Agate feeds on Tivoli's new SANergy

Storage distributor Agate Technology has partnered with IBM software subsidiary Tivoli Systems to distribute the vendor's SANergy software.

The alliance sees Agate become Tivoli's first distributor for the storage area network (SAN) software product, which is designed to share access to common storage and files across a company's SAN.

The announcement coincides with Tivoli's release of version 2.2 of its SANergy product that the company claims offers published programming applications for third-party integration, expanded platform support and performance enhancements.

Under the agreement, Agate will offer Tivoli access to its reseller base and subsequent additional sales, while Tivoli will provide Agate staff with technical and sales training. Company officials from both Agate and Tivoli are not discounting the potential of furthering the distribution agreement to include other products in the future.

Leona Reed, product manager of IBM/Tivoli for Agate, claims that while Agate had all the hardware components for a SAN, it couldn't find the software to round out its offerings.

According to Reed, Agate will eventually take the product to around 20 of its channel partners but is currently in active discussions with five resellers to build the product's acceptance for the distributor.

Agate is also in the process of developing a SAN lab for resellers to benchmark designs and offer training in SAN deployment, Reed added.

On the other hand Stephanie King, business partner manager for Tivoli Systems, Australia/New Zealand, claims Agate's strong background in SAN was the key reason for their selection as its local distributor. King confirms that while Tivoli will still be fulfilling some product directly to certain reseller accounts, the bulk of sales will be through Agate.

"Our SANergy product will now be available to resellers across Australia who service market segments that would benefit from Tivoli's SANergy solution," claims King.

Although Tivoli is reluctant to reveal how much the vendor expects its distribution agreement with Agate will increase SANergy sales, Grant Smith, Tivoli storage business unit manager, Australia/New Zealand, believes SANergy will "piggy-back" on the growth of the overall SAN market.

Agate signed the distribution agreement with Tivoli in September, and Mark Ransom, manager of product marketing at Agate, argues the SAN market in Australia is still in its infancy from a skills perspective.

As a result, Agate and Tivoli will participate in joint marketing activities for resellers, including a national road show to promote the "Agate solution", Ransom told ARN.

The announcement comes at a time when Tivoli has told employees in the US the vendor plans to restructure its business and lay off an unspecified number of employees. A company spokesman in the US would not "comment on the impending personnel cuts, but a memo to workers cited weakness in the corporate management software market as a primary cause for the restructuring.

In related news, Agate has also announced it will be stocking IBM's Linear Tape Open (LTO) Ultrium drives with a LTO autoloader and tape library which will be available shortly.

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