Many of EqualLogic’s UK partners have already started exploring alternative vendor options following the news of Dell’s $1.4bn- (£600m)-planned acquisition of the SAN vendor (CRN Online, 6 November).
Dell recently revealed its direct sales model would no longer be “a religion” (CRN, 7 May).
But Doug Rich, EMEA vice president of iSCSI vendor LeftHand Networks, said EqualLogic partners seem to be keeping their options open.
“LeftHand has already been approached by a number of EqualLogic’s partners,” he said. “The partners are aware that Dell is notorious for not being channel friendly and have previously gone direct with other acquisitions it has made.”
Thomas Barrett, northern region director of EMEA at vendor FalconStor, said: “A distributor of both FalconStor and Dell told us that it is waiting to see what Dell does with this acquisition. It is aware that Dell may go direct.”
However, Sukh Rayat, vice president of EqualLogic distributor Avnet, was more optimistic.
“Dell has said for a while that it wants to create a channel strategy and this may be its opportunity to prove itself,” he said.
James Ward, managing director of EqualLogic distributor Hammer, agreed:
“EqualLogic has good sales and therefore Dell may keep it as
a standalone brand. This may be Dell’s first step in becoming more channel friendly.”
Speaking to CRN, Don Bulens, chief executive of EqualLogic, said: “Dell has made it clear that the reason it decided to acquire us was because of our channel.
“EqualLogic’s partners are cautious but optimistic. Dell has quietly been arranging a channel strategy and this acquisition is a bold commitment to the channel,” he added.
In a statement, Dell said it is still finalising its EMEA channel strategy, but would “evaluate the best possible way to build on the EqualLogic channel partner network”.
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