Quantum this week unveiled a new rebate program for channel partners at its Alliance Partner Summit in Laguna Beach, Calif., where company executives also discussed planned enhancements to the DX-series of tape emulation appliances.
Now through Dec. 26, Quantum will offer its elite-status solution providers an additional Growth Incentive Rebate, or GIR, of 3 percent on sales of storage systems and tape drives, said Paul Zeiter, director of channel sales Americas. To qualify for the GIR, solution providers work with Quantum to develop a customized growth target based on each partner's business, he said. If the partner meets the goals set, it will get the 3 percent rebate on revenue, paid on a quarterly basis.
The GIR comes atop other rebates and incentives, which can add up to more than 20 percent extra margin for Quantum solution providers, according to Zeiter. "We are a very channel-oriented organization," he said. "Without you, we don't succeed."
Rob Wolfe, president and CEO of AvcomEast, a Silver Spring, Md.-based solution provider who attended the partner event, said he was impressed with Quantum's "best of breed" channel programs. "Tape is at the end of the food chain. But with rebates, etc., they are driving the right behavior," Wolfe said.
Wolfe also credited Quantum's marketing staff for focusing on software, not just on the speeds and feeds of the hardware. "They don't talk about how they are going to make their tape libraries faster, but instead on how they will use software to enhance their value and make them easier to manage," he said.
One place Quantum aims to add value with software is its DX-series of hard-drive-based tape emulation appliances. Though the vendor has no plans to introduce new appliances to its DX line, it expects to update the software this fall to provide some new features--notably partitioning, which will allow customers to set up chargeback systems based on storage use, said Dave Kenyon, director of enterprise product marketing at Quantum. Also slated to be added late this year is hardware compression, which will double the amount of data that can be stored on the appliance, he said.
For its flagship DX100 appliance, Quantum also plans to add optional failover capabilities, including RAID controller failover and back-end failover. The latter affects the internal pathways to the appliance's Fibre Channel drives. "The DX is already reliable," Kenyon said. "This is for customers who are paranoid about their data."
Quantum also is considering adding write-once/read-many (WORM) capabilities to the DX appliances to make them suitable for content-addressable storage. "The first step with WORM is to add WORM archival capabilities," Kenyon said. "The killer app today is WORM tape."