Storage-focused solution provider H.A. Storage has formed a new organization to handle the services side of the storage business, thereby splitting the integration and the services parts of its business while expanding its customer -- and channel partner -- reach.
The new organization, H.A. Services, was founded late last year as a way of focusing on the services side of the storage business of small and midsize customers, said Chris Black, CIO of the Audubon, Pa.-based company.
That gives H.A. Services a new business model and potential customer and partner base different from that of its sister company, Chanhassen, Minn.-based H.A. Storage Systems, while at the same time making it easy for both companies to rely on each other, Black said.
"Most organizations can own their own production storage environment," he said. "So they work with H.A. Storage to put in their NetApp and EMC infrastructures. But most of them can't afford to buy two storage infrastructures. Or, if they buy two, the second sits across the aisle from the first because the company can't afford a second location."
Randy Kirsch, vice president of H.A. Storage, said that while H.A. Services was founded with investment from his company, the two are separate entities. H.A. Storage is an S corporation, while H.A. Security is an limited liability company (LLC), he said.
"The storage side of the business we know well," Kirsch said. "But it's a totally different sales mindset with the services side. And, by keeping them separate, it's easier to bring on other partners."
"A great part of the H.A. Storage and H.A. Services partnership is that the H.A. Storage engineers who implement the NetApp and EMC storage are also familiar with the replication target side and our capabilities," Black said. "They don't just say, 'Here's a target, and we're done.'"
Another advantage of moving the replication infrastructure to a separate company is that it opens the business to other solution providers, Black said.
"The H.A. Storage installed base is the low-hanging fruit," he said. "We're already working with other integrators."
H.A. Services currently has a FlexPod converged infrastructure based on NetApp and Cisco technology it uses as a replication target for business users with a NetApp infrastructure, Black said. By June, it will have a second FlexPod infrastructure set up about 70 miles north of its current location for archiving or redundant protection.
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