Hitachi Data Systems says its Opportunity Registration Programme will give greater protection for partners who have made strong pre-sales investment in strategic customer deals. Australia and New Zealand channel director Steve Kelly says rather than price protection or an up-front discount, the vendor will give partners the opportunity to negotiate exclusive pricing once the customer’s product needs are known. “Partners know they can get some certainty from Hitachi Data Systems and that we’ll support them.” The deals don’t encompass volume products such as the SMS 100 storage array, he says. “This is more for strategic opportunities where partners see themselves as putting their own pre-sales activity and cost of sales in place,” Kelly says. The Opportunity Registration Programme is open to all True North channel programme members. Kelly says Hitachi Data Systems hasn’t any issue with conflict between its direct and indirect sales businesses, rather the scheme follows a common industry model. “[Providing deal registration] is business as usual for a lot of vendors, but we found some [programmes] can be overly cumbersome. We have a simple web portal where partners can register new opportunities.” HDS has seven True North channel partners in the country across platinum, gold and volume levels.