Government Green IT Gets A Boost from Copan Deal

Copan's data management solution, now sold through distribution, will help federal government agencies comply with a mandate to cut their energy usage by 30 percent by 2015.

November 24, 2008

Alison Diana

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The federal government's Green IT initiative to cut energy usage by 30 percent within six years is getting a boost from a new arrangement that will help channel partners selling into the federal government market. Officials say it will help put Green IT in the spotlight.

A new agreement announced today between data storage vendor Copan  Systems and distributor Promark Technology , will help boost the future of Green IT.

Under the arrangement, Promark will distribute Copan’s solutions to federal-government VARs looking to solve government agencies' needs to store and manage vast amounts of data. The deal also helps meet green IT goals with agencies under a federal mandate to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent by 2015, according toWill Layton, co-founder and president of Copan’s Federal Division.

Copan and its existing partners already sell its Massive Array of Idle Disks, or MAID, solution to government, but the Promark partnership should dramatically increase the vendor’s reach, he said. “I have a team of four [internal] sales reps that help me cover the entire federal government. This allows us to use their distribution network to scale,” said Layton. “We do a lot of business within the channel itself. That’s the way a lot of agencies want to do business. This is the first time we’ve gone into partnership with a distributor.”

Promark has access to multiple government purchasing tools and schedules, said Todd Hartung, the value-added distributor vice president, who added the MAID product with help meet government Green IT goals  “We have a fairly unique GSA schedule,” he explained. “We hold schedules, contract vehicles that allow our resellers to have and leverage these vehicles to go and sell them. They were interested in us because of the unique programs we have in the government, and our ability to support resellers and manufacturers. Their product, MAID, gives our resellers an advantage for the green initiatives.”

Copan’s enhanced MAID provides cost-savings of 75 percent to 90 percent of energy per unit of storage, according to the vendor, delivering an estimated four-year power and cooling savings of $9.5 million to $13 million compared with the power and cooling costs associated with data stored on traditional disk array solutions.

“Green is not only in vogue but there’s truly a way to put value on it,” said Layton. “I actually had to show one customer a spec sheet that proved we could run 900 terabytes on 3 kilowatts.”

Copan will educate Promark’s sales team who, in turn, will provide training sessions, webinars and other materials to its solution providers. “It’s an education process. It’s understanding the value and understanding the target market, the target customer,” said Layton. “Truly it makes them an extension of Copan."

Promark already is experienced at bringing its channel partners up-to-speed on both the technology and sales benefits of all its suppliers, said Hartung. “Selling is all about relationships, so obviously we’re going to have to build a tight relationship with the Copan sales team," he said. "Our team will be trained by the Copan sales team. We’ll do buddy calls with the manufacturers. From time to time we’ll run specific solution seminars and invite our resellers in.”

Both Promark and Copan have high expectations for the new relationship. “I would predict, a year from now, they’ll be one of our top 10 manufacturers, probably in the middle of the pack there,” Hartung said.

TAGS: data storage,distribution,green IT,federal government,Copan

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