Bell Micro Offers Storage Assessment Service To VARs

Dallas-based Tek-Tools

Based on Tek-Tools' StorageProfiler application, the service lets VARs implement the software in a customer's IT infrastructure for 30 days to gather information on direct-attached and networked storage, file activity and volume utilization to assess future requirements, said Gary Gammon, vice president of marketing at Bell Micro.

"This lets solution providers sit down with their end-user customers in order to plan their storage purchases or storage consolidation," Gammon said.

The service can be offered as a one-time service, or customers can buy the software at a discounted price. "So the reseller can either sell the assessment to the customer and offer to do a new assessment every year, or he can sell the license to the customer and become their storage adviser," Gammon said.

The storage assessment service is the first of several services that Bell aims to offer channel partners. Early next year, the San Jose, Calif.-based distributor plans to offer a backup assessment service based on Tek-Tools' BackupProfiler application, which will allow partners to help their customers develop backup schedules and determine which data is best suited for archiving to tape or disk, Gammon said.

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Bell also is considering another service based on Tek-Tools' ServerProfiler for assessing customers' server requirements, but Gammon said there's no timetable for offering that service.

Bell has sold tools from various suppliers to assess customers' requirements, but this is the first time it has offered such tools as a service, Gammon noted.

"We have tried doing it with tools from EMC and Hitachi Data Systems," he said. "But if you want to offer assessment as a service, you want it to be hardware-agnostic, and that's what Tek-Tools offers."

The storage assessment service is available now, but Gammon declined to disclose VAR or end-user pricing. However, he said solution providers can expect margins in the range of 30 percent.