Stack Computer Gets Second Wind As IBM Partner

Stack, based here, saw its reseller agreement with HP terminated "without cause" in March, said John Orr, president of Stack, which was representing HP Unix servers at the time of the cutoff. Orr said the move was precipitated by his company's practice in EMC storage, as well as public disputes between Stack and HP at a distributor meeting last November over customer ownership.

>> With IBM's pSeries, Stack will be competing in the space it targeted for years as an HP partner.

At the time of Stack's deauthorization, Dan Vertrees, vice president of HP's enterprise partners group, Americas, said, "We regard any continuation of the relationship with Stack as not in the best interest

of HP."

Stack's initial reseller agreement with IBM calls for it to sell IBM's servers, notably the pSeries, which competes in the Unix space Stack targeted as an HP partner, Orr said.

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"But after meeting with IBM and seeing their PartnerWorld program, we are looking at their iSeries servers and their storage, too," he said. "We're revamping our professional services organization to take advantage of new server and storage opportunities."

In a prepared statement released last week, Michael Borman, general manager, Global Business Partners at IBM, said: "We applaud Stack Computer's continued commitment to delivering superior customer service and products."

Orr's peers have questioned the wisdom of Orr arguing publicly with HP at the November meeting, even if the grievance was valid.

One solution provider was surprised to hear of Orr's actions. "[He] publicly stood up to HP?" asked the solution provider, who requested anonymity. "That guy's not smart."

Orr said he believes every solution provider at that meeting wanted to ask HP the questions he asked, but were afraid. "The majority of people in that room were [frightened of HP]. I'm not," he said.