Storage vendor Network Appliance (NetApps) has given the channel a shot in the arm by appointing its first UK distributor for its entire range.
The vendor signed a formal agreement with InTechnology last week and is hoping the deal will increase its market reach, according to Tim Pitcher, vice-president Northern EMEA of NetApps.
"The challenge for us has always been market reach," he said. "But this isn't a classic distribution deal with InTechnology.
"I don't envisage warehouses full of NetApps' kit. This is about the value InTechnology can bring in terms of technical resources and helping us manage our channel."
But Pitcher added that the vendor is not looking to greatly increase reseller numbers. "It is very important that margin is protected, and if we flood the market with VARs this wouldn't be possible," he said.
Pitcher said NetApps will maintain only one or two direct reseller relationships; all other VARs will go through InTechnology.
Bryn Sage, sales director at the distributor, said the firm had been "very flattered" by the appointment. "NetApps filled a hole in our portfolio, both from a technology and a positioning point of view," he said.
Sage admitted there may be teething problems, but added: "We are trying to do this in a controlled manner, not just hitting 7,000 resellers in one go. We don't want to dilute NetApps' channel or dilute VARs' margins."
Mark Nelson, data management sales director at reseller Compelsolve, said the move had been "a long time coming".
He added: "This probably should have happened earlier, but maybe the business was not mature enough then. The move has gone down well in the channel. It means resellers should get products more quickly, and extra resources from InTechnology."
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