Sun has unveiled its new Storage Elite programme for resellers in the UK, but will not include the financial initiatives provided by the programme in the US.
Following similar moves by Compaq and Veritas in the US, Sun's Storage Elite programme, which will provide training to selected partners for a wide range of new storage options, offers American resellers a rebate of three per cent on storage sales.
But Chris Atkins, UK storage product marketing manager for Sun, said that a similar programme in the UK would not suit the channel culture and that instead Storage Elite would focus on training.
"I think the geographical and cultural aspects of the US channel market determine that rebates are a good idea, but they wouldn't work here," he said.
Atkins said that the Storage Elite programme and the new line of software, hardware and services would enable resellers to offer more complete storage packages to customers.
Sun is pioneering the project with its two largest resellers, Morse and Computacenter.
But one Sun reseller expressed fears that the potential merger of Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Compaq could ruin Sun in all areas in which they compete, not just storage.
"If [the merger] happens, then I think Sun are finished," he said. "Sun will look very exposed in every space. If it doesn't, it's Sun who could clean up."
Atkins said that more details about the Storage Elite programme would emerge at its spring launch due for the second quarter of this year, but added that Sun was continually looking to sign up more storage partners.
Analyst group IDC values this year's storage market at £17.7bn globally.
Sun boss Scott McNealy is banking on storage to help the company return to profit by the middle of the year.
The company developed a storage strategy for the last couple of years and partners with Hitachi Data Systems in the data centre storage space.
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