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Seagate eyes top-tier VARs

New program unveiled to target high volume system builders in North America

Hard drive vendor Seagate Technology today announced a new top-tier channel program called Seagate Partner Program Premier (SPP Premier); a program designed for its high-value North American system builders.

John Teeple, Americas marketing director at Seagate, says high-volume channel partners will see an increased level of investment on Seagate’s part with this new program. The company will still have its Seagate Partner Program available to its system builders and resellers. But the benefits, under this program, include quarterly Web seminars, sales incentives and product rebates.

“We need to zero in on the players who are moving the ball forward [in storage],” Teeple said. “We have a real need to focus on the segment in the channel that’s delivering the highest value to their customers, and ultimately back to Seagate,” he adds.

Teeple says the storage industry has changed from once being considered as an afterthought, to now something that has become a very prominent segment in the marketplace today.

“Media and content is now being created at such a rate and volume that it has thrust us into a mainstream role,” Teeple said. “We’ve got some 3,000 to 4,000 integrators in the Americas market that buy our products through authorized distributors.”

The new Premier program has been developed to support Seagate’s direct marketers, channel OEMs, SIs and strategic focus accounts. He points out that distributors, sub distributors, retailers and contract manufacturers are excluded from joining this program. Also, in order to become a SPP Premier member, partners must either meet volume requirements with revenue or units and/or they must have a strategic market focus, such as with ruggedized and surveillance segments.

To help drive this program, Teeple says part of Seagate’s strategy is to place a real focus on the part of the channel that’s helping to drive business for them.

Initially, Teeple says the SPP Premier will only be available to integrators by invitation only. He estimates that about 200 integrators will be targeted by the firm directly.

“Eventually, we’ll probably also open this up for self-nominations too,” Teeple said. “What we’re trying to do now is create a high-level of awareness so that people can aspire to join the program.

“We want to fo­cus on the business growth of our partners,” he said. “We want to step up and extend to our partners an increased level of support and we want to increase our focus on their business.”

Teeple says Seagate wants to maintain its focus on the benefits offered in the program. These include named field coverage, free advance replacement processing and shipping.