Netapp has appointed Westcon as its second Australian distributor in a bid to expand its reach with a dual distribution model.
Westcon edged out Dicker Data after months of negotiations with the two distributors.
The decision to appoint Westcon followed the resignation of Dicker Data commercial director, Chris Price, who was closely involved in negotiations with Netapp.
Netapp general manager A/NZ channels and enablement, Neville James, told ARN, the main reason for the decision was Westcon's preparedness to invest in technical resources.
"We have a pretty strong relationship with Cisco so having a Cisco contract was a pretty high priority.
"Distribution Central [Fusion Systems] were selected months ago and then it was between Dicker Data and Westcon, and Westcon nudged them out.
"They will take on our entire product range and we will look for them to recruit few more partners, give us more reach, and try to build on our momentum in the midsize market. They are the key things we are looking to get out of it."
James said the resignation of Price did not impact the decision.
"We were working very closely with Chris Price and David Peach and both companies were pretty strong contenders, but we had a high level of comfort with what Westcon were offering," he said.
"They both had Cisco. Westcon impressed a bit more. Chris' change didn't really have anything to do with it."
Distribution Central had long been the only Australian distributor for the Californian headquartered storage and data management company.
However, in June, NetApp signalled its intention to review its A/NZ go-to-market.
Following a period of growth, NetApp undertook a formal RFP process to review how its distributors would align best with its plans in the Australian and New Zealand markets.
As a result, the appointment of a second distributor was seen as a logical evolution to meet the growing needs of customers and partners, while further accelerating the company’s growth.
James said the reason for the strategy was to expand Netapp's reach and realise greater returns on its alliance with Cisco.
"Having extra resources on the street talking about our products is really the main positive we see out of it. To increase our reach.
"We are pretty optimistic that it is going to have a positive impact on Westcon and I have a high level of confidence they will execute well."
Westcon director vendor alliances, Nick McMenemy, said securing the partnership with NetApp, was a result of its continued focus on supporting the channel in embracing complementary technologies.
“With a heritage in the services and datacentre arena, we believe that this relationship is a strong fit for us and something we look forward to developing further with NetApp," he said.
James said the partnership with Distribution Central's recently rebranded SAN Systems business, Fusion Systems, would continue, "business as usual".
"I think they do a pretty good job," he said.
"I don't think it will have any impact there. They will continue to support our business and my expectation is that will just carry on business as usual.