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No sweat at Raritan VAR drop

The number of Raritan authorized VARs in Canada has dropped in the past year from 24 to 21. However, executives of the company, which makes remote IT management products, aren’t worried.

“Some partners lost interest, some were bought out, there’s been an attrition rate,” said Rich Moscioni, Raritan’s president for the Americas, who was in Toronto last month along with Marc Schweig CIO and vice-president of business development.

But Moscioni said the company still wants more partners here. “Given that we’re now developing stronger program enforcement criteria, we’re just cautious. We want the high-value guys, we don’t want to over-distribute. This is not about get as many as you can.”

Jerry Diakow, Canadian sales manager, said the company particularly wants to find partners in Alberta.

There are 19 gold and two platinum authorized resellers here.

He also isn’t worried about the drop in partners, noting they included the bankrupt Ram Group, and Charon Systems, which didn’t renew its authorization after being bought by Bell Canada. Several Montreal-area partners “didn’t keep up their end of the bargain,” he added.

Raritan offers 35 per cent margin for gold and 40 per cent margin for platinum partners, but their staff must meet certain sales and technical support demands.

Diakow also said a Canadian-tailored deal registration program through distributors Tech Data Canada and Ingram Micro Canada will start “this fall.”

The company is in a fight for market share among remote KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) manufacturers like Avocent Corp. of Huntsville, Ala., which recently bought LANdesk.

Moscioni didn’t want to directly talk about his leading competitor, but he did say that “our product offerings are not significantly differentiated. I think that’s the challenge for both of us.”

Raritan’s way of making its products different is to add a service management feature to its software and sell infrastructure solutions rather than access and control boxes, he said.

Schweig said Raritan is working to integrate the company’s CommandCenter gateway to interface with HP OpenView, CA Unicenter and IBM Tivoli network management software. System administrators would then have the ability to access an out-of-band server or desktop by clicking on the hardware’s icon, which would automatically open a CommandCenter link.

He hopes connectivity to OpenView will be ready before the end of the year, with the other two applications being added next year. The additional functionality will help Raritan partners sell its products, he said.