StorageTek has spurned the channel in its decision to place "greater emphasis" on its direct sales as the company realigns its services business around four storage solution pillars.
StorageTek has established a Global Services Business Unit that will provide infrastructure and support, network interoperability and integration, infrastructure and management, and business continuity and recovery services to new and existing customers.
"It's about an increased emphasis on our services business and the four pillars allow us to do this," said Joan Tunstall, marketing manager of StorageTek Australia/New Zealand.
Tunstall said the motive behind the consolidation of StorageTek's direct business is to deliver better value to the customer. Of the 150 StorageTek staff in Australia, 75 of those will be deployed under the Global Services Business Unit.
The services division will not answer to local StorageTek managing director Phillip Belcher. Instead it will report directly to the head of StorageTek's Global Services Business Unit, Angel Garcia, in the US.
The move has left some StorageTek partners very cautious. Ken Wood, marketing and sales director of long-time StorageTek partner and storage integrator EnStor, said he is not surprised with the consolidation of StorageTek's direct sales unit, but remains watchful of how it could affect EnStor's business.
"The channel has to be wary of any vendor actively ramping up its direct services business, and that's where [StorageTek] is now," said Wood.
Analysts, on the other hand, applaud the move as StorageTek rebounds from where it was two to three years ago. Facing financial difficulties, StorageTek regrouped around its tape technologies and is now in a position to branch out into other areas claims Graham Penn, director of storage research at IDC.
According to Penn, a beefed up services unit would open up a number of opportunities for StorageTek to sell not only its own products, but third-party technology as well.