Enterprise storage channel thin on the ground

Enterprise storage channel thin on the ground

Veritas is keen to talk up the opportunities available for enterprise channels in selling storage and back-up solutions, but the truth of the matter is that it has just 10 VARs facilitating its big-money deals.

Furthermore, of those 10 VARs, "only six" are "decent, good ones" and there is no great desire to expand that number, according to Mark Handley, Veritas' general manager, channels. He said that despite rocketing demand, it is not simple to sell quality enterprise solutions as they are very specialised and require extensive experience and specialists skills. Not all resellers are capable of doing that to the standard required, he added.

"The low-hanging fruit is currently in the enterprise back-up space," Handley said. "But the problem is, who has the skills to deal with all this. We have a few traditional resellers stepping up to become true value adders and digital storage is a classic vehicle for them to do that.

"I don't see our [enterprise] channel expanding much. It is important that we have capable partners and we will be looking at adding more as new niches arise."Some pundits suggest enterprise storage solutions will not really reach full potential until the big vendors port their solutions to the Linux operating platform, and others popular in Internet infrastructures.

Veritas announced earlier this month that it was going into development mode to port its products to IBM's son-to-be-launched AIX/Monterey platform, but has yet to do the same for Linux.

"At this stage we are only publicly stating that it is an environment we are covering with R&D," Handley said. "It is a direction that we are definitely moving in as there are obvious high availability and clustering benefits to be gained from the Linux platform."Handley added that it would be making an announcement at some stage, but not before a full suite has been developed.

Veritas has a 100 per cent channel model in Australia with 50 per cent of revenues obtained from distribution through its two-tier structure and the other half a fairly even split between OEM and enterprise solution sales.

Handley also considered one the best future opportunities for Veritas and its channel partners would be in database/application integration solutions, catering to enterprise e-business initiatives which is where the high-dollar-value and profitable sales are for both vendor and reseller.

In the much more voluminous "distribution" channels -- commodity sales handled by Tech Pacific, Agate Technology, ACA Pacific and Express Data -- Veritas claims its reseller base could be up to 4000-strong. They are mainly catering to SME markets with NT-based products.

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