IBM plans a strong storage push
Following the sale of its x86 business, IBM plans to boost its storage business by enabling partners to sell storage independently.
For this, IBM has set up a separate channel enablement team, and has put hundreds of direct accounts into the partner bucket. In addition, it plans to grow its specialized storage partner base by five times, and offer bundles for partners to target solution-centric opportunities.
“The team will be led by Tarun Makhija as Country Manager, Storage Channels. We have appointed dedicated STG partner relationship and product managers, and marketing teams,” said Sandeep Dutta, Business Unit Executive, Storage Division, IBM India & South Asia.
With the new initiative, IBM is promising partners more incentives, demo wares, stronger pre-sales support and quicker decision-making on deal registration and pricing.
Dutta informed that over the past two years IBM has been gradually moving its direct customer accounts to the partner bucket. “Since 2011, we have aligned 700 of our 1,000 direct accounts with partners, and starting 2014 even the remaining 300 customers have been put in the co-sell bucket. Only three strategic outsourcing customers will be managed directly by us.”
In order to scale up its partners’ ability to sell advanced storage solutions and services, IBM plans to increase its specialized partner base from 12 to 36 over the next 12-18 months.
In a bid to put solutioncentric bundles around its storage offerings, IBM has created a solution for IP surveillance through Redington, its ND, where IBM storage is sold along with
“Since 2011, we have aligned 700 direct accounts to partners. Starting 2014, the remaining 300 customers have also been put in the co-sell bucket” SANDEEP DUTTA Business Unit Executive, Storage Division, IBM India & SA
IP cameras and video analytics solutions from other vendors. Informed Dutta, “Soon you will see solution-centric bundles which will not only include IBM software products but also products from other vendors that are complementary.”
Asked if the sale of x86 would impact storage sales, Dutta replied that mid-market organizations are increasingly buying storage independent of servers. “For IBM, the server-storage attach business was as high as 85 percent in 2011, but today nearly 40 percent of our storage is sold independent of servers. We expect this trend to grow further.”
The company is banking on its mid-market Storewize portfolio and its newly-launched flash storage for growth. “Storewize 3700 and 7000 are the best products in their segments, while in flash storage FlashSystem 810 and 820 are far ahead of the competition,” said Dutta. “We are bullish about flash storage adoption in both the mid-market and enterprise segments. For highperformance solutions above 1 lakh IOPS, the FlashSystem offers the best price-toperformance of $2.5 per IOPS compared to HDD-based solutions that cost $8 per IOPS.”