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Quest's Vitale admitted that there are some customers who do not want to migrate from their existing data protection software to Dell's new offerings, and that these customers can sign deal with other resellers.
But there are other reasons to assume Dell will grow that business, he said. "Dell is the biggest reseller of VMware licenses," he said. "This opens a huge door for selling our data protection IP [intellectual property]."
Robby Wright, chief technical consultant and CTO at Abtech, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based solution provider and long-time Quest partner, said he is looking forward to upcoming changes in Quest's NetVault 9 data protection software.
NetVault 9 can already create what Quest called a SmartDisk, which is a portion of disk from a storage pool that can be used as a virtual tape library (VTL) for NetVault or vRanger, Wright said. However, SmartDisk in the future can be replicated to other locations automatically, a move that currently requires a large amount of manual operations, he said.
"We have a customer that replicates SmartDisks between its offices in San Jose, London and Hong Kong," he said. "But they also want to be able to do simultaneous disk-to-disk-to-tape data protection. The ability to take data to tape is important. Over time, data can get corrupt. Without a long tape trail, customers can get in trouble."
Dell's Davis used the Quest Partner Conference to also provide an update on Dell's channel situation.
Indirect sales currently account for about 35 percent of Dell's global commercial business, which includes all business outside the company's retail and consumer markets, Davis said.
The number of premier and preferred partners during the third quarter of 2012 was up 53 percent over the same period last year. "We've put in a series of training programs to get partners trained, certified and competent in several areas," he said. "Through the third quarter, we've held over 140,000 training courses to date. We're clearly on our way to reach our goal of 200,000 classes for the year."
Dell in November put in place a simplified pricing scheme for its Latitude laptop and OptiPlex desktop PCs that makes it easy for partners to quickly find prices for those products, Davis said. That follows the announcement of simplified server pricing when Dell early this year introduced its 12th-generation (12G) servers, he said.