HP, IBM, Storage, Software Solutions Groups Unveiled at Tech Data

By Jessica Davis  |  Posted 2010-02-25 Email Print this article Print

Tech Data's new solutions groups for HP, IBM, Storage and Software join the Cisco Solutions Group in the technology distributor's arsenal of specialized data center organizations. And in spite of the recent rift between Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard, Tech Data says it remains technologically neutral, committed to providing best-of-breed solutions to its channel partner customers.

Even as Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard postured in their heightening competition in the data center product arena, Tech Data made moves this week that solidified its position as the technologically neutral one—an IT Switzerland of sorts.

Tech Data's AIS (Advanced Infrastructure Solutions) division announced four new solutions groups, two of them along vendor lines, focusing on data center technology: HP Solutions Group, IBM Solutions Group, Software Solutions Group and Storage Solutions Group. The establishment of these groups follows the creation of a Cisco Solutions Group in 2009.

"If you've ever gone into a data center, you aren't going to see just one vendor brand in there," Tech Data's Pete Peterson tells Channel Insider. Peterson is a senior vice president at the technology distributor and general manager of the AIS division. "At the end of the day that's the role of the distributors—to provide best-of-breed to the partners we support."

Cisco's biggest partners win in the rift between HP and Cisco. Click here to read more.

Each of the vendor-specific solutions groups offers assistance in the form of training, sales expertise, and marketing and business development help. The groups are staffed by Tech Data employees who hold many technology certifications across the areas of servers, storage, virtualization, management software and high-end networking, according to Tech Data. For example, Peterson says, in terms of VMware certifications, Tech Data has 500 VSPs, 86 VTSPs and about 10 VCPs.

Tech Data's solutions groups will also be the foundation for AIS' specialized partner-enablement strategy in 2010, including sales and technical trainings, Web seminars, road shows, the Technology Solutions Tour and TechSelect University.

Peterson says when a partner phones Tech Data looking to add a storage practice, for example, the reseller would interface with his or her sales rep to develop a training strategy.

"We represent best-of-breed, vendor-agnostic data center solutions," Peterson says. "We know some will customize and specialize on Cisco, some will customize and specialize on HP. We want to make sure we have the right resources for both."

And that's just what technology distributors do.

"We have over 400 manufacturing relationships in the United States alone," Peterson says. "HP and Cisco are two of our most strategic vendor partners. We have thousands of partners that we sell HP to and thousands we sell Cisco to, too." And some partners buy from both vendors.
Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com


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