3PAR Bid Takes Dell Into Enterprise Storage, Raises Concern About EMC

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The potential to build a storage powerhouse is there, but only if Dell can put the pieces together, said Greg Knieriemen, vice president of marketing at Chi Corp., a Cleveland, Ohio-based storage vendor and partner of both 3PAR and Dell-EqualLogic.

Knieriemen, whose company just signed with 3PAR a few months ago, said the 3PAR technology fills a good niche for Dell in the enterprise storage market.

"3PAR did a lot of innovative development of thin provisioning, and is know for its strong innovation," he said. "It is an extremely critical piece for Dell. The challenge now is how to put the pieces together and bring the solutions to market."

It was one thing for EqualLogic, where Dell needed to look at how to accelerate EqualLogic's go to market strategy with a complete storage solution, but another thing with 3PAR, which is part of a solution, Knieriemen said.

"Now with Exanet, 3PAR, and Ocarina, it's a whole new environment for Dell," he said. "The concern is, how will Dell put it all together, and how they will make people understand it."

Dell does not have a lot of experience in bringing multiple technologies together into a solution, but that's not to say it can't do the job, Knieriemen said.

"This is a new area for Dell," he said. "It's exciting. This could be an enormous opportunity for Dell. It all comes down to execution and messaging."

On the channel side, 3PAR has traditionally depended on solution providers throughout most of the world for sales and services, but worked more side-by-side with channel partners in North America, where it has been building out its channel, Scott said.

Anderson said that, when Dell acquired EqualLogic, it inherited a large channel organization which it has since expanded, although its reach into the enterprise has been limited.

Dell's solution provider partners have been asking the company to bring more enterprise technology to the channel, Anderson said. "So we see a tremendous opportunity for us to bring 3PAR into our channel lineup," he said.


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