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IT products distributor Tech Data has established an Advanced Infrastructure Solutions Division to provide solutions-oriented sales support to VARs.

The company, based in Clearwater, Fla., said the new program is a response to changing market dynamics in the server and storage market.

“We have seen some significant growth out of the server and storage segment of our business in the last few years,” said Pete Peterson, senior vice president and general manager of the new division, and a 10-year employee of Tech Data. “This is a leading segment of our business relative to growth.”

Some of the drivers of this changing market include the emergence of x86 server technology competing in a space that used to be dominated by Unix servers, server consolidation, virtualization and blade server technology, according to Peterson.

Tech Data has its eyes on acquisitions and emerging technologies. Click here to read more.

“This new program will expand our service offering to a broader subset of customers,” he said. “I am going to have a sales organization that will serve a defined number of resellers and the profile is more of a solution-focused reseller that is driving solutions into its customer base.”

In addition, Peterson said, his group will continue to sell to and support “the thousands of resellers that buy our servers and storage and applicable middleware software today.”

Tech Data will identify candidate partners for the program by sifting through its CRM (customer relationship management) data to look at certifications, products that are being sold and other criteria. But Peterson did not rule out looking at VARs who requested participation in the program, due to launch Feb. 1.

Plans call for AIS sales representatives to support a limited number of partners. Peterson would not discuss ratios or numbers, but said the new program would cut the traditional sales person to partner ratio by 50 percent, providing more personalized attention.

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Tech Data’s new program will combine a “high-touch, consultative sales approach” with the distributor’s technical know-how and product knowledge to help VARs take advantage of the demand for mid-market and enterprise-level server, storage and software solutions.

In addition, the company said that partner enablement training programs and dedicated expert resources would help VARs develop strategic approaches to high-end sales.

AIS will support a wide range of high-end servers, storage and other data center hardware such as battery backup, rack mounts and environmental-control devices, the company said in a statement.

It will provide VARs with access to an array of software applications, data management solutions and related services. AIS said it expects to expand its product offering in the coming months to include vendors who do not currently leverage the channel.

“Our role as a distributor is to provide our resellers with the products and services and opportunities to grow their businesses,” Peterson said. “We think this is an area that is growing well.”