Snap Appliance bites back

Snap Appliance bites back

Four months after SNAP Appliance reversed its decision to pull out of international markets, the NAS vendor said it has been rebuilding its global channel by boosting technical and channel support.

The past few months have seen the vendor sign a global service agreement with NCR and roll out a new reseller program, SNAP Connection.

Locally, SNAP has ramped up its marketing investment in Australia after a reassessment of its channel strategy across the Asia Pacific, according to Jim Stewart, international sales manager for Asia-Pacific. He has been overseeing global strategy for SNAP since joining in January.

The review of Snap’s channel in Asia-Pacific had identified Australia as the top performer for the region, Stewart said. A review of distributors saw SNAP stay on with LAN 1 and ACA Pacific.

“We’ve started to re-engage our marketing funding to partners at a more appropriate level within the last quarter” Stewart said.

The vendor’s marketing commitment had “dropped off during the first couple of months of the year”, he said.

SNAP’s renewed efforts come at a time when the NAS market was “going to get more dynamic and more competitive,” Stewart said. “The driving factor will be Microsoft making a commitment to this market.”

SNAP’s focus was on the entry-level enterprise space of workgroups and business departments. Its latest product, the 4500 NAS server, has a capacity up to one terabyte (TB). Forthcoming new products, with capacities of up to 3TB, would see the vendor “really knocking on the medium enterprise door,” marketing manager of distributor LAN 1, Glenn Jones, said.

The promise of increased co-marketing and training was welcomed by LAN 1.

“To grow the NAS channel you need to develop partners with specialisation in verticals using data-rich applications,” Jones said.

Reseller training was also set to be stepped up, according to Stewart, who said the vendor needed to increase the number of training seminars it runs.

“We intend to hold seminar activities quarterly or bi-quarterly,” he said.

Along with the June launch of SNAP’s partner program, Stewart said the signing of NCR in June had meant customers would have local technical support for the first time. Previously, while owned by Quantum, support was provided through Quantum’s service centre.

SNAP had chosen NCR for its “infrastructure and longtime experience in providing tier-one service,” he said. NCR’s Asian headquarters are based in Sydney, while it has parts depots across Asia, including Hong Kong.

The deal with NCR offers Snap resellers the opportunity to sell various levels of support to customers, including premium onsite service within four hours, or expanded warranty with 24x7 telephone and email support.

The new service agreement represented an increased opportunity for channel partners, Jones said.

“This enables us to sell the service as a part and provides the reseller with a revenue stream,” he said. n

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