Home / / HDS looks at distribution model

HDS looks at distribution model

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will need a distribution partner in future as it grows its Middle East business, its newly appointed regional head admitted this week.

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will need a distribution partner in future as it grows its Middle East business, its newly appointed regional head admitted this week.

Tony Ward, newly appointed Middle East sales director at HDS, and the man tasked with extending the vendor's channel coverage in the region, admits the addition of a local distribution tier is a prospect the company must "take seriously" over the next 12 months.

He told Channel Middle East: "There is an argument that says we should consider a high value distribution model. We are looking at volume products for the channel community as well, but it's not ready to be rolled out and executed upon yet. However, there will be a need in the future - because of geographical reach and geographical coverage - to put a distribution model in place for the smaller regional resellers that perhaps don't have the capabilities, either financially or from a specialist expertise point of view, to hold that business in that region."

If implemented, the move would represent a dramatic shift for the storage specialist from its current strategy in the region, which up until now has been exclusively one-tier.

HDS presently addresses customers in the Middle East through just four principal partners - Naizak, STME, Mideast Data Systems and Sun Microsystems. However, the company admits the appointment of a distributor to specifically handle its volume portfolio is looking increasingly viable.

Ward, who has spent the last seven years working as HDS' director of strategic alliances in Europe, stresses that a clear distinction between the vendor's channels for volume and value products would be made if a distributor was brought into the fold.

"A volume business or a recognised regional distribution business would be completely different to our core reseller business," he said. "Our core reseller business is very high-touch - we enjoy the luxury of having the relationship with the four local resellers - but we also have the relationship from the strength and breadth with the end-user as well. A distribution model would be very low-touch - they would certify their local partners and do all the pre-sales, for example. The Hitachi distribution model is very low touch because our competencies are in the reseller community."

The vendor said Ward's appointment is designed to give Middle East partners direct and local access to a seasoned Hitachi manager and pave the way for the growth of its business. One of his primary tasks will be to grow the geographical coverage of HDS' channel footprint and recruit new storage resellers, particularly outside the UAE.