HDS signs new VARs, rebuilds channel model

HDS signs new VARs, rebuilds channel model

Hitachi Data Systems has signed up three new value-added resellers -- Avnet Enterprise Solutions, HeatherTech and Infront Systems -- for its mid-range suite, the Thunder 9200, and has announced it has restructured its channel model.

HDS is already reaping the rewards of its new reseller appointments, with Avnet securing a six-figure deal between ResMed and HDS earlier this month. HeatherTech and Infront Systems also currently have large contracts under discussion, according to a company statement.

The appointments were a strategic decision by HDS to broaden its market reach, as the three resellers each have different product offerings and focus on different regions around the country.

Under HDS's new channel program, Avnet, HeatherTech and Infront have been awarded Platinum Partner status, the highest of its three channel categories. Platinum Partners are given preferential access to HDS leads and have formalised arrangements with the vendor for joint planning, marketing and pricing initiatives.

HDS's 11 additional channel partners that sell the Thunder 9200 will be issued either Gold Partner or Strategic Authorised Reseller status under the new channel model.

When asked if the appointment of the three Platinum Partners would impact the market share of its existing Thunder 9200 resellers, Greig Guy, HDS's director of solution sales for Australia/NZ, said that that was likely, but that the resellers were pleased with training opportunities the new channel model has afforded them.

According to Guy, resellers' partner status is determined by their internal technical and sales skill sets and the amount of sales revenue they generate.

"To be awarded Gold Partner status, resellers need to generate revenues of between $500,000 and $1 million per annum. For Platinum status, they must generate more than $1 million in sales revenues annually," Guy said.

Michael Costigan, national marketing manager for Avnet, said the reseller decided to add the Thunder 9200 suite to its product offering in response to customer demand.

Avnet already supplies IBM and HP's full range of storage products but, according to Costigan, it is the mid-market space that the reseller is particularly focused on.

"Like the Thunder 9200, our target market is the mid-space. The SME market is a good fit for us and makes up a large part of our server and storage enterprise business."

Costigan would not comment on whether or not Avnet agreed to partner with HDS on the condition that it would receive preferential treatment under a revised HDS channel model.

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