Tandberg Data looks to boost ranks of Strategic-level resellers

Sue Troy
Data protection vendor Tandberg Data, which reorganized following bankruptcy in May, is looking to increase the number of Strategic-level reseller and systems integrator partners it works with from 80 to about 120. Ken Juntunen, director of

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sales, said the SMB-focused company, which sells products only through the channel, currently has about 770 active Registered-level resellers.

Tandberg has two basic reseller partner levels: Strategic and Registered. The Registered level requires no sales commitment but enables access to deal registration, sales incentives, technical training and marketing support. Strategic-level partners have a quarterly sales commitment but get higher product discounts, a technical support hotline, end user leads and market development funds. Juntunen said Tandberg is primarily looking to recruit new partners to realize the goal of 120 Strategic-level partners, rather than working with existing Registered-level partners to increase their product sales.

Juntunen said Tandberg is stridently channel-only. "We've never taken customers direct," he said, pointing to a recent virtual trade show the company conducted. It yielded about 500 leads, which are being distributed to Strategic-level partners.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the company over the past few months, Juntunen said that Tandberg didn't lose channel partners following its bankruptcy filing. "We have a handholding relationship with partners," he said. "We kept strategic partners in the loop" to keep them onboard during the company's financial restructuring, during which a new holding company, TAD Holdings AS, was established. The biggest shareholder of the new holding company is Cyrus Capital. Tandberg had defaulted on a loan from Cyrus Capital, which led to the bankruptcy declaration earlier this year.

Scott Petersen, senior vice president of sales, explained the bankruptcy: "We had a lot of debt, and coupled with the economic crisis, we had to take steps to fix that."

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