Espying much-touted Internet-driven growth opportunities, Hewlett-Packard has moved to position itself as one of the leading high-end storage solutions vendors with the channel as its draught horse.
While in Australia to announce HP's storage initiatives - including a business restructure which pinpoints storage as one of its four key areas of focus - Surash Nair, regional business manager (Asia-Pacific), HP enterprise storage, said the restructuring is a reflection of the increasing importance storage is playing in medium enterprise IT solutions.
`Partners will better complement us in this space,' Nair said. `It is the whole e-commerce shift that is driving the storage boom and that requires a shift to a new business model. Partners [resellers] are the ones who have the business knowledge.
`The SMEs will always turn to their VARs for technology migrations,' he added.
Analysts IDC are predicting that storage will be a $100 billion market generating in excess of 50 per cent of IT spending by 2002, Nair said. He also stated that this boom represents `a huge opportunity' for reseller channels and a lot of the demand is coming from medium enterprises who traditionally deal with resellers.
Nair said that 60 per cent of revenues for HP's Asia-Pacific enterprise storage market is currently coming through channels whereas in Australia that figure is much closer to a 50-50 split.
HP is convinced it has the solutions required to maintain itself as a major player in storage. Having grown from what has traditionally been a direct-sold enterprise technology, what HP lacks and recognises the channel can offer is the intimate customer knowledge and close relationship with a much broader customer base.
`We are already taking market share off other vendors, but I think the channel should be doing more and we will be enabling programs in the near future which will give partners an opportunity to add significant value in their market space,' Nair said.
`Where we really want to focus our partnering energies is in the high-end and outsourcing-services space. It is a priority for us to find partners there.'