Buffalo Americas Cuts Out Consumer Business To Focus On SMB Channel Partners

Buffalo Americas is shifting its focus away from consumer selling to doubling down on its SMB partners by increasing its sales and channel marketing staff tied to a slew of new network and storage products at a price point customers can't resist.

"They're bringing 10-GbE in at a cost which is below $200 per port – now that's almost a no brainer for a customer in that market space, where before you were looking at $600 to $800 a port," said Alex Bichuch, managing partner at IPConnectx Corp., a Ontario-based solution provider and Buffalo partner.

Partners are applauding the Austin, Texas-based global network and storage provider for its revamped product line and its shift away from consumer selling.

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"There's much less consumer product out there now, which is good. You can't easily find Buffalo in Best Buy anymore," Bichuch said.

Bill Rhodes, director of channel sales for Buffalo Americas, said the vendor began shifting away from the consumer market about two years ago.

"We just shifted everything away from our consumer focus and doubled down on all the B2B efforts to just make sure we were taking care of partners better, giving more emphasis to them," said Rhodes, in an interview with CRN. "We're taking the emphasis away from the retail or E-tail presence."

Buffalo has doubled its sales and channel marketing team over the past year and built a 24/7 support center in Texas.

Earlier this year, the vendor launched 10-GbE native storage and switch products, including the Buffalo TeraStation 5010 series NAS and the BS-XP20 series of switches, aimed at providing an affordable 10-GbE platform to the SMB market. The combined solution features a full-metal chassis, simple plug-and-play configuration, and a lifetime warranty.

"Trying to bring 10-Gig into the small business market is a pretty big initiative for Buffalo in general," said Rhodes. Buffalo made 10-GbE switches in Japan for years, Rhodes said, "so we brought those in, and the price points are just incredible. Full MSRP is $500 on an 8-port, 10-GbE switch."

Buffalo's drive towards improving channel enablement and profitability will only continue for years to come, said Rhodes. Bichuch said the new products are "helping us get in the door" in new opportunities, while channel support is at an all-time high.

"They don’t have these layers of people to go through to get everything done. I deal with the local rep, and stuff just gets done. We wanted to run a marketing campaign, and they stepped up. We wanted to have special promos for our customers, and they stepped up. For deal registration, they stepped up," said Bichuch. "I'm excited to see where they're heading."