Bell Micro convinces U.S. firm to sell indirect

Xiotech Corp. was completely devoted to direct sales in Canada until they met up with Bell Microproducts Canada.

Dan McCormick, vice-president of worldwide marketing

for the Eden Prairie, Minn.-based SAN hardware and software developer, said Xiotech needed to leverage the channel for success. “”The organization does not have feet on the street nor do we have the desire to put them there,”” he said.

Xiotech’s hardware solution, called Magnitude, is a storage area network platform using a virtualized storage architecture. The Magnitude incorporates a RAID controller, an eight-port Fibre Channel switch, and up to 64 disk drives (currently 11.5TB raw capacity using 180GB drives).

Its software solution, named REDI for Real-time Data Intelligence, is based on tools that help manage the storage requirements of applications. Xiotech’s strategy is to be adaptive with storage. “”Who knows better that the application what they need?”” McCormick said.

“”Today,”” he added, “”applications have a performance requirement but as applications evolve those requirements will change, which used to mean scraping something and starting again. Now it can respond in real-time.””

McCormick said that with traditional server attached storage, environments needed some downtime and back up just to add two additional hard drives. With virtualization, there is no downtime and IT managers simple go online to make those changes without bringing the system down. Virtualization helps the IT department manage the storage pool as specific applications need it, he said.

“”Storage is continuing to grow and double capacity every 12 months and you do not double staff and have to manage this growth. Budgets are not scaling (the same way storage capacity is) and disaster recovery is now a factor,”” McCormick said.

According to Michael Mercer, vice president, enterprise solutions at Bell Micro, most companies are still going the direct route, which makes Xiotech all the more important. “”This is a feel good story for the channel. We will sell close to $10 million (in Xiotech product) in Canada,”” he said.

Prior to the Bell Micro agreement, Xiotech sold 80 per cent direct in Canada and 20 per cent through the agency model. Now, they are 100 per cent channel, Mercer said.

Xiotech will be part of Bell Micro’s Storm program, launched earlier this year. Currently the Storm program has 30 VARs, more than halfway to the target of 50. Xiotech will be able to leverage those Storm VARs right off the bat, said Mercer.

The company has developed a three-tier reseller program. Silver, the bottom tier, is through Storm, while Gold and Platinum status is achieves through further certification and the purchase of demo products.

Also part of the program will be an opportunity to for VARs to register leads in return for a 10 per cent discount off Xiotech products.


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