Microsoft's former partner group director, Kerstin Baxter, has emerged as the new A/NZ channel director at Hitachi Data Systems.
Baxter said she had spent the last few weeks engaged with the vendor's existing partners and two distributors, Lynx Technologies and ACA Pacific.
"Since starting here, I've been listening to partners on what the priorities are," she said. "We have a set of existing channel partners who are committed to Hitachi and how we deal with them needs to be optimal."
The channel director role would see Baxter developing HDS' local channel business, which currently includes 25 direct partners such as Commander and Alphawest. New partners were a possibility, Baxter said, but this would be determined by the arrival of new hardware, software and market opportunities.
"New products could certainly inspire new partners," she said. "My first priority is to go with existing partners, but if we see a gap where we are without capabilities, that could be where we add partners."
Baxter is well known in the industry for her channel focus after nine years at Microsoft. Her previous roles included partner group director, national channels manager and enterprise group state manager in Victoria and Tasmania.