IT Wholesale is to distribute Cisco MDS 9000 storage area networking (SAN) products for IBM.
Cisco launched the MDS 9000 family back in February with the intention of breaking into the SAN space. But agreements signed with storage vendors at the time have stopped these products from passing through the usual channels.
“Cisco is a very large player in IT but its background is in networking,” IBM AN/Z business unit executive for storage, Wayne Glynne, said.
“When it entered this [SAN] market, original storage manufacturer [OSM] agreements were signed with storage vendors. This meant the only way to get these Cisco products was by buying through an OSM.
“Resellers trying to get the switches through traditional suppliers weren’t able to do so, which was causing some confusion. We think it will help the market to give an IT distributor the ability to provide resellers with these switches.”
IT Wholesale will be asked to concentrate on the SME and public sector markets, which have been identified by IBM as the biggest growth areas.
Glynne said IT Wholesale would give IBM more reach with the MDS 9000 products and would also help it achieve an aim of moving more sales through the channel and away from direct dealing.
“We have worked with IT Wholesale for the past 18 months and they have quickly developed a competency for storage products,” he said.
“They have made an investment in getting staff certified in the relevant skill sets and we can work together to increase revenue opportunities for both organisations.”
Gartner has predicted the worldwide SAN switching market will grow from about $US1.2 billion in 2002 to $US4.3 billion in 2006.