In the first major change to its local distribution line-up in 10 years, Sun has announced Express Data as its dedicated volume distributor.
The partnership follows a rigorous six-month expression of interest and tender process with select local distributors.
Sun partner director, Sam Srinivasan, said prospective partners were judged on stringent requirements around market development and dedicated headcount, capability around pre-sales and channel development and legacy marketing facilities.
The new deal covers Sun’s x86 server line, volume storage products including the 2500 and StorEdge 6000 array series and select software offerings such as desktop and application server.
“It’s a really exciting development as far as we are concerned in the market. For 10 years, we have had a single distributor servicing the market in Australia,” Srinivasan said. “We’ve selected Express Data and now have a volume distributor that understands the value segments of the market and will drive that piece of our business.”
Express Data’s in-house market capability was a big plus in delivering channel programs, Srinivasan said. The distributor’s existing relationships with Microsoft and Cisco and their respective partners was also a major attraction. Express Data officially starts trading with Sun on February 1.
Express Data managing director, Ross Cochrane, acknowledged the partnership with Sun filled a systems vendor gap in the distributor’s line-up.
“We have had many of our customers that have been able to get a lot of the solution from us but haven’t been able to get the systems part of it or storage hardware,” he said. “We have had a strong line-up in the software component for management, security and for storage management, but we haven’t had the hardware component.”
The distributor has brought on four staff to service the Sun account and aims to double this number.
“Obviously we are focused on value add, this is not fulfillment. This is not about taking some orders from somewhere else and putting them through ED,” Cochrane said. “This is about driving growth and in order to do that we need to have the resources and skills on board to go out and add value by providing expertise, assistance in the sales process, pre-sales, design, solutions – to do that we need skills and we need people.”
Express Data already has an exclusive distributor relationship with Sun in New Zealand, which is an arrangement Cochrane aims to leverage in the new local partnership.
As previously reported in ARN, Sun announced plans to appoint a second volume distributor in August to drive sales of its Intel-based servers and affiliate storage products. To date, the vendor has maintained a sole agreement with itX.
Srinivasan said itX was a strong distribution partner and would continue to carry Sun’s full product portfolio.