StorageTek Tiers Partner Effort

StorageTek's channel sales generated double-digit sales growth in 2002 and are expected to do the same this year, said George Karabatsos, vice president of reseller sales.

The company has made its direct-sales compensation program as channel-neutral as possible, Karabatsos said. "But we don't want to push all our business indirect," he said. "Some should be direct."

>> Premier-plus partners will receive 2.5 percent semiannual rebate and two council seats.

StorageTek is introducing certification programs and a three-tiered channel program to help its 250 solution provider partners expand their StorageTek business, Karabatsos said. "Now that we found them, we need to drag them into the tent," he said.

For alliance-level partners selling an annual minimum of $200,000 in StorageTek hardware and software, and with one person certified in tape, disk or SAN products, StorageTek will offer 1 percent co-op funds and a semiannual rebate of 0.5 percent, Karabatsos said.

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Premier-level solution providers that commit to sales of at least $750,000 and have two certified people per region will qualify for a 1.5 percent semiannual rebate.

Premier-plus-level partners that sell an annual minimum of $3 million of StorageTek products will get a semiannual rebate of 2.5 percent as well as two seats in the company's national reseller advisory council, Karabatsos said.

SanServe, a Roseville, Minn.-based solution provider, has been taking advantage of some of StorageTek's back-end channel programs and co-op funds, and is close to qualifying for the premier level, said Todd Huntley, president.

"We really see StorageTek as a good solution to sell and to wrap services around," Huntley said. "We're close enough to where the new incentives could pull us to premier level."

SanServe currently sells StorageTek tape libraries for enterprise business and has been selling StorageTek arrays exclusively since the vendor started offering entry-level products from LSI, Huntley said. "StorageTek training is a big deal to us," he said. "StorageTek is also willing to get aggressive to help us close a deal."