along with IBM and Disk in Europe, to offer these products," he said. "The upgrade path will allow resellers to get their teeth into this market.
"HP's decision leaves users without a paddle. Many would have a huge investment in their media. Partners now need to offer some form of migration platform."
MacDonald said he hoped the partner program would also see new resellers take up Plasmon products. The distributor currently has about 20 active partners, including Ghost Systems and MRA.