NEC Business Solutions is muscling into the mid-range storage and network space, showcasing a full range of servers at the Storage World expo in Sydney this month.
Ex-Tech Pacific exec David Henderson is heading up the new division along with fellow Tech Pac expellee David Higgins. The two are using their knowledge in distribution to address resellers' pain spots, especially where it pertains to NEC's own voice and data integration group.
Henderson said NEC Business Solutions will support its channel by allowing resellers to service their own clients if they choose, instead of meddling with their ongoing customer relationships like other tier-one vendors. Alternatively, if the reseller wants NEC to provide after-sales support and maintenance, it has the capacity to do so, having spent the better part of the last six months improving its customer support network.
In addition, Business Solutions doesn't work on the sales agent model, so it doesn't dictate what margin the reseller can make in a sale. There is a set buy price and the reseller adds their margin on top, giving them the ability to negotiate one or two points of extra margin.
LAN Systems and Dicker Data will distribute the SAN, tape and NAS products locally. Henderson said the former was chosen for its ability to value-add in the SAN building arena and the latter for high volume sales in the general IT community.
NEC has identified 300-odd resellers it deems to be "storage capable" and that it hopes to reach through LAN Systems. A further 3,000 IT resellers in the general network environment (printer servers, NAS and LTO tape backup) will be accessed through Dicker Data, the vendor hopes.
Though each has its target audience, both disties have access to the full Business Solutions range and resellers do not have to obtain individual certification for each of the technology sets to buy them. The SAN, NAS and tape solutions are based upon NEC's Express 5800 server range, which includes blade and fault-tolerant solutions launched in September. They utilise both fibre channel and IP infrastructure.
NEC also has a global alliance with FalconStor, which commits the vendor to an open-source platform.
The server range has been tailored for the SMB space because, according to Henderson, "the enterprise has been done to death". He believes the goldmine in the mid-range is in vertical segments rather than user seats or set revenue projections. "We've got customers from 70K all the way through to 600K," he said.