Server manufacturer Stratus has launched two new fault tolerant (FT) servers.
Before 2002 the company operated a direct sales model. "At the beginning of this year we began to shift from a 100 per cent direct to a 100 per cent indirect channel strategy for our FT servers," said David Chalmers, product and technology director at Stratus.
The vendor last week introduced the 6500 and 5240 FT servers using Windows and based on Intel chip technology, which will allow it compete head on with the larger scale Windows and Linux servers.
Vernon Turner, an analyst at IDC, said that Stratus needs a good indirect channel to succeed with the new products.
"In the commoditised market you either need a big direct sales team or a very good indirect sales force," he said.
Turner added that the new products, which cost around £20,000 per server, will appeal to a wider user base.
The vendor last month named TPLC as its sole UK distributor with the role of signing appropriate resellers.
Stratus is hoping to sign up 50 resellers through its relationship but did not rule out another distributor if its drive is successful.
The company is targeting the banking, manufacturing and emergency services with servers that have an average of only five minutes downtime per year.
"We want to sign about 10 for each vertical market but we will not turn away resellers that do not fit into a particular market," said Chalmers.
Ian Shanahan, Stratus business manager at TPLC, said that this is a realistic number. TPLC is already in discussions with five resellers.
"If the success we have had with our Sun Microsytems business is anything to go by, it will be more a question of signing the most appropriate ones," he said.
Chalmers explained that the indirect route to market will only be for its FT servers. "We will continue the other stuff by ourselves," he said.
Shanahan added that Stratus' mixture of indirect and direct sales for its entire range will not cause conflict in the channel. "The old products are very established and are suited to direct sales," he said.
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