Adaptec opens first channel partner program

For almost three years following its acquisition of data storage vendor Snap Appliance, Adaptec Inc. and its VARs survived with an unstructured partner program.

But this week the Milpitas, Calif., company uncovered what it calls its three-tier PartnerConnect channel program for those who want to sell its Snap Server hardware and software, part of an attempt to get more skilled resellers.

“We’re trying to organize and go up market,” explained John Noellert, Adaptec’s vice-president of sales and marketing.

“This program is really us reaching out to engage solution provider VARs. The product’s always been available and marketed on an open basis. We’ve had a lot of direct marketers, which we love, but we’re looking to get more into solution provider space.”

In particular the company is looking for channel partners with established storage practices targeting small and medium-sized companies offering professional services. It’s very interested in VARs with vertical market expertise.

To find those VARs the company figured it needed a partner program.

PartnerConnect’s three levels include one called Reseller, for those who want to sell only a few units; Direct Marketer, for companies like CDW, that sell online to customers, and Solution Provider.

Those who want to enter that category will have to commit to selling $500,000 a year in new and renewal business and have at least one Adaptec-trained and certified systems engineer on staff. Solution providers with offices in more than one geography must have one engineer in each office.

Adaptec will come to the VAR at no charge to do the two-day training.

What the solution provider gets is access to online deal registration, access to leads generated by Adaptec’s sales staff, dedicated inside and field sales reps and customizable marketing material.

They’ll also be eligible to sit on a partner advisory council.

The vendor is also offering solution providers margins of up to 15 per cent on high-end servers, 25 per cent on services.

Adaptec doesn’t have a Canadian office. Instead it’s represented here by Keating Technologies, which looks after VAR relations.

Products are distributed by Ingram Micro Canada, Tech Data Canada and Synnex Canada.

Adaptec was known for years largely for its hard drive controllers and related computer parts, which are bought by some 600 Canadian customers every quarter, said Noellert.

That changed in 2004 when it bought Snap Appliance, a manufacturer of Network Attached Storage, for about US$100 million.

The Snap line, which was recently refreshed, ranges from the $949 (all prices in U.S. dollars) Snap Server 110 for workgroups, which holds up to 500GB of data, to the $15,695 model 650, with a base capacity of 1.2TB and can expand up to 64TB in RAID configurations.

Noellert couldn’t say how many VARs now sell Snap Server in Canada, but he said he’d like to have about 10 authorized Solution Providers in the next 12 months.

Across North America he’s aiming to have 100 at the end of the same time period.

With a structured program, Adaptec is offering these partners the chance at more opportunities to close deals and enhanced revenue, Noellert said.

While the focus of the program is on solution providers, other partners aren’t being ignored. Direct marketers (who include retailers), will also have a deal registration program and commit to annual sales volumes. Registered Resellers will get primary support online.

Comment: [email protected]

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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