Adaptec Moves Deeper Into Channel to Boost Sales

Adaptec, a storage vendor struggling to arrest declining sales from its core OEM business, has named about 90 channel partner accounts to support directly with enhanced engineering and performance assistance.The channel partners are pre-qualified based on a number of factors, including volume purchasing power.

Adaptec Inc., a storage vendor struggling to arrest declining sales from its core OEM business, has named about 90 channel partner accounts to support directly with enhanced engineering and performance assistance.

“Our sales force and field engineering are focused on named accounts,” said Suresh Panikar, Adaptec director of worldwide marketing. “The end result of working directly with named accounts and providing them with engineering and performance help is they have the capability to purchase tens of thousands of units over time."

The named channel partner accounts are pre-qualified based on a number of factors, including volume purchasing power—the capacity to buy at least $500,000 worth of Adaptec products annually—and sales focus such as operating in a specific niche defined either by vertical market or solution offering. No certification or training requirement is imposed on named accounts. CDW Corp., whose channel program Adaptec recently joined, is the newest addition to the vendor’s roster of named channel partner accounts.

“As a group, the potential revenue that named accounts can generate is two-to-three times higher than unnamed accounts,” Panikar said. “This is a model that works worldwide, and it will be migrated to a global approach,” he said.

To further support its named channel accounts, the vendor has allocated significant resources to an untitled project that has seen it fashion more than 25 alliances with so-called ecosystem partners. The goal is to ensure the compatibility of its products with more than “300 devices and software that an SI or system builder may want to use,” Panikar said.

“We provide the enabling technology that fits the partner’s solution,” he said. “We took it upon ourselves to make sure we are compatible with devices and software pieces that SIs and system builders want to use,” he added. “We brought drive vendors, chassis vendors and software vendors together to work together in the field and market together,” he said.

Adaptec’s ecosystem partners include Hitachi, Fujitsu, Intel, Quantum, Western Digital and Samsung. Panikar said that the ecosystem partner effort will continue as Adaptec devotes more resources toward product and system compatibility across the industry.

Last year the company launched the PartnerConnect program, its first formal channel program, consisting of basic offerings such as dedicated presales support, leads, deal registration, training and marketing tools. Under the program, smaller, or unnamed, accounts are supported by distributors and consist mainly of “local, well established resellers that sell a few products to a specific customer base,” Panikar said. He noted that the vendor has about 7,000 such resellers in the U.S. “They demonstrate the usefulness of our products in their application base,” he said.

“On the OEM side, we haven’t had any business from new products for about two years,” Panikar said. “Our focus has been to build our delivery system for distribution. The charter of the entire sales organization is to assist the channel to reach end users,” he said. “Our true customers are distributors, resellers, VARs, VADs, direct market resellers, system integrators, system builders and solution providers.”

TAGS: vertical,Intel,VARs,Storage



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