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By | Paul Kunert 28th March 2012 15:55

HDS channel boss: We must become relevant to resellers

Even if it means working with only a chosen few

Hitachi Data Systems wants to make itself relevant to the channel by working deeply with fewer partners on specific biz plans.

The Japanese storage firm has undergone a shakeup during which regional veep and GM Stephen Ball pitched up last summer and 11-year Computacenter veteran Neill Burton joined in January.

Burton, UK and Ireland veep for channels and alliances, is tasked with generating 80 per cent of revenues via partners inside three years.

"I've got 140 resellers most of which I've never heard of. Our channel approach has been the same regardless of whether it's a Computacenter, SCC or a small niche partner," he told Channel Reg.

Burton said smaller resellers are keen to secure more investment, get hold of exclusive product lines or ring-fence certain accounts. And he added: "I want to become more relevant to the channel and that will come from doing unique things with fewer resellers. I want to dominate their data portfolio rather than being a me-too player."

Disties Zycko and Avnet will work on building a second tier of resellers for HDS. One of the hindrances to channel development at the storage biz, however, has been the strength of the direct sales culture - but the firm said it has started to address this by compensating the internal workforce on reseller deals.

"I need to change the culture of the sale force at Hitachi and I'm getting no resistance to that," claimed Burton.

One of the tools it will ask partners to promote more aggressively is the Transformational Managed Utility (TMU) that HDS uses to analyse customer data, construct an ROI case and underwrite the claim.

"[TMU] is certainly forming part of this business planning process that I'm forming with channel partners," he said. ®

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