NEC Solutions America Inc. is growing its channel initiative, rolling out a new partner program and signing on Avnet Partner Solutions, Americas, as a distributor.
The moves last week are part of NECs push to become 100 percent channel-driven by fall. Officials with the Rancho Cordova, Calif., company said resellers are a key to giving NEC greater traction in the U.S. market for its enterprise products and services.
The channel-driven distribution model, officials said, will help NEC cut expenses, increase the sales and support of its products, and eliminate conflict between its direct-sales staff and its third-party partners.
NEC is targeting a two-tier distribution system. The company in May signed on Team 1 Systems Inc., of Pittsburgh, to work with resellers and systems integrators in marketing and supporting NEC products. Avnet Partner Solutions, a unit of Avnet Inc., of Phoenix, will fill a similar role, said Efrem Stringfellow, vice president of North American sales for NECs Solutions Platform Group.
In addition, NEC last week unveiled its Express Partner Program, which offers VARs support through business training, certification, sales training and incentives, demand generation, and technical services.
The program covers NECs enterprise server, storage and software offerings, including its Express5800 fault-tolerant systems, Express5800/1000 servers powered by Intel Corp.s 64-bit Itanium processor and SX-8 supercomputer.
NEC officials said they expect the channel initiative to highlight what they say is a unique lineup of products, spanning the Intel and fault-tolerant worlds. It is the high availability of the fault-tolerant systems that persuaded Pathology Partners Inc. to buy an Express5800/320Lb system for specimen processing.
"NEC and Stratus [Technologies Inc.] are the only vendors ... that offer a fully hardware-redundant system that does not require any programming modifications to allow for 99.999 percent uptime and automatic failover," said Robert Herron, vice president of IT for Pathology Partners, in Irving, Texas. "By not requiring that the applications and databases be cluster-aware, NEC removed an enormous administrative task."
The fault-tolerant systems offer duplicate components that run in lock step so that if one fails, the other continues working with no data loss.