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Pillar Data Systems is revamping its channel partner program with
benefits designed to better fit solution providers’ business models and
eliminate channel conflict, and is also announcing new expansion into
the lucrative market in Italy.

Pillar’s Axiom storage platform allows the company’s solution providers
a competitive advantage over other vendors’ solution, since the Axiom
can differentiate application priority in a data center and allocate
performance to match, says Bob Maness, vice president of worldwide
sales and channels, Pillar.

Maness says Pillar’s new Emerald channel program incentives will allow
solution providers to increase sales and margins across the board, and
the new incentives will customize programs to suit individual partners’
business models, Maness says.

“It might sound simplistic, but one of the things we’ve heard from
partners is they really value our ability to listen and be more
responsive, which helps go to market more strongly, close more deals
and increase their profits,” he says.

Tailoring Pillar’s programs to meet specific partners’ businesses means
being able to support partners that focus solely on integration and/or
services delivery, for instance, Maness says. To that end, Pillar will
offer volume deals to partners that buy in large quantities to bring
prices down. For services-focused solution providers, Maness says
Pillar’s Registered Service Partner program can further educate
partners on installation and maintenance of Axiom solutions, which can
increase their margins and strengthen relationships with customers.

“This is not a one-size-fits all approach, but a customized way to help different types of partners go to market,” he says.

In addition, Pillar will offer a design registration program that will
protect not just deals registered, but solution designs developed by
partners and proposed to clients. This program is designed to protect
Pillar’s partners and eliminate channel conflict at the end-user level,
Maness says.

Pillar partners also will have the ability to match pricing of
competitive solutions, he says, and a tiered rebate model will offer
both front- and back-end rewards to partners based on sales performance.

Maness says Pillar also will minimize channel conflict by being
extremely selective about partner recruitment. Pillar plans to limit
the number of authorized reseller partners in each sales region to
mitigate unnecessary competition between solution providers.
“We’re going to be much more picky about which partners we’re
selecting—we won’t recruit just for the sake of recruiting,” Maness
says. This approach also benefits customers, since customers don’t have
to spend an inordinate amount of time weighing solution options from
too many sources.

Pillar will also expand its European channel program into the lucrative
market in Italy, Maness says, to complement coverage it already has in
France, Germany, the United Kingdom and in the Middle East.

Maness says as Italy consolidates its telecommunications industry and
public utilities, Pillar is seeing demand for partners with expertise
in these areas.

“Demand has been increased because there are now fewer folks to sell to
in Italy, but the demand is increasing much more quickly,” he says.
"We’re taking advantage as much as possible to get in there and talk to
potential customers and partners we hadn’t had access to before,”
Maness says.