HP’s (NYSE: HPQ) acquisition of LeftHand Networks is already old news – the announcement was made back in October. But it takes much longer for the dust to settle, particularly for resellers being transitioned over from the acquired company.
In this case, Arrow ECS is trying to make that transition easier by introducing former LeftHand resellers to HP products, tools and resources through its PowerStart program – offered to all North American resellers when they begin selling HP solutions.
For HP, it’s essential to keep those resellers on board. Many industry watchers claimed HP’s acquisition of LeftHand was a response to Dell‘s acquisition of LeftHand’s key rival EqualLogic a year prior. This US$1.4 billion acquisition turned Dell into an iSCSI player, with reach into the mid-market – yet another thorn in HP’s side.
The problem was, however, that EqualLogic had a loyal following of resellers, many of whom were worried about the prospect of working with Dell. While Dell managed to entice many of those resellers to stay, several EqualLogic resellers switched loyalties, turning to LeftHand instead.
Dell’s loss was LeftHand’s gain – and now HP’s gain. And for HP, this transition is probably a whole lot easier, thanks to its strong distribution relationships. Arrow ECS, for example, is supporting the migration by assigning a dedicated transition team to provide education, training and services for former LeftHand resellers (and helping HP resellers get up to speed on LeftHand).
The distie is introducing them to key contacts within HP’s channel organization and providing pre-sales, engineering and technical team training for HP solutions. The PowerStart program includes assistance in attaining authorizations and certifications to continue selling LeftHand solutions through HP.
Arrow ECS has been a long-time distributor of both LeftHand and HP solutions, so the pieces are already in place. Dell, of course, is now going through the distribution channel, but it’s still fairly new to the game – there’s no history or legacy there.
Aside from providing iSCSI SAN solutions, LeftHand was considered a pioneer in developing virtual storage appliances – so this acquisition could help HP get its share of the virtual storage appliance pie. LeftHand’s intelligent cloning technology, for example, could reduce the amount of disk space required for storage by up to 97 per cent in certain virtualized environments.
LeftHand had more than 500 resellers and distributors worldwide, with more than 11,000 installations across 3,000 customers. So far, dozens of former LeftHand resellers in North America have completed Arrow ECS’s PowerStart program and are now HP Storage Select Authorized business partners; more than 100 others are in the final stages of the program. It’s just one more example of the power of partnerships.