Maxtor channel partners may soon have to fight to retain their status with the vendor, as Seagate revealed plans to integrate Maxtor into its product portfolio, a move which follows its acquisition of the firm late last year (CRN, 21 December).
Seagate said that any contracts distributors and resellers held with Maxtor will now expire. Partners will be asked to re-apply for contracts to handle one or both vendors’ products.
Marc Jourlait, vice-president of segment marketing at Seagate, told CRN that some existing Maxtor partnerships with resellers and distributors may be affected.
“We don’t expect too much erosion in the channel, but there may be a few cases where partners aren’t offered new contracts under the Seagate brand,” he said.
Jourlait claimed that those partners offered a new contract will be given the opportunity to go to market with products from both vendors.
A source who asked to remain anonymous told CRN that a shift in market focus is underway at Seagate.
“Seagate is going to re-brand Maxtor as a low-cost hard drive range, with fewer quality components and shorter warranties,” the source said. “This could see casualties for Maxtor distributors.”
Edd Bateman, business unit manager for discs and components at Ideal Hardware, said: “Seagate will look at Maxtor’s distributors and see if it’s in line with the best way of making sales. Seagate is doing the right thing because Maxtor’s channel had some operational problems before.”
Dan Goodwin, technical director at Maxtor VAR UltraTec, told CRN: “I don’t know why Seagate would want to cut back its partner numbers, but time will tell what this means for the channel.” C
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