“Performing channel partners are shown a growth path through our partner program”

DQC Bureau
New Update

After taking over as director for channel development for the India market,

Rahul Guha is on a channel structuring mission at Hitachi Data Systems (HDS).

His 12 years of experience in the channel space is being put to use for building

a strong partner family. Guha outlines how he plans to bring a mix of partner across the enterprise and mid-market segments


What changes have you undertaken in the last six months?

We are looking at an overall partner strategy to complement our business

plan for the year. The idea is to get the right mix of partners across our

enterprise and mid-market.

Rahul Guha

Director-Channel Development,

Hitachi Data Systems India Pvt Ltd

What kind of channel structure does HDS have in place? Do you have any

plans to expand this channel network?

All our partners are solution-centric partners. We look at the right mix of

partners across different geographies. The first set of partners is in place and

this has put us in a very comfortable position in the market. All our

solution-centric partners are spread across three geographical regions, North

and East as one region, followed by West and South as the other two regions. At

time we do work with opportunities-based partners also, where in some solution

provider approach us whenever their customer have a requirement from HDS.


How have you ensured a growth path for your solution-centric channel


Our partner program enables us to identify, scale and motivate the partners

consistently throughout the year. Performing partners are also shown a growth

path within the program.

What partner programs do you have for your solutions providers?

We have the Hitachi TrueNorth Channel Partner Program, which offers channel

partners a framework for building expertise in storage solutions. The program is

designed to help channel partners create new revenue opportunities while meeting

the growing storage needs of the customers.

Under this program there are three levels of partnerships.


Platinum Partner: This level is for solution providers or system

integrator (SI) with a dedicated storage practice, proven expertise in providing

storage solutions to corporate clients, and the highest level of technical

capabilities. This level is ideal for companies looking to grow their businesses

with service and support capabilities for specific products, technologies or


Gold Partner: This level is designed for solution providers with a

strong presence in a local market or experience in providing solutions in one or

more cate­gories to include vertical markets, applications or platforms.

Gold Partners are HDS' 'Go To' partners for specific verticals, platform or

storage solutions. Best suited for companies that have a vertical or

platform-based approach to selling storage.


Associate Partner: These are for resellers who would like to sell or

fulfill HDS modular-class products and solutions, but are not ready to commit to

becoming a full-fledged certified partner.

What is the key thing that you look for while identifying partners for

your solution providers network?

Partners having the requisite level of passion, commitment and a solution

centric 'go-to-market' strategy, fit in.

With the presence of several competing solutions in the market, what

differentiates your storage solutions? And why do you think channel partners

should promote HDS products?

HDS' consistent and long-standing success is because of its ability to deliver
on long-term commitments. We understand customer's business, their pain areas,

their growth areas and all of these drive us to deliver on commitments. The

model is through channels and this allows partners to create a differentiator in

their value to the customer thereby allowing them the benefits of long-term

customer relationships too.


Do you consider the Indian solution providers matured enough to handle

high-end storage solutions of HDS?

Yes, SI partners in India are equipped to deliver and maintain customers on
enterprise solutions.

What kind of marketshare, you have currently?

We are in a leadership position and we will continue to acquire marketshare.

What are the new technologies that are coming up in the storage business?

Simple SAN is a concept that is doing well in the SME/SMB space. On the

enterprise front, virtual tape library solutions are picking up. Recently we

have started a revolution in the virtualization space with disk-less network

storage controller.


Which are the key customer verticals that drive your business?

The market is cut across verticals including the traditional ones such as

IT/ITeS, manufacturing, BFSI and telecom. Recently, we unveiled India's first

Application Optimized Storage (AOS) laboratory in Bangalore. This 5,000 sq ft

facility is being used for demonstrating company's world-class and cutting edge

storage solutions to clients from various verticals in India.

How different is Hitachi's AOS lab from some of the comparative facilities

in the country?

HDS AOS lab is a one-stop end-to-end solution in the enterprise class segment.
One of the key objectives of the lab is to keep pace with newer technologies. It

showcases leading edge storage solutions to the Indian storage market. It

enables both existing and potential customers in mission-critical applications

to visualize the impact of such solutions on their business. It also allows

customers to configure and deploy storage infrastructure that is optimized for

their application.

Which are the HDS solutions that are doing very well in the entry-level

and mid-level segment? And who are the nearest competitors for these products?

Our modular range of storage solutions has a very strong penetration in
mid-market. HDS recognizes that customers have limited budget, staff, and

datacenter space. To meet these needs, HDS offers three modular storage systems

that incorporate many features from our high-end systems, but are scaled to fit

every customer's environment and budget. The three modular storage systems are:

Hitachi TagmaStore Network Storage Controller; Hitachi TagmaStore Adaptable

Modular Storage; and Hitachi TagmaStore Workgroup Modular Storage.