Hitachi Vantara this week launched multiple initiatives aimed at midmarket IT organizations that it is looking to recruit additional partners to both resell or manage via a Hitachi Virtual Storage as a Service offering that is only available via channel partners.
The 2U additions made to the VSP E Series line of NVMe all-flash arrays aimed at the midmarket organizations include embedded management capabilities that make these offerings simpler to install and provision than arrays aimed at enterprise IT offerings.
They also include integrated data protection and copy data management capabilities while running the same SVOS RF operating system that Hitachi Vantara created for its larger arrays. Like the rest of that series, these arrays also provide advanced data reduction (ADR) capabilities enabled by machine learning algorithms and Hitachi Ops Center management software.
Hitachi Vantara has also added an HNAS 5000 family of network-attached storage (NAS) systems that make it easier for IT teams to consolidate files.
Finally, Hitachi Vantara is making available tools for partners that include a dynamic pricing tool that provides both deal pricing guidance and automated deal approval workflows and a midrange storage recommendation tool dubbed Hitachi Guru.
The company is also making available additional incentives for partners, simplified training and marketing campaign assets that can be accessed via Partner Marketing Hub.
Hitachi Vantara is looking to slightly increase its base of channel partners as it makes a push into the midmarket after historically being focused primarily on high-end storage systems, says Kimberly King, vice president of global strategic partners and alliances for Hitachi Vantara.
In contrast, King says rival storage vendors tend to inflate the size of their channel at the expense of their best partners.
“We are highly selective,” says King. “We want our partners to be profitable.”
Those partners, however, will find increased demand for more efficient approaches to managing large amounts of data because midmarket IT organizations are especially under pressure to reduce capital and operating expenses, notes King. The Hitachi Virtual Storage as a Service provides partners with an opportunity to manage storage as a service using a platform built by a vendor rather than the partner at a time when the amount of data organizations are generating continues to grow, adds King.
It remains to be seen how much appetite there is for storage systems that run on-premises. Even though the bulk of most applications continue to run on-premises, organizations of sizes are accelerating their transition to the cloud.
In the meantime, partners should expect competition for what demand there is in the midmarket for storage systems to be nothing less than fierce.