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High-performance data center solutions manufacturer Voltaire has announced a formalized channel partner program aimed at making it easier and more profitable for solution providers to deliver data center technology to a greater number of enterprise customers.

For years, Voltaire has worked informally with a network of solution providers focused mostly on the HPC (high-performance computing) space, says Patrick Guay, executive vice president and general manager of U.S. operations for Voltaire.

The new adVantage Partner Program will formalize Voltaire’s relationship with its channel partners, and will take advantage of the need for high-performance data center solutions in more mainstream enterprises, says Guay.

“We’ve been seeing for a while that our business is expanding beyond HPC into the more mainstream enterprise data centers, and as our market and opportunities grow, the kind of customer we’ve been dealing with is different,” Guay says.

As Voltaire’s high-performance switches and InfiniBand network backbone make their way into more large enterprise data centers, Guay says most customers want to maintain their relationships with existing server OEMs and their local solution providers.

By creating a channel partner program, Guay says solution providers will not only gain access to all of Voltaire’s portfolio, but will have the advantage of more pre- and post-sales support, too. Support, training and marketing and sales collateral will also be provided, and are crucial to solution providers whose customers fall into niche vertical markets, Guay says.

“One of the other driving factors is that many of these customers fall into specific vertical markets like manufacturing, financial services, [CAD] and HPC,” he says. “Those customers are looking for turnkey solutions delivered by the partners they’ve always worked with because those solution providers already have vertically focused expertise,” Guay says.

By formalizing Voltaire’s portfolio, support, collateral and training, Guay says solution providers will better be able to deliver end-to-end solutions that include products, consulting, services and support, increasing revenue for solution providers.

“We also know that our program will make it much more efficient for smaller solution providers to deliver these products and integration services, since they’ll be able to get all the products and training they need,” Guay says.

Guay also says that Voltaire’s program will reach out to OEMs like Hewlett-Packard and others Voltaire works with to allow those vendors to deliver Voltaire products under their own badge.

“This is not just us selling to a reseller who sells to a customer, this also includes OEMs like HP, for instance, and allows them to take our products and add those as a self-branded solution through their channel as well,” he says, giving Voltaire a much greater penetration into the existing channels at those vendors.

The program will initially launch in the United States, with Voltaire looking to add the European and Asia-Pacific regions later in 2009. Guay says that Voltaire plans to sign up 30 to 50 partners by the end of the year.