Clariion, Data General's storage division, and perhaps best known as a long term OEM partner of Hewlett-Packard, is about to sign up Unisys as its new OEM partner for its entire portfolio of storage products, including the fibre channel FC5000 family.
HP and Clariion have been in a lucrative relationship since late 1994 but HP has decided not to take any of Clariion's new generation of products, preferring to develop its own. Sara Wong, Clariion's European marketing manager, insists that the HP-Clariion relationship will continue for older products: "The OEM agreement between HP and Clariion is ongoing."
"HP OEMs the SCSI range only. We did not have discussions about OEMing the full fibre FC5000 systems because HP is developing its own systems," she said.
It is believed that Clariion's formal OEM deal was not renewed by HP when it ran out last year. HP has stated publicly that it intends to significantly increase the percentage of storage revenue obtained from its own products, most likely at the expense of its main OEM partners, Clariion and EMC.
Clariion was established originally as an OEM business and originally signed up the likes of HP, Bull, Silicon Graphics and Sequent. It achieved a coup last May when it signed up Dell Computers and the deal with Unisys could rejuvenate patchy revenue growth over the last year.
Last summer saw Clariion launch its direct sales business, followed by an aggressive incentive programme in January to migrate HP, IBM and Sun users to its fibre channel systems. It is looking to reduce its dependancy on OEM deals, which create something of an uncertain revenue flow.
Wong said : "The current business split between OEM and direct business is around 70:30, but the aim is for 50:50 eventually. Storage is a very large component of any deal nowadays, and everyone wants a share. Companies like HP want to do their own thing rather than buying OEM."
"Our direct business is not designed to threaten the OEMs and we will always maintain the OEM business, but we needed feet on the ground to deal direct with customers. We are actively recruiting for our direct Solution Sales team and growing at a fast pace," she said.
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