Sepaton named ATS its top channel partner of 2008 following two large sales to government agencies late last year when the economy was in decline. Through ATS, Sepaton sold an S2100-ES2 enterprise VTL with 750 TB to one large federal agency and added another S2100-ES2 deal with another agency, according to Terry Richardson, Sepaton's executive vice president of worldwide sales. Due to the nature of the agencies, Sepaton could not identify the customers.
"This was the fastest partner ramp we've experienced," Richardson said of ATS.
Before last year, privately held Sepaton's only government contract was with Brookhaven National Lab in New York.
Chantilly, Va.-based ATS specializes in sales to the federal government. Scott Sanner, director of partner alliances, said ATS does about $60 million of storage sales each year, which is about 12% of its annual revenue.
Sanner said ATS sells storage products from EMC and NetApp and "for the most part, we tend to partner with larger players" but started working with Sepaton at the request of one customer.
Sanner described ATS and Sepaton's relationship as a collaborative effort. "We've gone in with them to customers, and they've provided extensive technical input," he said.
Sepaton's Richardson said he hopes the government's economic stimulus package will help increase federal government business this year.
"My view is the government sector is a good place to be," he said. "Not only because of funding from the stimulus package and other activities, but because of the nature of our business. Technologies such as deduplication and virtual tape allow government to look at things in a cost-efficient manner."
Still, he said it's too soon to get a read on government spending this year because most agencies won't have their budgets set before the end of March.
Sanner said ATS is waiting to see how the stimulus package will affect technology spending.
"Undoubtedly, some of the money will make its way there, but it's unclear how it will all fall out," he said. "Right now is not the best barometer for the federal sector. The government fiscal year is in its second quarter, which tends to be normally slow. And now we have a change of administration with new secretaries going into place."
He said storage is among the technology areas federal agencies are interested in. "Storage seems to be steady," Sanner said. "Server consolidation and virtualization has been a trend for a while, and that seems to be steady, and video conferencing as well."