Bell Micro furthers Hitachi partnership

Bell Microproducts will stock its long-time partner, Hitachi Data Systems’ Simple Modular Storage (SMS) 100 products as a way to gain more ground in the Canadian small business and enterprise space.

Gary Gammon, senior vice-president of marketing, enterprise products at Bell Micro, said the addition of the SMS 100 solution is a way for the distributor to further expand its base in the Canadian SMB market.

“We expect to work with more than 100 partners both new and current, with this product line within the next six months,” Gammon said. “We (see) this as an exciting opportunity to be able to recruit new partners who deal in the SMB space.”

Hitachi’s SMS 100 product is an entry-level storage system solution designed to work on the Microsoft Windows platform. Mike Walkey, Hitachi’s senior vice-president of global volume channels, said SMS 100 is targeted at customers that range between 20 to 150 users. He also mentioned that Hitachi designed this low-cost solution with an easy to use interface so that even end-users with basic IT knowledge can install it.

“The SMS 100 is ideal for end-users who are looking to improve their data protection and disaster recovery processes,” Walkey said. “We have two primary markets that we’re going after. The first is for smaller businesses who want to use the SMS 100 as a standalone external storage device. The second primary focus is for businesses that have a larger corporate entity along with remote branch offices.”

Hitachi’s deployment strategy is carried out strictly through the channel, Walkey said. He added that it made sense to leverage its existing relationship with Bell Micro, who has been a significant and active partner and supporter over the years.

“We’ve aligned with Bell Micro in the U.S. and in Canada,” Walkey said. “That way we can leverage their resources and we can address both existing customers and can also tap into new ones in this space,” he added.

Gammon said there are plenty of opportunities for partners to tackle in the SMB space because he says businesses of all sizes have storage resource needs.

“My message to partners is that Hitachi has built a very good product with a great price point,” Gammon said. “We’re currently looking for partners who have skills with financing and in the SMB space as well as partners who have technical capabilities.”

Walkey said partners should expect to receive double digit margins on the solution.

“SMS 100’s low-cost structure means greater margins for partners,” Walkey said. “Resellers need to understand that they have a high level of margin and customer opportunity and there’s revenue to be made on this robust product offering.”

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
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