Ingram Micro has expanded its storage focus by adding a new enterprise sales team with technical expertise and increasing its storage line card with eight new vendors.
The goal is to increase the sales resources available to solution providers to help them capture more storage sales, the company said.
"We've heard lots of feedback from resellers that storage will be an emphasis going forward," said Kelly Harvey, director of product management in Ingram Micro's Technical Products Division, adding that most of the growth will come from moving storage off the desktop to the network. "We're definitely expecting the demand to increase for SAN and NAS solutions," Harvey said.
Ingram Micro has built a special call center at its Buffalo, N.Y., location to house the new enterprise sales team. The plan also includes putting some of the more technical sales-team members in the field to interact face-to-face with solution providers, supplying information on key areas such as sales opportunities, training, market players and market size, Harvey said.
While the distributor has a handful of sales representatives dedicated to the effort right now, Ingram Micro plans to add more as sales grow. By 2005, 48 percent of all sales will flow through indirect channels, according to IDC.
The distributor has seen an increase in storage sales since Sept. 11 as companies realize the importance of planning for disasters, Harvey said. "9/11 really emphasized the importance of backing up data," she said. Vertical markets that are hot for storage solutions are health care, e-commerce and finance, Harvey said.
Ingram Micro also added eight new offerings to its storage lineup: Adaptec Durastor, Compaq Computer Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA), Exabyte VXA, IBM Tivoli and NAS, Iomega NAS A and P series, Maxtor Maxattach 6000, Quantum NAS Guardian and Sony NAS. Ingram Micro will even be doing configuration on behalf of Compaq, Harvey said.
The distributor will be holding storage-focused technical conferences this summer and plans to launch a storage roadshow in the third quarter. The roadshow is scheduled to stop in Phoenix on July 16, Baltimore on Aug. 6 and Los Angeles on Sept. 18, the company said.
Ingram Micro has also conducted Web-based training sessions on IBM Tivoli and storage virtualization that are archived on its Web site. The next online training session is scheduled for May 29.