Seagate Software will extend its reseller base to support a predicted boom in sales of its data analysis and reporting tools after it unveiled a strategy to distribute a raft of products free of charge.
The vendor has created two products in the data reporting and online analytical processing (Olap) field: Seagate Analysis, which will be distributed free of charge, and Seagate Info, which will be free to the first 50 users.
It has also secured a deal to bundle the software with Microsoft Back Office.
As part of the launch, which will involve dropping 2.5 million CDs to businesses worldwide and making them available for download from its Website, Seagate is looking to increase its network of resellers and developers.
Pete Daffern, vice president for sales and marketing for the EMEA region at Seagate Software, said: 'We want to demystify the market. Users don't think about business intelligence as such. They think about how they can use and, importantly, how they can share that information.'
Daffern claimed that in the past, business intelligence tools were 'too difficult and too expensive' to use. 'We are offering a unique, risk-free product, which will be used the same way as Excel,' he said.
Alastair Laidlaw, managing director of the InterX IT Network, said the group will push its Unisolve arm to provide consultancy services, allowing resellers to become 'opportunity spotters'.
'This move could be a lifeline to a whole raft of resellers because it will allow them to move into a services-oriented role at a time of tough margins. Resellers without the product knowledge can use Unisolve as expertise on demand,' said Laidlaw.
Seagate declined to discuss the number of dealers to be appointed, but Laidlaw added that distributor Ideal Hardware would be looking to take up to another 500 resellers as a result of the initiative.
Peter Weston, marketing manager at Cognos, Seagate's rival, dismissed the move as 'nothing new'.
'It tried bundling the front-end Seagate Worksheet for free with Microsoft SQL Server and it didn't become the ubiquitous front-end for SQL, so I'm not worried,' Weston said.
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