Fresh from completing its acquisition and integration of StorageTek, Sun has announced plans to introduce a storage-only program for channel partners.
Australasian storage partner sales manager, Sam Srinivasan, said the new program would officially launch in August under the Sun Partner Advantage framework. Channel partners would be divided into three tiers of certification and technical expertise.
"The program is designed for partners who don't want to sell Sun servers but want to access storage," he said.
Srinivasan said the three levels would be similar to the volume, workgroup and enterprise categories maintained by Sun for its broader partner community. While certification and resource specifics have not been finalised, there were no plans to introduce tiered volume pricing. Instead, partners would be given limited access to product sets, with bonus rebates for specific products.
"Those who don't want to invest in training can still sell product," he said. "At the top end, we will have partners putting together solutions for data and identity management as well as ILM."
The integration of Sun's identity management capabilities with StorageTek's product range would enable partners to craft ILM solutions, Srinivasan said.
The partner program is one of the final steps in combining both channels, with full StorageTek product access now given to Sun distributor, itX. Existing StorageTek distributor, ACA Pacific, would also be retained.
Srinivasan denied granting access to itX had caused any channel conflict. While it had the ability to sell attached storage as part of a full data management suite, he said ACA would continue to have an advantage in after storage.
He said the next step was to drive 60 per cent of overall storage sales through the channel. In the past, resellers had only accounted for about 30 per cent of StorageTek and up to 40 per cent of Sun storage revenues.
In the first quarter of this calendar year, 55 per cent of revenue had come from the channel.
"We are seeing increased interest in the partner community. Guys that used to go to other vendors for storage when we were StorageTek are now giving us a go," Srinivasan said.
He cited Alphawest and Dimension Data as examples.