Having said the channel is crucial to its success, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is putting its money where its mouth is and ramping up its channel team.
Andrew Heading joins HDS in the newly created role of channel marketing manager for New Zealand and Australia. Sydney-based Heading will develop communication strategies for the channel and work with partners to carry out public relations campaigns.
Although new to the company, Heading says he gained valuable experience in channel marketing through similar positions with HAL Data Services and Toshiba TEC UK Imaging Systems.
Heading admits he’s still getting to grips with HDS but says he plans to work closely with Brent Wilkinson, HDS’s New Zealand country manager.
Michael Heitz, HDS’s channel director for the region, says his company will continue to invest more funds and resources into the channel. Heitz says HDS has a three-stage execution model in New Zealand.
“We’re in stage one at the moment. That’s about education, putting in place proper support for the channel and generating a marketing plan,” he says.
For the moment HDS will focus on its existing partners — including Sun, Unisys and Revera — and will recruit further resellers in stage two, in about nine months.
By 2007 HDS expects to reap the benefits of this investment.
As yet the company hasn’t appointed a local distributor. Heitz says he is looking for a value-add distributor that can offer a national network of resellers.
“There’s no point in having a distribution model if it doesn’t cover the whole country,” he says.