Dell has finally spoken out about its appointment of CMS Peripherals and the plans to take its EqualLogic storage range to a wider community of resellers.
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Last week it emerged that CMS had started working with Dell, becoming the second EqualLogic distributor in the UK following the appointment of Hammer at the start of 2009, as exclusively revealed by MicroScope.
The US vendor said it had needed to rubber stamp the distribution contract before it could openly discuss the channel expansion blueprint.
"The UK market place is comprised of around 7,500 resellers and with the best will in the world you are never going to be able to reach all those partners, or go through the process of identifying and acquiring a pipeline of partners," said Paul Harrison, Dell UK country manager for partner direct.
He said CMS sold systems from alternative vendors including HP Letfhand Networks to resellers that have a focus on iSCSI or virtualised storage environments, "and they are the partners we are looking to on board."
There are a handful of configurations in EqualLogic's 4000 and 6000 series and the plan is to closely monitor inventory levels held by CMS and Hammer.
"EqualLogic works on relatively aggressive leads times, rather than doing one purchase at the start of a fiscal quarter, distributors will buy in comparatively small increments," said Harrison.
Joe Fagan, CMS group product marketing manager said it had been talking to Dell since it acquired EqualLogic and had "always wanted to have its technology in the portfolio".
The UK iSCSI market grew 10.5% to $22.7m during the third quarter asthe rest of the storage market was negatively impacted by therecession; market leader EqualLogic accounted for 36.9% share, comparedto HP in second with 22%.
"Over 50% of iSCSI applications are going into virtualised serverenvironments," said Eric Sheppard, IDC programme director for Europeandisk storage research, who added iSCSI price comparisons with FibreChannel remained favourable.
The addition of CMS comes amid complaints from some Dell EqualLogicRegistered resellers of losing deals to its direct sales force.
"The direct sales issues are ongoing," said one disgruntledRegistered reseller, "it's a mess and we are banging our head againstthe wall."
Another said EqualLogic's technology was of interest to resellersbut some had decided to become less active members of its channel.
"There should be hundreds of EqualLogic resellers in the UK butquite a few have become disillusioned [due to its hybrid model]," saidone insider.
The sentiments among Certified partners that buy direct from Dellare quite different but as one pointed out, "we have gone through theaccreditations and therefore we are closer to Dell."
Harrison said he had not been made aware of any outstanding issuesof channel conflict with partners and argued its deal registration toolhas minimised instances.
Hammer was unavailable to comment.