Tech Data Introduces IBM-Based Integrated Data Protection Solution

Tech Data has launched a new backup and data protection solution based on IBM infrastructure that the distributor said will bring enterprise solutions to more managed service providers and their SMB clients.

The Tech Data Integrated Data Protection Solution, announced Wednesday, is a packaged solution for data protection and backup. It is based on IBM technology, including IBM's PowerLinux, IBM's v3700 Storwize and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Software Entry. While it is based on the IBM technology, if solution providers acquire the Integrated Data Protection Solution through Tech Data, they will not require additional IBM certifications. Ultimately, Tech Data said the solution should help reduce costs by as much as 38 percent and maximize stability and security.

The package is the first integrated solution with a manufacturer from Tech Data, part of the goal from the distributor's Advanced Infrastructure Solutions division to migrate from volume activities toward more complex and value-add solutions, Chuck Bartlett, Tech Data's senior vice president of Advanced Infrastructure Solutions (AIS) Division, said.

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"I think the end point for why we're doing this is to provide a fully integrated solution to easily take to market with [partners'] clients in a way that makes it easy to package, easy to sell, with a value proposition to the client that makes it very clear why they need to have this capacity within their environment," Bartlett said. "If you look at previous approaches where they had to pick the server, the storage, pick the software and professional services, we're taking all that and making it very easy for the partner, which hopefully makes it easier for them to sell to their client."

For partners looking to bring on the solution, the distributor said it will wrap services, financing support, training, sales support and more to make sure they can fully leverage the IBM portfolio through Tech Data.

Bartlett said that he has heard positive feedback from partners about the news as it lets them go to market with a more scalable data protection solution that clients can understand.

Scott Fluegge, president of JDL Technologies, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Tech Data partner, said that Tech Data has its work cut out for it as it enters a crowded market for backup and data protection solutions, filled with a mix of startups and established solutions.

That being said, Fluegge said that the Tech Data solution, in particular, is compelling because it brings an enterprise-grade product down to the SMB level. While he said it may be too early to tell how the solution is packaged, it "does have that potential of withstanding some of the noise factor that others are having trouble differentiating in."

"It’s a class of application that if it truly can bring that feature function to the SMB, then it would definitely be something that would be interesting because it would give that differentiation," Fluegge said.

Beyond the solution itself, Fluegge said that the Tech Data release signals that managed service providers are moving up from just small businesses to the midmarket and the enterprise as a viable market approach.

"[It's] further reinforcement that the industry ... has accepted or adopted the managed service providers as where the industry is going. Not that everyone is going to outsource, but outsourcing is a viable model for the market," Fluegge said. In particular, he said the solution shows the industry is accepting managed services moving into the midmarket. "That’s exciting to me as a business owner because I need more revenue in my organization and that’s really hard to do in small chunks [without midmarket clients] ... solutions like this are telling me the industry is accepting that."

Going forward, Tech Data's AIS division plans to release roughly five similar packaged solutions in different technology areas, such as mobility, Bartlett said.

"This is something that you'll see more of from Tech Data, from AIS," Bartlett said.