Overland Storage held its first channel partner conference in several years late last week, during which it introduced two new channel execs to its partners, unveiled new certifications, and assured them that IBM's acquisition of Diligent will not impact Overland's de-dupe product line.
The conference, held Thursday and Friday in Chicago, was the first opportunity for solution providers to meet with two of the San Diego-based company's new channel execs, including Ravi Pendekanti, vice president of worldwide market, and Raya Hosseini, vice president of Americas Sales.
John Zammett, president of HorizonTek, a Huntington, N.Y.-based storage solution provider and Overland Storage partner, said he was impressed with what he saw, especially Pendekanti and Hosseini.
"I have confidence in the future of Overland and our relationship," he said. "I like the new blood. It's something they've needed to do for a long time."
In fact, Zammett said, the new executives boost his confidence in more of a direct financial way. "My confidence in Ravi and Raya to do a good job is such that I'm considering buying stock in the company," he said. "If they're as successful with the channel as they seem, it could be a big boost to Overland."
Pendekanti used the conference to discuss Overland Storage's first sales and technical certification programs, which are expected to roll out starting July 1. The program will include a series of Web training sessions starting every two weeks, and solution providers at the gold level and platinum level will be required to get the certifications, he said.
The sales certification training will focus on product overviews, competitive analysis, and target applications, while the technical certification training will help partners with storage assessments and solution building, he said.
"Before, we didn't have a certification program," Pendekanti said. "We had training. But we know that people on the sales side need different training and tools than people on the geeky side. This streamlines the process."
The certification program is not for direct marketers, however, Pendekanti said. "It's more for user-facing partners," he said. "We want to do a focused program, and then track it going forward."
While Overland Storage did not introduce new products at the conference, Pendekanti did discuss the fact that the company will continue to leverage data de-duplication technology as a way to cut down on storage capacity requirements and as a way to move forward on WAN optimization.
He said his company is also looking at specific parts of the storage market, such as IP storage area networking, to determine how to either develop new products or work with new technology partners to develop a complete tiered storage solution.
Zammett said Overland Storage used the conference to assure partners that IBM's acquisition of data de-duplication technology developer Diligent would not impact Overland's own de-dupe plans, which are based on Diligent technology.
"Overland said IBM told them that their relationship with Diligent wouldn't be changing," he said. "So we're not worried."