Storage vendor Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) claims its single-distributor strategy has given partners a quicker and more efficient route to market.
The company chose Avnet as its sole distributor last year, which UK COO of HDS Lynn Collier said was a "press of the reset button" with the aim of growing the business for partners. Collier said HDS worked with other distributors in the past, including Zycko, with which it parted company last year after nine years of working together, but took the decision to work solely with Avnet to simplify the journey to market for partners.
Avnet says it has recruited 26 partners to HDS' partner scheme to date. The company's split between direct and indirect now sits at 45 per cent and 55 per cent respectively, with the increased dedication to the channel stemming from a call from partners for increased consistency and clarity, Collier claimed.
The vendor's new-look channel strategy - which it dubs "partner-first" - has seen it strive to segment accounts more clearly and effectively. As part of this, it has set aside a "hard deck" of only four or five UK customers which it works with directly, with a further 70 enterprise clients being opened up to the channel to some extent. The remainder of HDS' 1,000-strong UK customer base is served solely by resellers.
Over the past year, the vendor has enjoyed success in the healthcare and public sector and an uptick in the work it does with its systems integrator and service provider partners, said the UK chief.
Miriam Murphy, senior vice president, north region, at Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA, said: "That diversification and expansion of the portfolio has really been key to us identifying new partners in areas that we have placed some pretty big bets on in terms of market development and growth.
"Regarding being a sole distributor, the single biggest benefit for us is the amount of energy you spend on positive action rather than being distracted by constant competitive block and tackle. The team has been able to really focus in on delivering results quickly to partners.
Collier added: "Everyone working as a single virtual team is good; I have always said since I took on the role that we were looking for value, not volume. So we are not looking to recruit another 200 partners - 26 partners in a year is a good number of partners to recruit. They have been recruited for the very specific skill sets they have, or for the sector they sell into."
Murphy said this approach allowed both companies to keep their teams focused on joint goals, as opposed to working in a competitive environment.
"They see Avnet as an extension not just of HDS, but of themselves as well, and not conflicting in that area of the business," she added. "We take partners though some of the consultative selling around HDS' portfolio, so they are now beginning to see our team as an extra resource that is available to them from HDS."
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