Western Digital Canada has added another major distribution partner to its mix of fulfillment and specialty distributors.

Bell Microproducts is now a North American distributor of Western Digital drives such as Caviar, Protégé, the Special Edition and its latest USB 2.0 and Firewire

drives.

According to Bud Cary, eastern region sales director for Western Digital, by adding another significant distributor such as Bell Micro, Western Digital resellers will be able to sell more, especially in the corporate side and in Canada.

Currently Western Digital has agreements with Supercom, Synnex, Comtronic and TSR (T Silicon Resources, a predominantly U.S.-based distributor with a small sales office in Toronto).

One of the key reasons for signing Bell Micro is the credit resources it offers.

“”Bell Micro is a major player and it is a nice addition for the Canadian market. We recognize the reality is credit lines are diversified and now (resellers) have someone else with additional customer breathe and another source for credit,”” Cary said.

Besides storage, which is a traditional Bell Micro strength, Cary said the distributor is strong in the non PC market segment such enterprise/industrial.

“”Western Digital’s strategy is to target that business with high end 8 MB cache drives called the Special Edition. Regular drives in comparison have only 2MB of cache. This is key for a number of applications on servers and they get better throughput (with the Special Edition drive),”” Cary said.

For Bell Micro Canada, the partnership with Western Digital “”made sense”” said Peter Diniz, vice president and general manager for Bell Micro Canada, based in Markham, Ont.

“”They have a clear defined space. They have 3.5 inch and they have SCSI (drives), and Western Digital drives are fast and they drive the desktop,”” Diniz said.

Bell Micro will add field resources to Western Digital especially in embedded systems, provide engineering investments and push distribution.

Cary added that Western Digital has begun to understand the Canadian reseller market better. According to him, the company now understands the market is unique from the U.S. and with that understanding hopes to increase market share in the enterprise space, small-to-medium sized businesses and with system builders.

Charles Hulet, director of sales for Western Digital Canada said Bell Micro is a strong storage player and will give the hard drive maker more access to the market.

He believes there will be a big opportunity for Western Digital in retail and in brown box systems for resellers.

“”There will be more upsell and that means good margins for resellers between 15 to 20 per cent more margin,”” Hulet said.

By next week, Western Digital will unveil a USB 2.0 drive, a Firewire drive and a combination USB 2.0/Firewire drive.

They will also release a drive with 80 plus GB per platter with three platters for a total of 250GB on one drive.

These drives are ideal for data intense applications such as photos, DV video and MP3s. They can also archive sensitive data from notebooks, back up existing hard drives in a company’s environment and add extra storage to USB 2.0/Firewire external hard drives.

Western Digital has also come out with a free program called Data Lifeguard, which contains hardware, software utilities and services aimed at protecting sensitive data.

Data Lifeguard hardware detects and repairs problem areas on the fly, while the software utilities use diagnostic and management tools to repair problems.

The Data Lifeguard Lifeline service enables Western Digital to inform its customers of product information and upgrades.

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