Tivoli Spifs Up Partner Ties

Tivoli also plans new initiatives to improve its relationship with the channel.

Tivoli Storage Manager 5.1 will now be available in two versions and will come with five options instead of the multitude previously available, said Jose Iglesias, Tivoli storage director at IBM.

>> Tivoli hopes to entice partners and SMB clients with two versions of Storage Manager.

While previous versions could be extended with tape library sharing, managed libraries, SANergy storage management and disaster recovery, these options have been packaged into a single enterprise edition, Iglesias said.

In addition, the Lotus Domino and Exchange data-protection options were combined into IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Mail.

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Aside from the repackaging, IBM is making it easier for partners to offer Tivoli Storage Manager and its disaster-recovery capabilities to SMB prospects, said Brenda Zawatski, vice president of storage management software at IBM.

While about 60 percent of revenue from the product is currently generated by the channel, IBM hopes to increase that percentage by offering incentives that encourage its direct-sales staff to work with partners, Zawatski said.

Furthermore, all Tivoli storage products can now be sold under IBM's Passport Advantage, which gives partners access to the vendor's Value Rebate, Market Growth Rebate, Performance Rebate and Top Contributor Initiative programs. Co-marketing funds will also be available to partners under the Top Contributor Initiative, Zawatski said.

The past six weeks have brought a marked improvement in how sales efforts for Tivoli Storage Manager are supported with channel programs, said Stewart Booden, president of solution provider Aspen Consulting, Itasca, Ill. "Tivoli has moved toward more of a channel strategy," he said. "We're meeting more with Tivoli storage reps. They are trying to move partners to focus on the midmarket."

Pricing for Tivoli Storage Manager 5.1 has been simplified via a new per-processor plan, but actual prices have yet to be revealed.