Compaq is to widen its hardware, software and services offerings for storage this year and put more business through the channel, it announced at its annual partner conference, [email protected], in Spain.
The multinational vendor, which has over 20,000 partners in EMEA, also urged resellers to focus additional business resources on the storage market, because it claims that 2001 will be the year SANs and NAS take off.
"Partnerships will be Compaq's primary route to market for storage," said Joop Ruijgrok, vice-president of sales strategy and support for Compaq EMEA.
"Other leading storage suppliers such as EMC use a direct-sales strategy as their primary channel, but reseller-sold storage is strategic to Compaq and we intend to own the market," he said.
By 2004 the storage market will be worth $50bn (£34bn) and 75 per cent of all IT spending will be on storage, according to an independent survey by analyst Gartner. Ruijgrok confirmed the importance of the market.
"If you don't invest in storage, you will be marginalised," he said.
Compaq will announce specific details of its expanded hardware, software and services offerings later this year.
Tony Craythorne, general manager of enterprise solutions at Compaq distributor Ideal Hardware, agreed with Ruijgrok's assessment of storage. "Resellers should be looking at forming dedicated storage departments right now, even specialist SAN and NAS divisions."
He added: "There is an explosion in the storage market and Compaq realises that it has to engage with the channel if it is to exploit it. The market has come full circle. Only last year both the channel and distribution were declared dead, and now everything is about value- add."
Separately, the vendor has launched a programme that allows independent software vendors (ISVs) to partner with Compaq by self-certification.
Compaq provides the ISVs with a requirement list and acceptance test procedures for its products, and audits the final test results before announcing certification. The first value partner to be accredited will be announced early next month.
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