Storage vendor Quantum has launched its Quantum Solution Provider (QSP) programme in a bid to change its channel’s focus from box shifting to customer problem solving.
Revealed to partners at Wembley Stadium last week, the scheme aims to segment VARs into different areas of expertise.
The optional programme is divided into security, VMware, green IT, encryption, backup recovery success, de-duplication and management.
Steve Mackey, area sales director at Quantum, said: “Quantum wants to change its business focus this year by addressing the customers’ issues and delivering full solutions in partnership with the channel.”
The vendor revealed plans to have direct contact with customers to conduct monthly data gathering, provide three-day healthcare checks on systems or offer service questionnaires, after which Quantum will recommend a reseller to resolve the organisation’s problem.
“Through this model, Quantum will create opportunities for its partners, by presenting them with a customer that is in need of their particular expertise area. Quantum will also provide services for the reseller to offer the customer, if it does not have its own,” Mackey explained.
The vendor acquired tape vendor ADIC in August 2006. It has since doubled its partner base.
“Quantum wanted to change its channel approach. Before it was about how much a reseller sold, but it is more important to know the partner’s expertise to continue to drive sales,” said Mackey.
He explained that a customer’s requirements can also range across different sectors as well as the seven segments.
Paul Hickingbotham, solutions manager at Quantum distributor Hammer, said: “The QSP initiative focuses partners on the value-add opportunity, and revenue creation of selling services alongside Quantum Automation products.
“VARs can now offer their customers services such as backup healthcare checks, which previously may have been outside their skill set.”
However, Stuart Sawle, managing director of Quantum reseller Sysop, expressed concerns that Quantum may use its renewed focus on end users to bypass the channel.
“So many vendors are creating programmes and claiming they are using the channel to sell, however, more and more are going around their reseller partners,” said Sawle.
“With more vendors offering plug-and-play hardware, the reseller is not needed for the product’s implementation and support.”
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