TORONTO — Hitachi Data Systems Inc. is expanding on its TrueNorth strategy and is looking for some help north of the border to expand it farther.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company launched the Freedom Storage Thunder 9500

V Series storage systems on Tuesday. Pierre Raymond, director of sales support, says the storage integrates with its TrueNorth Solutions Alliance (TSA) — a means to unite Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) partners under one roof to provide consistent policies, programs and processes across all relationships.

Raymond says the 9500 Series is perfect for departmental to carrier-class needs and everything in between. Health sciences, health care and rich media are the primary target markets, he adds.

“”We have already identified some cities — government cities for instance — which are pretty good targets for the channel for this kind of equipment,”” Raymond said “”I can easily see Quebec City becoming almost a channel-only city.””

National director of channel sales Avi Posesorsky says while the TSA is a global program, customers face many of the same problems regards of location, there will be some tailoring to suit the needs of Canadians — mostly related to volume commitments.

“”We might have slightly different requirements from the number of people that are training our channel partners than our U.S. counterparts,”” says HDS president Ed Candolini.

While HDS is looking for channel partners in Canada, it is through with the quantity versus quality theory.

“”When we first started out, the idea was to sign as many partners as possible. We found that doesn’t work. Not all of them provided value, and it is a two-way street. We have to help each other,”” Candolini says.

Posesorsky says the idea is to get close to a few partners and provide them with the tools to sell the products. Starting in 2003 there will be mandatory certification, but HDS will provide sales and technical training. “”We will require hands-on training for the partners that come in. We’re looking for a commitment from them also,”” Candolini says. While it has a number of partners from the Atlantic provinces through Ontario, it is weaker westward and hopes to find help there, Posesorsky adds.

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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