High hopes for Sharptext storage arm
1 April 2005 | 0
Sharptext has bolstered its enterprise and storage division by appointing a business development manager and adding a number of new brands to its product range.
The distributor has added a swathe of new vendors to its roster. The new brands include Sony, Seagate & ADIC for tape drives and libraries, Plasmon for magneto Optical Jukeboxes, Emulex (Fibre Channel host bus adapters) and Veritas for tape back-up and management software. These are in addition to the storage products from IBM and HP that it already provided. Gavan O’Sullivan has been put in charge of the storage division as business development manager.
Paul White, Sharptext’s managing director said that by the end of the year, the storage division is likely to account for between 15 and 20 per cent of overall revenues at the distributor — potentially a figure in excess of EUR20m. Initially it will include two technical presales staff — who will have been accredited by the vendors involved — and two salespeople. Sharptext is likely to beef up the division during the year with further appointments. In addition, the company is planning seminars and training sessions to promote its storage offerings to resellers.
According to White, the value of the storage market in Ireland is hard to pin down. With a couple of exceptions, much of the revenue is being accrued by manufacturers, a situation that confuses the picture still further. ‘It’s a moving target and currently embedded in the vendor space, though it’s slowly but surely getting into the reseller channel,’ he said.
Although Sharptext is perceived as a broadline distributor by virtue of its wide product range, White pointed out that the expertise needed to sell storage systems to the channel meant approaching the market in a different way. ‘The storage division will effectively have to work as though they were a niche distributor, albeit within this company,’ he commented.
However White said that the new division would not deal with a substantially different profile of resellers than those the distributor would trade with normally. ‘One interesting development is that people who were formerly in networking seem to be embracing storage solutions also. I think that comes from the fact that a lot of the network architecture required for storage can come from the expertise those guys have already.’
With the latest slew of distribution agreements, Sharptext feels it has all of the major elements needed to supply resellers with a full storage offering. However White did not rule out further deals for products, provided they complement the company’s storage offering. ‘The first step is to do a good job with the people we’re working with, but we could probably do with one or two software solutions. We’re actively looking for software partners who would complement some of the hardware we’re selling,’