Seagate designs partner program for newly formed company i365

After acquiring four vendors in two years, Seagate is bringing them together as one company with one channel program.

Seagate Technology's two-year acquisition spree has yielded a new company, and a new partner program is on the way.

Seagate has combined its Seagate Services division with four companies acquired since 2006: ActionFront, EVault, St. Bernard Software and MetaLINCS. The new company is called i365, and Seagate will have an i365 partner program in place by the start of 2009, according to Carolyn Crandall, senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

"We're in the process of reviewing and redesigning our partner program so we can provide the best value-based program for partners that we can," Crandall said.

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i365 will seek partner feedback and use it to help build a new channel program, she added. Until then, the partner programs for the acquired companies will continue to operate independently.

"We know that we need to make more investments in our channel partnerships," Crandall said.

i365 will focus on offering data protection, management and discovery to customers through both on-premise and hosted models -- as well as some managed services. And partners will be able to earn sales and referral fees on closed deals, Crandall said.

"We try to be very flexible for partners and make it easy for them to do business the way they want," she said.

Jenna Stephenson, marketing programs manager for Simpler-Webb Inc., an EVault partner in Austin, Texas, said i365 will present new opportunities for her business.

"It sounds like there are a lot of additional products that all fit together nicely and play together well," she said. "Having a broad range of solutions that work well together for a customer is always going to be good."

The key for solution providers will be how i365 designs its partner program. Simpler-Webb has been working with the same EVault representatives for about two years, for example. But Simpler-Webb might have to start new relationships with other reps if the company adds other i365 offerings.

"The dynamics of selling multiple services will be the most interesting," Stephenson said.

But Stephenson said she doesn't expect any channel disruption -- at least not yet.

"Until we know what the new details of the partner program will be, we're not so worried about it," she said.

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