StorageTek overhauls distribution strategy

StorageTek overhauls distribution strategy


StorageTek will enlist new value-added distributors in a bid to expand the breadth of its channel, according to recently appointed channel boss, Sam Srinivasan.

The storage vendor, which currently distributes its products through ACA Pacific in Australia, and DataStor in New Zealand, was considering appointing a regional distributor to service both countries, he said. It would also look to build a more focused storage distributor and reseller base, incorporating specialist vertical channels.

"None of our current distributors will change, but we will be looking at ways to complement them to enter different tiers of the market," Srinivasan said.

"We don't want to go into a massive recruitment mode; we want to be selective. We want to build a narrow focused storage channel, rather than concentrate on working with integrators who have not given us the [sales] dividends in the past."

The vendor would also boost its relationships with OEMs, he said.

At present, channel sales accounted for around 25 per cent of the storage vendor's business, Srinivasan said.

"Within two years, we are going to try and make this a 50/50 ratio," he said.

One of the key drivers for the vendor's renewed focus on indirect sales was the release of its StreamLine (SL)500 automated tape library for the mid-market.

Srinivasan said StorageTek would also announce a slew of new low-end storage products in the coming months, many of which will only be available through its channel.

"Now that we have a broader range of products, it gives us more reason to put together a cohesive strategy for the indirect sales business," he said.

As part of this strategy, StorageTek has formed a commercial, channels and OEM group, headed up by Srinivasan.

The vendor is also looking to split its resellers into two tiers: a premier level, for those with expertise across particular product sets, and an alliance level for all of its authorised resellers. Those who attained premier status would have to meet specific sales volume commitments, Srinivasan said.

StorageTek has also introduced a lead generation program for its resellers as well as a named account model that lists the organisations it plans to sell direct to.

Despite wanting to maintain a group of direct customers, Srinivasan said it would not look to exclude channel partners from these accounts.

A new deal registration system gives reseller partners who lodge sales opportunities a discount on its products and services. The system is now being launched to reseller partners, he said.

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