Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has raised UK-based reseller Morse to platinum partner status, allowing it to sell the complete HDS storage hardware and software range across five European countries.
HDS' enterprise Lightning 9900V series and mid-range Thunder 9500V series of modular storage and HiCommand storage management framework software are covered by the agreement, which includes sales in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Ireland.
"HDS is working with a number of partners," Martin McPhee, HDS' UK channels director, told vnunet.com. "We see more and more drive from our customers to have a pan-European capability."
He added that Morse's European presence was an important factor in selection. Its technology integration skills fitted well with HDS' TrueNorth vision of collaborative working using open industry standards.
Morse has slashed its partner numbers over the past 18 months, dropping from around 200 to just 12 and has seen revenues grow during that period.
Mark Nutt, technical sales manager at Morse, said: "In line with many vendors we needed to focus on a few partners with which we could work proactively. We have a business plan for all of them and HDS is one," he said.
HDS' investment includes deploying a senior technical staff member to work directly for Morse, while Morse will initially recruit two pre-sales business heads to work exclusively with existing HDS and Morse EMEA sales teams.
Morse has enterprise computing centres in France and Germany, and a new sales centre under development in Manchester. HDS technology is being installed at each site.
The two companies have been partners for about one year, and are now working together with about 30 companies in the UK and between 60 and 70 customers across Europe.
Just under half of Morse's customers are in the FTSE Eurotop 300 Index and HDS supplies over half the Fortune 100 companies.
Analyst IDC estimates the global modular storage market to grow to $108bn by 2007.
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