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Hitachi Data Systems will propel its six new storage SKUs to the SME (small and midsized enterprise) through distributor Ingram Micro’s reseller network, both organizations said.

Both Hitachi and Ingram are expected to announce an agreement on Feb. 21 to distribute six configurations of Hitachi’s SATA-based TagmaStore AMS200 (Adaptable Modular Storage) and WMS100 (Workgroup Modular Storage), optimized for the SME and channel sales.

The six SKUs, built for easy deployment, with room for customization and Ingram’s SME strategy, highlight the different approach vendors must take to reach the market of businesses with between 200 and 500 users and with VARs involved, said Karen Sigman, HDS’s Vice President of Worldwide Channels.

“The key is simplicity on their end,” Sigman said. “Resellers [in the SME] have to work with multiple vendors and they can’t spend time to figure out every vendor they work with. You can’t force resellers [in the SME] to understand everything about a vendor’s technology or new channel programs for everyone they work with.”

The answer for HDS, which operates its own channel for its enterprise product line, was “plug-and-play” solutions and leveraging the already established channel of a distributor, Sigman said.

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Ingram will distribute HDS’s TagmaStore AMS200 and WMS100 through its SME resellers including those in its VentureTECH community of SME resellers.

Sales to the SME, where price and business knowledge often trump technology, require a different product and a different VAR than enterprise sales, said Kevin Murai, Ingram’s chief operating officer.

Plug-and-play solutions allow VARs to synch the purse strings on implementation and deploy the technology without losing the vertical concentration for a technology.

Partnering with complimentary VARs, such as other VentureTECH resellers, further allow VARs to focus on verticals and call on each other for specialists.

“In the midsize, it’s much less about the technology and more about the VAR understanding the biz, and then bringing the technology to bear,” Murai said.

The TagmaStore AMS200 and WMS100 product lines feature high-end functionality. Logical cache partitioning and virtual storage ports with secure host storage domains are designed to provide secure data access to vital business applications such as Microsoft Exchange, ERP (enterprise resource planning), CRM (customer relationship management), or databases, according to HDS product specifications.

Hitachi also collaborated with Microsoft to advance SAN (storage area network) simplification for SME users by ensuring interoperability and simplifying hardware setup, HDS said.

The AMS200 and WMS100 storage systems have been certified under Microsoft’s Simple SAN for Windows Server program.