Certification, training, teamwork engage channel
Storage vendors are offering new ways for solution providers to make professional services part of their offerings.
InterSAN, a Scotts Valley, Calif.-based developer of software aimed at managing SAN planning, deployment, provisioning and monitoring, introduced a program to certify solution providers in consulting, implementation and training services.
The program includes use of the company's Pathline management software as a springboard to providing clients with other value-added consulting, said Karen Dutch, vice president of marketing at InterSAN.
"We started early in 2002 with direct sales," she said. "Now we want to develop an indirect channel with larger VARs and systems integrators."
Brandon Lambert, practice leader for systems and storage at Greenwich Technology Partners, a White Plains, N.Y.-based consulting and professional services firm, said InterSAN offers a way for solution providers to sell and provide professional services.
"When InterSAN goes out and sells products, they have a very small professional services team," Lambert said. "So they bring in external providers and have us do the work with them. Their team acts more like a support team for the rest of us."
NSI Software, the Hoboken, N.J.-based developer of the Double-Take realtime backup and automatic failover storage management application, introduced three new professional services to solution providers, which account for about 80 percent of the company's revenue.
One of the services is Capacity Planning, which allows solution providers to watch data changes and then determine network bandwidth requirements, said Bob Guilbert, vice president of marketing and business development.
Other new programs include Kick Start, which helps solution providers prepare for software deployment, and Health Check, a quarterly or biannual service wherein solution providers inspect previously installed solutions and recommend enhancements.
And SANgate Systems, a Southborough, Mass., start-up, unveiled a hardware and software combination that simplifies the migration of data between Microsoft NT and Sun Microsystems Solaris environments.
Prebundled on a notebook, the SANblaster S1000 software helps clients upgrade storage products, consolidate storage infrastructures and implement disaster-recovery programs, said Patrick Courtin, chairman and CEO of SANgate.