sTec Rolls Out Channel Program
sTec, an OEM provider of solid-state drive (SSD) technologies to a variety of major vendors, wants to come out from behind the curtain. The company, which is currently faced with a number of financial challenges, announced that it will begin selling solid-state memory products under its own brand name—both direct and through the channel.
As part of that effort, sTec is rolling out its first channel program. In addition to being aimed at classic resellers around the globe, the program also targets managed services and cloud computing service providers looking to transform their operations using SSD technology.
sTec has hired more than 50 new professionals from industry-leading storage vendors who have extensive experience developing customized solutions for data centers. The idea, said sTec General Manager Ali Zadeh, is to create a sales force with enough solid-state technology expertise to complement the efforts of the company's channel partners.
Given all the nuances involved in selling solid-state technologies, which are rapidly transforming the way data centers are managed, sTec said there was a need to make more solid-state technology expertise available to the channel.
"It all starts with the solution architecture," Zadeh said. "Each solution needs to be tailored for the data center it will be used in."
Thanks mainly to the massive popularity of smartphones, which are dependent on the same flash memory technology used in SSDs, the price of SSD technology has dropped substantially. IT organizations of all sizes are now moving to adopt SSD technology on both servers and inside storage systems.
As those IT organizations begin to run entire databases and applications in flash memory, their applications get substantially faster, and the makeup of the entire data center changes as dependency on expensive high-performance hard-disk-drive systems drops. Those changes will create opportunities for channel partners to sell SSD products, as well as generating a need for data center consulting services at a scale that will be unprecedented in recent memory.
sTec will have challenges establishing a brand in a market that is already loaded with both established vendors and startup companies. But given declining sales through some of its major OEM partners, including EMC, sTec is looking to the channel to make its case directly to the end customer.