Tech Data Joins HP's HiP Program For Enterprise Storage

Tech Data will be added to the HiP program May 1 and compete against Agilysys, Arrow Electronics, Avnet and Ingram Micro as distributors offering HP's enterprise-class storage line in a closed distribution model.

Tech Data has sold HP's enterprise storage products for several years but wasn't part of the HiP program when it was initially expanded to include storage.


Tech Data's Joe Serra says enterprise storage presents an attractive growth path.

"We've all been in the program up to this point, really. All five of us have been in this space for years," said Joe Serra, vice president of networking and high-end storage product marketing at Tech Data. "We see this market as an attractive growth opportunity."

In the program, solution providers must sign an exclusive, one-year purchasing agreement with a distributor. HiP was revamped Feb. 1 to allow distributors to take title to the products. The products are still built and shipped from an HP facility, producing an inventory-less model for the distributors. Previously, HP paid distributors an agent fee for account management.

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Acuity Solutions currently doesn't sell HP storage products, but it might offer the products if Tech Data recommends them, said Dave Gilden, COO and partner at the Tampa, Fla.-based solution provider. "If it's something [storage vendors] EMC or Lefthand Networks can't provide, we would go for that," he said. "We rely on best-of-breed solutions, and certainly there's some influence at the distribution level. Part of our toolset is using their resources to help us make decisions."

The enhanced program also includes XML linkages that let customers configure a storage solution online and produce a purchase order in one fell swoop.

"You have a front end where a reseller puts an order in through us, but it goes directly to HP. It's much more efficient," Serra said.

The market is big enough to support five HiP partners, said Patrick O'Connor, vice president of product marketing for HP worldwide at Cleveland-based Agilysys.

"They're not adding anybody [to the market]," he said. "We think it's business as usual. They should bring [Tech Data] in if they're going to continue to sell these products."

CRAIG ZARLEY contributed to this story.