The new storage and server unit comes out of its Xalyx business unit, which was created in 1999. Xalyx had focused on storage in the enterprise and commercial markets, but not servers.Mike Brenchley will head up this new business unit. The team will also have sales specialists in both Montreal and Toronto.
These specialists are not typical sales account managers, said Greg Myers, vice-president of marketing for Tech Data Canada, based in Mississauga, Ont. “They have technical expertise and can add value to a reseller’s insight,” he said.
Tech Data also introduced a new channel program called S3, which will be managed and supported within the new business unit. The new plan is intended to help resellers sell and implement storage and server solutions for mid-market applications.
Myers said this move is one of Tech Data’s biggest market plays in some time.
“This is a big investment for us. We have a new set of people who are running hard after it. Server sales are being integrated with storage solutions and there has been a big response to blades.
“Resellers are in front of the right accounts, but need help to take this enterprise solution to SMBs,” he said.
Currently, Adaptec, ADIC, Brocade, CA, EMC, Emulex, HP (Enterprise and Commer-cial products), IBM, IBM Software, Legato, QLogic, Quantum, Snap Appliance and Symantec/Veritas have been signed up as vendor partners for the new storage and server business unit.
Tech Data sales specialists will be mandated in the S3 program to design and deliver customized training programs. The training will be for resellers and will start with a skills assessment. S3 will also include better availability to packaged solutions and solution blueprints along with pre-sales configuration services.
Tech Data Canada is also providing a storage and server Web resource centre, Myers said.
Part of the S3 plan will be to secure the much-needed vendor authorizations and certifications for resellers so they can develop these new practices, Myers said.
This type of solution would have only been previously in the enterprise domain from large players such as NexInnovations, he said.
Other large integrators have the capability, dedicated resources, technical certifications, and face-to-face engagements with vendors to sell advanced solutions.
As server solutions comes down market with attached storage SMB reseller will need partners to sell them, he said.
Market in an upswing
According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, factory revenue in the global server market grew at 8.1 per cent year over year to $12.5 billion in the third quarter of 2005, marking the tenth consecutive quarter of positive overall revenue growth.
IDC said this research demonstrates continuing user investment in a robust server infrastructure as a fundamental component of other IT investments in software, storage and services.
“The timing is right and the other thing is we believe we can capture more business from the traditional value added distributors (VAD).
“The S3 has value-add for resellers and our local availability, which VADs do not offer. We are more broadbased, but we want to build the business unit with resources that can be leveraged in the market place. We want to offers services that is consistent from a VAD,” Myers said.
Myers would like to see about 60 partners in the program spread across the country covering off all major markets.
He also believes that the sweet spot for resellers will be in the 250 to 1,000-seat segment.