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CommVault pushes into public sector storage with Arrow deal

CommVault eyes the public sector as it inks a deal with Arrow Electronics Inc. authorizing Arrow's Enterprise Computing Solutions business unit to distribute CommVault's software to federal, state and local governments.

Data management software company CommVault Systems Inc. has announced an agreement authorizing Melville, N.Y.-based Arrow Electronics Inc. to distribute CommVault's software to public sector storage customers.

CommVault execs said the suite of data protection, replication, archiving and resource management software will get greater exposure to public sector storage procurement managers through Arrow's Enterprise Computing Solutions (ECS) division's channel network, which is stronger in the public sector than CommVault's own.

Arrow represents CommVault exclusively, for both its commercial and public sector storage customers.

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"The truth is that we only had six salespeople in the federal space, and our folks had a choice to make," said Stephen Matheson, vice president of channel sales for CommVault. "One of the things that we really needed to do was to find a way to take some of the relationship ownership off of the individual sales reps," Matheson explained. Notably, CommVault's federal sales staff would conduct education seminars, assist with technical questions and help resellers with quotes on configurations. These tasks are now conducted between Arrow and the reseller, Matheson said.

The public sector storage market has specific compliance issues and security requirements that agencies must adhere to, and solution providers must understand these requirements to make the right recommendations, according to Matthew Reaves, vice president of Arrow ECS's enterprise software group.

"The challenge with selling storage software in the public sector is that it requires a deep understanding of the market and which solutions are most appropriate for the customer's needs," Reaves said.

CommVault's data management products have been available to public sector storage buyers since August 13. Still, for one reseller who sells to the federal government, the agreement has not yet met his expectations.

"My issue is the delays that take place with the logistics. I have seen no improvement in the success of CommVault's channel operations," said Rich Kuhar, vice president of business development at Akron, Ohio-based Arkay Inc.

"On one government contract, I've been seeking approval for a quote for the last three weeks," Kuhar added. "I can't get my registration approved and I can't get my pricing approved from Arrow, and I'm also waiting on a technical question because there have been differences in licensing between version 6 and Simpana 7 software."

"The biggest challenge in selling to the federal government is that there are some software backup companies out there that have been in the market for a long time, so a lot of the federal customers have legacy software and it's difficult to unseat them," said Greg Wassenberg, director of business development at Woodbridge, Va.-based FedTek Inc.

"Arrow has some good technical resources, and the more people you have evangelizing a product line and educating folks on how it works and how it can solve problems, the better. And I think Arrow will do a good job of that in the federal marketplace," Wassenberg added.

Let us know what you think about this story; email: Nicole Lewis, Senior News Writer.

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