In a move that is sure to escalate the war between long time rivals, StorageTek's distribution manager has crossed the floor to join Quantum ATL.
Oscar Bevz, the man many believe is responsible for building up a number of StorageTek's value added resellers has taken up a position as national channels manager with tape library automation vendor Quantum ATL to ramp up its renewed focus on the channel.
A question mark has hung over Quantum ATL's belief in the channel in light of its traditionally direct business model, but Bevz is eager to change all that.
"They [Quantum ATL] weren't focussed on the channel because they were focussing on direct sales. Now they have realised, like everybody else, they need the channel to grow the business," Bevz told ARN.
In his new role Bevz will be responsible for rolling out a major channel program and is confident Quantum ATL has the right pricing structure and business model to minimise any potential channel conflict.
While both parties are adamant the parting was amicable Bevz took the opportunity to fire a good-natured parting shot at his former employer.
"[StorageTek] has a good history in the mainframe market, but taking a mainframe mentality into the open world has some problems. [Quantum ATL's] a young company which has grown up in the open world environment.
"So first there was the mammoth, that's StorageTek, and now you have homosapiens," he says.
On a more serious note, the move poses the question of how many of his former VAR accounts will Bevz be able to bring over to Quantum ATL?
"I won't be talking to them," assures Bevz. "Only when [they] come to me will I [consider] taking their business from StorageTek."
StorageTek on the other hand was down-playing the loss of their distribution manager. Dave Templeton, Australia/New Zealand marketing manager for StorageTek, says Bevz handled its distribution accounts of Simms International and Alstom IT which only accounted for a relatively small portion of the vendor's channel business.
"I'd say OEMs account for 50 per cent, [direct-to] VARs makes up 30 per cent and distribution makes up 20 per cent of StorageTek's channel business," says Templeton. "It's certainly the poorer relation of the three."