Looking to change computer storage from a commodity to competitive differentiator, hard drive manufacturer Seagate launched a new set of tools Monday to help its channel partners change the way they take storage to market.
The vendor sees an increasing demand for storage driven primarily by two trends: the increased storage demands of the Windows Vista OS and the advent of the digital pack rat, storing ever increasing amounts of songs, pictures and videos.
Consequently says Pete Steege, senior marketing manager with Seagate, storage is playing an increasingly larger role for system builders.
"We're seeing a couple of trends in the market adding up to real opportunity for solution providers that we're taking advantage of," said Steege.
The hard drive has gone from afterthought, says Steege, to become the heart of machine. Calling Vista the "poster child for storage" he says to fully leverage the OS, between 250GB to 1TB of storage is needed. And with the need for backup, that becomes 500 GB to 2TB. Seagate's play in this higher-end space is the Barracuda 7200.11, its new 1TB drive.
"We want to equip solution providers with some solution-selling tools and a program they're used to getting from longer-term vendors like Intel, AMD and Microsoft," said Steege. "We now see the opportunity to help them like that from a hard drive perspective."
Seagate's goal, he said, is to provide partners with tools to help them sell their solutions with more value, based on the right storage for the right use case scenario.
Dubbed "Learn, Market, Sell" the program is a comprehensive west of tools to help partners assess the right storage options based on customer needs, plus marketing tips, support and collateral to allow them more easily go to market.
"It gives them a chance to use storage like they really haven't before; to use it as a differentiator," said Steege.
In the Learn category, partners will have access to white papers and case studies, as well as a solution guide to help partners choose the right product for the right scenario and training via webinars. Opportunity scenarios are laid-out around cases like the power user, the mobile user, an office-wide deployment and the videophile, with appropriate hardware recommendations for each.
The Marketing category includes e-mail templates, print ads, web and banner ads, direct mailers, flyers and other customizable marketing material partners can leverage. And in the Sell category, partners will be able to leverage call scripts and sales and technical support as well as targeted promotions.
"This isn't rocket science; we understand other firms have done this on the past," said Steege. "We believe we're the first in the hard drive industry to do this though, to take advantage of the new value of storage."