Storage Channel Pipeline

A SearchStorageChannel.com blog


February 13, 2012  3:37 PM

Three things vendors need to do for success with VARs



Posted by: Eric Slack
channel partner programs, Eric Slack, reseller channel business development, Storage Channel, vendor partner business issues

This blog is written primarily for VAR management, sales and technical people, but vendors interested in understanding their channel partners are also in our group of regular readers. While many VARs know most of these details, this topic may be useful as part of an effort to help promote better understanding with their vendors, as a conversation starter.

 

In the first post of this series, I discussed the importance of vendors having a direct sales effort for going to market with a technical product like storage, and how the VAR channel is ideal for providing that local coverage. In the next two blogs we discussed the kinds of things that motivate VARs to sign up with new vendors and have success selling their products — and the things that don’t. In this final installment we’ll discuss what I like to call the VAR success formula, a strategy for developing strong relationships with good VARs. Continued »

February 6, 2012  10:20 AM

Four things VARs want their vendors to do



Posted by: Eric Slack
channel partner programs, Eric Slack, reseller channel business development, Storage Channel, vendor partner business issues

This blog is written primarily for VAR management, sales and technical people, but vendors interested in understanding their channel partners are also in our group of regular readers. While many VARs know most of these details, this topic may be useful as part of an effort to help promote better understanding with their vendors, as a conversation starter.

In my two most recent blog entries, I talked about the importance of education in the buying process of technical products and the need for a sales effort to deliver that education. Since VARs provide the end-user sales contact for most vendors in the storage space, it’s important for those vendors to understand how VARs choose them. In the first entry in this series, I discussed how vendors make the jump to the channel. In the last entry I discussed basic parts of a channel program, things that most VARs have come to expect. 

In this entry I’ll focus on the things that go beyond those table stakes.  Continued »


January 29, 2012  6:07 PM

Channel program features VARs don’t care about all that much



Posted by: Eric Slack
channel partner programs, Eric Slack, Storage Channel, vendor partner business issues

This blog is written primarily for VAR management, sales and technical people, but vendors interested in understanding their channel partners are also in our group of regular readers. While many VARs know most of these details, this topic may be useful as part of an effort to help promote better understanding with their vendors, as a conversation starter.

In the last entry I talked about the need for a certain amount of education in the sales process for storage and related IT equipment. Potential customers have to understand the value proposition in any sales situation, and with larger capital purchases, a direct sales force is a common way to get the required information across. For many companies, but especially smaller ones and startups, VARs offer those “feet on the street.”

The challenge common among vendors first approaching the channel is that they assume they only need to sell the end user — and they forget about selling the VAR. Continued »


January 23, 2012  10:17 AM

How vendors make the jump to the channel



Posted by: Eric Slack
channel partner programs, Eric Slack, reseller channel business development, Storage Channel, vendor partner business issues

In any sales situation, from consumer products to large capital equipment, making a sale requires the buyer to understand what they’re getting for their money. In the tech space this means more education than with a consumer product — or at least it takes more information and more time for potential customers to really understand the value proposition. This usually means a number of face-to-face meetings or at least real-time conversations. People don’t make these kinds of decisions by simply reading product brochures, attending webinars and comparing test data.

 

Historically, this has meant a sales process, driven by the vendor’s own sales force or a network of resellers or VARs — or a combination of both. Continued »


January 16, 2012  12:57 PM

Smart VARs pay attention to small operational efficiencies, as well as the big ones



Posted by: Eric Slack
data backup, Eric Slack, reseller channel business development, Storage Channel, storage efficiency

I recently had lunch with a good friend I used to work in the VAR space. He was my head SE and currently works at another storage VAR. I asked him something about backup, and he commented that backup is one of those areas that’s not important enough at a lot of companies to garner much budget but is important enough to get you fired when it doesn’t work. Only projects that are compelling get funded, and unfortunately, making something work better, like backups, doesn’t fit that definition. Continued »


December 19, 2011  1:24 PM

The top 10% list, Part 5



Posted by: Eric Slack
Caching, Eric Slack, solid-state storage, SSDs, Storage Channel

This blog is Part 4 of a series on the top 10% of products and technologies reviewed by Storage Switzerland in 2011. See Part 4 here.

 

This last entry in the top 10% list of storage-related technologies from 2011 will be devoted to solid-state storage devices. I’m going to refer to this broad collection of NAND flash storage products as SSDs, although that term technically stands for “solid-state drives.” SSDs continued to grow as a segment during 2011, with additional vendors, products, customers and use cases. The links in this blog go to write-ups we did from briefings at the Flash Memory Summit, VMworld and SNW this past year. Continued »


December 5, 2011  11:48 AM

Cloudy expectations, BYOD are wreaking havoc for IT departments



Posted by: Eric Slack
BYOD, cloud storage, Eric Slack, mobile computing, Storage Channel

IT departments are facing a number of challenges, including how to manage the amount of data thrust upon them, maintaining data protection and just keeping everything running with a tight budget.

 

But there’s another, more insidious challenge coming from within and originating at all levels of the organization. Continued »


November 28, 2011  11:33 AM

The top 10 percent list, Part 4



Posted by: Eric Slack
data management, Eric Slack, Storage Channel, Unstructured data, WAN optmization

This blog entry is Part 4 of a series on the top 10% of products and technologies reviewed by Storage Switzerland in 2011. See Part 3 here.

 

Unstructured (big) data management

 

Digital Reef’s File Governance Platform is a content indexing and unstructured-data management software solution that creates a grid of Linux servers running on commodity hardware. This high-performance runtime platform can scale processing power and storage capacity to index billions of files and petabytes of data, making it an excellent solution for legal discovery, data migration and data mining.

 

In the legal discovery market, corporations are often faced with hundreds of terabytes or more of electronically stored information (ESI) that needs to be scanned and analyzed. Using traditional e-discovery products, which typically crawl data stores for hours or days, can be a nonstarter. Continued »


November 21, 2011  12:13 PM

Helping customers manage their time budgets



Posted by: Eric Slack
Eric Slack, reseller channel business development, Storage Channel, vendor partner business issues

I had lunch recently with a friend and former customer, from my days as a VAR, who manages the storage and virtualization infrastructure at a medium-sized company in the telecom space. One of his rules when it comes to adding anything to the infrastructure is that it can’t increase the administrative workload. In other words, when they install a new storage array or other system, they have to create the admin time required for care and feeding of the new system by decommissioning something else, consolidating, etc. You could call this a zero-sum-game philosophy as it relates to administrative overhead. To them the (time) overhead budget is one they’re committed to keeping in balance.

 

This is an interesting concept and one that escapes a lot of folks, even outside of IT. Continued »


November 7, 2011  12:35 PM

The top 10 percent list, Part 3



Posted by: Eric Slack
D-Link, Eric Slack, Quantum StorNext, Storage Channel

In the third installment of my top 10 percent review of products that I was briefed on this year, I’ll discuss a couple of products from two well-known vendors. Quantum has been in the tape and dedupe space for a long time; it has also been a leader in the SAN file system and archive space with StorNext. D-Link, a large networking vendor in markets from the consumer to the midsize-enterprise space, has entered the iSCSI storage array market. Continued »


Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: