Flexibility boosts RAID revenues

News

Flexibility boosts RAID revenues

Microscope contributor

 

Maintaining or increasing revenues from well-established technologies might seem like a hard task, but this is not necessarily the case. Take RAID subsystems, for example.

 

RAID solutions have been around for a long time and in light of the developments witnessed in the past few years, they have experienced a dramatic sales growth. The arrival of online-based businesses, the proliferation of digital media, the rise of legislation affecting data management and retention, and, of course, information lifecycle management (ILM), have all affected demand.

 

Against this background, how can the channel maximise benefits from reselling RAID products, where the only way of differentiating their offering seems to be through price?

           

One size does not fit all

 

The key is flexibility – VARs must be able to offer a solution that will meet their customers’ exact requirements. One size does not fit all. In some cases, RAID subsystems are assembled at the top of the chain by the vendor, who decides the specifications and then passes the solution down to distributors and resellers. This leaves the channel little room for tailoring the product and fewer opportunities to add value and increase their revenues.

 

One way of freeing up flexibility and margin potential is to “dismantle” the RAID subsystem assembly process and move the storage selection down the chain to the reseller, so the “wrapping” stage can take place at this level rather than at the vendor level.

 

In other words, rather than having the manufacturer decide what technology, capacity and performance of disk drives to include, the reseller takes the brief directly from the end customer and builds a tailor-made RAID subsystem that offers the strongest combination of performance and price. This approach offers three benefits to the VAR:

 

• It allows them to achieve margins across all of the systems components.

 

• They can source the drive and other parts best suited to the customer’s application and requirements.

 

• They can differentiate their offering from other resellers’, thus increasing their chances of winning the contract.

 

Most importantly, the customer benefits by receiving a solution tailored to their exact requirements, making it a win-win situation.

 

The issue of scalability is another advantage for VARs supplying “empty” RAID drive trays. For example, if a customer only needs eight drives, the reseller can easily offer a 12, 16 or 24-bay chassis with eight drives. This means that when the user’s requirements grow, the reseller can go back and provide the extra capacity.

 

It would be much harder for a VAR to offer such a scaleable solution with a product pre-defined further up the chain – and the customer would not benefit from a reduced initial price.

 

Add-ons

 

Let us not forget all the add-ons that a reseller can also offer. When a RAID subsystem vendor assembles the entire solution, this is complete, whereas a custom prepared RAID subsystem will leave room for the channel partner to offer cabling, hubs, software and much more. Selling RAID does not just mean selling the box.

 

Another opportunity for resellers is with enterprise customers.Traditionally these have been targeted by the large storage manufacturers providing complete solutions. However, end users are getting more knowledgeable and an increasing number no longer need the guidance of the big boys. They now have the knowledge and understanding that allows them to brief system integrators and VARs and get bespoke, more competitively priced solutions from them. As a result, resellers today can knock on the doors of large end users who no longer need hand holding.

 

If the reseller adds all the components, service, support and customisation, they can provide a unique product that offers real value for the end user and that stands out from the competition.

 

This approach enables the channel to focus on the specific requirements of individual industry sectors as well as single organisations. If well thought-out, a RAID offering can be a strong element of any reseller’s portfolio; the broader the flexibility, the greater the scalability, the higher the margins.

 

This approach enables the channel to focus on the specific requirements of individual industry sectors as well as single organisations. If well thought-out, a RAID offering can be a strong element of any reseller’s portfolio; the broader the flexibility, the greater the scalability, the higher the margins.

Join the conversation Comment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.