SP500: NHR Wets Its Beak With Servers, Storage

NHR's initial server and storage lines include products from HP, IBM, Dell and Oracle/Sun Microsystems at what the solution provider says are 30 to 60 percent less than published OEM list prices.

It's also covering those products under its NetSure Maintenance Program, which it says offers maintenance, support and upgrades 50 to 90 percent less than OEM maintenance programs.

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"We started dabbling in this about two years ago," Mike Lodato, NHR's senior vice president of sales and marketing, told CRN. "Whenever you're in there seeing a customer do network upgrades or expansion, almost in every case you're seeing equivalent server or storage expansion. We're reacting bigger deal sizes and more wallet share from our existing customers."

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In April 2012, NHR hired Jeff Zanardi as its new vice president of business development and product marketing. Zanardi, a 25-year tech veteran, had spent 15 years at Cisco and was tasked with not only expanding NHR's global partnerships and maintenance program but also building potentially lucrative new NHR businesses around optical transceivers and servers and storage.

"What you're seeing out there is a data center solution package," Zanardi said. "The OEMs are all doing that, if you watch what Dell has done up through its networking gear, what HP is doing, what Cisco is doing. But, those [vendors] also want you to buy all of their product. We work outside of that channel, so we can provide the same total solution mix, but if the customers wants to mix their HP with some EMC or some Dell, we can do all of that in a packaged solution for them."

Before this week's formal launch, Lodato and Zanardi estimated that NHR has done about $6 million in server and storage products under the radar. "Now we're ready to take this to scale," Lodato said.

NHR, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., was founded in 1986. It ranked No. 86 on CRN's 2012 Solution Provider 500 listing, up from No. 91 the year before, and Lodato and Zanardi said it's continuing on a growth tear, both from geographic expansion around the world and its embrace of new product lines. Those include optical, which grew from 3 to 10 percent of NHR's revenue in the span of a year, Lodato said, and branded components.

"A lot of the stuff we do in server and storage is component-level upgrades," Lodato said. "We're at a scale now where we can start manufacturing and distributing our own branded component products in a bunch of different categories. We're flush with capital and we're going to be accelerating on all fronts."