SuperMicro Adds New Programs For VARs

The San Jose, Calif.-based maker of server motherboards and barebones systems has launched three new partner offerings -- an online configurator, online launch kits and special promotions for VARs -- and added discounts for good customers.

Still in beta form, the online configurator tool enables VARs to mix and match motherboards and chassis, said Tau Leng, director of marketing at SuperMicro. Customers still must call a sales representative to order products, but Leng said the tool will be useful for matching motherboards certified for particular chassis, given SuperMicro's large product catalog.

David Valencia, vice president of sales and marketing at Pogo Linux, a Seattle builder of Linux-based servers, agreed. SuperMicro has three catalogs -- one for motherboards, one for chassis and one for barebones -- and customers must search through them to find products they want, he noted

"Using the configuration tool to get the data will be a lot quicker," Valencia said.

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SuperMicro's configurator currently supports only products based on processors for Intel, but later this year processors from Advanced Micro Devices are slated to be supported, Leng said. SuperMicro also is working to incorporate accessories, such as I/O cards, in the tool by year's end.

The online launch kit includes a variety of SuperMicro-developed marketing information that VARs need to promote their servers. Previously, VARs had to get that information directly from SuperMicro representatives. The launch kits for Intel's latest Xeon "Woodcrest" processors include photos, formatted sample brochures, sign images and sample ads.

Finally, SuperMicro is creating a benefits program for frequent customers. Teng said the server maker is still developing the program and is adding VARs on an invitation-only basis. The goal is to provide special promotions and discounts -- beyond those currently offered -- to VARs that meet certain purchasing requirements.

Leng said SuperMicro is working out the requirements to be a percentage of sales or a quarterly sales quota so that large and small VARs can participate.