EqualLogic is one of the worlds most successful iSCSI storage companies. IDC currently positions EqualLogic at number three in the storage market behind EMC and Network Appliance. The organisation is expanding into the UK via channel partners. It is currently working with Infrasys and will soon be announcing the launch of a focused channel-led European operation led by Paul Klinkby-Silver (pictured right), EqualLogic's new VP for Europe (ex General Manager for Intransa) in anticipation of significant growth through 2006. It is also the first iSCSI provider to be ratified on Microsoft's Simple SAN programme.
Q: Paul, thank you for agreeing to participate in this short Q&A session. Can we begin with a clear explanation of EqualLogics route to market?
A: EqualLogic operates 100 per cent through the channel, working with distributors and resellers. We have a rapidly growing partner programme, which includes distributors GE Access and Consolidate IT and resellers Infrasys, Latitude, Nviron, The Bell Group and others. EqualLogic operates an accreditation process and channel partners can become accredited via the web or by attending training sessions.
Q: How do you view the current state of the European/UK market for your technology?
A: The storage market is growing rapidly as companies are producing increasing volumes of data and must store the detailed records in order to meet the requirements of legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, and other regulations. As a result, many organisations find that the direct-attached (i.e. internal) storage drives--such as those shipped inside file servers--rapidly fill up. In fact, direct attached storage holds over 75 per cent of the data in the average business. Networked storage is the next logical step--it allows you to connect together any number of storage arrays in a storage area network (SAN)--and make it available to the server as though it were a single storage drive.
Over 60 per cent of our sales are into organisations venturing into networked storage for the first time. For these tentative users, ease of installation and use is critical and our arrays can be up and running in just 20 minutes. Whats more, we use just the same gigabit Ethernet infrastructure that many organisations already use to support their local area networks (LANs).
In terms of applications, backup and disaster recovery are the most common applications of our technology. However, were also seeing plenty of interest in storage consolidation--organisations which wish to move all of their data onto a common platform. This has plenty of benefits--not least of which is the ability to ensure the whole businesss data is safely backed up and can be restored at a moments notice.
Q: What kinds of partners are you looking for?
A: EqualLogic has a strategy of working with specialised, world-class partners to leverage their expertise in regional markets. To that end, were always looking for quality partner organisations that are keen to take advantage of the huge market opportunities that iSCSI SAN can offer existing customers, as well as supporting those venturing into networked storage for the first time. Given the considerable opportunities to open up green field SAN sites, the ability to evangelise the benefits of networked storage to the unconverted is a definite advantage!
Q: How will you support them?
A: EqualLogics partner support is second to none. We offer direct links to a dedicated channel development team that provides all the support necessary, as well as operating a dedicated secure partner intranet site. This provides a comprehensive range of sales and marketing tools as well as product information and market knowledge. Given that 100 per cent of our revenues are derived from the channel, its critical we treat our partners well!