Let's Protect A Deal

The Louisville, Colo.-based tape and disk library vendor now is allowing solution providers to register sales opportunities for up to 90 days, preventing other StorageTek partners from selling to those customers, said George Karabatsos, vice president and general manager of global channels and strategic alliances at StorageTek.

"We are effectively rewarding and encouraging our VARs to invest their time and resources early, knowing that at the end they can get the reward for their efforts," he said. "We can't limit price shopping. But we can say, as the registered VAR, you can receive from us a minimum dollar amount."

The ability to register and protect a potential deal is initially being offered for StorageTek L20, L40 and L80 tape libraries and their associated tape drives, Karabatsos said. Solution providers that register a deal qualify for a 10 percent rebate off the list price, which the partner receives at the end of the engagement, he said. Solution providers can register the deal online and, during the 90-day period, can modify the registration, he added.

Joe Fannin, CEO of NetSource, said the deal registration program will boost the Littleton, Colo.-based solution provider's relationship with StorageTek. "This gives us the protection to go out and evangelize StorageTek and spec out a complete solution, with hardware and software from multiple vendors," he said. "This is a long sales cycle."

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Deal registration is key for solution providers and distributors, said Jeff Bawol, senior vice president and general manager at Avnet Hall-Mark's Enterprise Software and Storage Business Unit, Tempe, Ariz. "A lot of time and money can be invested in a deal just to see it go sideways when another VAR or distributor takes it," he said.

Most or all of Avnet Hall-Mark's vendors offer such a program, Bawol said. "It's a credit to the vendors. They know that if the deal gets taken down with low margins, the reseller doesn't win, the supplier doesn't win, and the distributor doesn't win," he said.

StorageTek plans to expand the program to its entire product line, Karabatsos said. The vendor also wants to tighten solution provider certification and training programs and offer more advanced product information and road maps, he added.