StorageTek Partner Push

"We have the services capability ourselves, but we don't have the services capacity," said Tom Major, vice president and general manager of disk storage at StorageTek. "The stuff we have is so complex, and 95 percent of it is delivered with services that we're looking for more value-add from our partners."

StorageTek plans to reorganize its direct-sales structure and channel marketing operations to foster better partnerships with solution providers, said Pat Martin, chairman, president and CEO of the company.

>> StorageTek plans to reorganize its direct-sales structure and channel marketing operations.

"A lot of times our VARs are calling on the same accounts [as StorageTek's direct-sales force," Martin said. "We see a big focus to enable the VARs to act independently."

StorageTek will maintain 500 to 1,000 direct accounts, Major said.

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In addition, the Louisville, Colo.-based vendor is offering a way to automate data storage backup using recently introduced hardware and software and a new technology named EchoView, StorageTek executives said.

EchoView allows data stored on the primary disk to be backed up to tape as soon as it is updated on the hard disk, said Gary Francis, corporate vice president and general manager of automated tape solutions at StorageTek.

Together with a recently refreshed line of hard-disk arrays and future tape devices, EchoView will allow businesses to define user policies as to how data is stored, Francis said. Instead of keeping data on high-priced primary storage, it can be automatically migrated to cost-effective, centrally managed storage devices, he said.

Todd Huntley, president of SanServe, a Roseville, Minn.-based solution provider, said he has not seen EchoView, but he has been trained on StoageTek's BladeStore disk subsystem and is planning a campaign based on the new products early next year.

Huntley said StorageTek's products are among the most expensive and have usually offered small margins and few services opportunities. However, Huntley said he hopes StorageTek's new technologies to offer better opportunities for channel partners. "We can perhaps get better value-adds and perhaps wrap some services around them," he said.