Speed And Capacity Land $77,000 Tape Installation
Tape library performance will help you make the sale, but resellers should also consider professional services when choosing a vendor.
Working with a vendor that strongly supports its reseller channel is always a wise decision. When the vendor passes qualified leads to its VARs, that's a nice, added benefit. But when those leads turn into sales, nothing could be sweeter. That was the case recently for John Zammett, president of Huntington, NY-based VAR HorizonTek, Inc. Zammett received a lead from Quantum, and it didn't take him long to turn it into $77,000 in tape revenue.
The client, ARRIS Corp., is a large and diverse communications technology company. ARRIS had several tape libraries in-house, but administrators were growing increasingly unhappy with the speed of those libraries. "They were just not fast enough," explains Zammett. "ARRIS wanted to consolidate their libraries into a single library and also get faster throughput. They heard about the SuperDLT technology and contacted Quantum."
Customers Want Faster Backup Times
The speed of its libraries was important to ARRIS, which was spending increasing amounts of time performing backup. "We went through all of the speeds and feeds of Quantum's M1500 library with the customer," said Zammett. "The customer was initially looking for increased speed, but was also interested in the greater capacity of the rack-mountable M1500."
Zammett believed the best way to make the sale would be to let the customer try out an M1500 in-house to see how it performed. Although Quantum does not typically make the M1500 available on a try-and-buy basis, Zammett insisted that he was willing to accept the risk, and ARRIS soon had the unit performing backup. ARRIS kept that unit and purchased a second one as well. Because the libraries are SCSI (small computer system interface) attached, there were no integration problems. ARRIS is now performing backup on the two M1500s in less than half the time it was taking to perform on the four libraries it had been using.
The total cost of the two libraries, including media and support (installation plus on-site support), was $77,000. Zammett's profit on the sale was about 12%. More importantly, he notes that this type of sale allows HorizonTek to build and maintain relationships with clients, which leads to future sales.
Put Your Vendors To Work
Many large VARs offer a full range of technical services, employing sales engineers and field service engineers, all in an attempt to help a salesperson land an account. "These large VARs are no different from the manufacturer in their ability to support the product," said Zammett. "HorizonTek does not hire that type of employee. We have technical salespeople. Everybody here, including the person that answers the phone, is in sales. That is one reason we like to work with Quantum."
Quantum has the technical expertise to assist VARs when they meet with clients. "They have engineers that come in and help us design the solution," said Zammett. "Quantum also has technical personnel who can go to the customer site, perform the installation, and support the customer on an ongoing basis." Oftentimes HorizonTek will find install opportunities, use Quantum's technical staff to help close the deal, and then support the customer with Quantum's technical services. "They help VARs to design the solution, so we do not have to have the technical expertise in-house."
Zammett believes his staffing decisions are one reason his company continues to do well while others struggle. "Business is slow for everyone right now," he insists. "VARs that have technical employees on staff simply don't have anything for them to do. The technical staff can't just get on the phone and dial for dollars like salespeople can. That is why companies like HorizonTek can weather a recession a lot better."
Zammett has sold many M1500s and believes the rack-mount configuration plays a big role. "Customers continue to look for products that have the highest capacity and take up the least amount of space," he said. "The speed of most drive technologies is pretty similar right now. But with the rack-mount libraries, you can get a lot of capacity in a small amount of floor space."
The M1500 has 2.2 TB of native capacity, which can be scaled to 22 TB in a rack of 10 units high. Zammett believes the rack-mount libraries will remain popular with companies located where real estate is at a premium.