HDS looks to channel after Sun relationship ends

Local companies see opportunities in new set-up

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) says it will work more closely with Sun Australian resellers after its hardware reseller relationship with the vendor was terminated.

Under the former arrangement, Sun rebadged HDS' enterprise-class storage arrays and on-sold them globally. Last week, Sun’s new owner, Oracle, and HDS revealed the nine-year-old partnership would be wound up on March 31. As previously reported in ARN in February,local partners expressed concerns the HDS relationship could end following the Oracle acquisition.

HDS' local marketing manager, Tim Smith, said Oracle’s acquisition of Sun presented an opportunity to expand its global applications integration and optimisation relationship with the software giant.

“We have always had a working relationship with Oracle – a large portion of enterprise databases from Oracle run on Hitachi storage,” Smith said. “The acquisition opened up additional opportunity to broaden our relationship.”

But he expressed the vendor’s intentions to work directly with resellers currently selling the Sun-branded product range said it was liaising with Oracle to build a reseller transition plan. Details are expected to be revealed over coming weeks.

“There’s an opportunity for channel partners to offer the entire Hitachi product range and storage portfolio to enterprise customers,” he said. Smith was unable to specify how many Australian Sun resellers had been selling the rebadged HDS storage array.

Alongside Sun, HDS has an OEM relationship for its enterprise storage arrays with HP and a mid-market play with Acer.

Smith said there were no plans to actively seek out a replacement for the Sun arrangement.

“We are well placed to continue with our strong growth and take market share,” he said. “Channel partners represent a majority contribution to our revenue in A/NZ and growth in the business over the last seven years.”

Managing director of Sun partner Frontline Systems, Steve Murphy, said HDS had gone to great pains to engage directly with his organisation and saw significant opportunity with the storage vendor.

“The upside now is we have a direct relationship with HDS storage, which we have been working on for the past six months,” he said. “It wasn’t hard to pick that the HDS and Sun relationship was going to go away.”