Acer and Hitachi unite to chase small firms

In a response to EMC's much-publicised move into the small and medium business market, Hitachi Data Systems has teamed up with Acer

The market for storage products aimed at SMEs is heating up as vendors who have focused for years on large companies frantically readjust their focus onto smaller companies.

Acer and Hitachi Data Systems continued this trend on Thursday when they announced a partnership agreement to supply storage solutions to the SME market across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

In February, EMC announced that it was to start selling products focused on SMEs including, for the first time in its history, "shrink-wrapped" software. Earlier this month, HDS — which one of the biggest suppliers of storage for mainframes after EMC and IBM — announced the AMS1000 array, a product aimed squarely at the SME space.

Now, with Acer, HDS has a partner that it hopes will help it compete further.

Although Acer is not a major competitor in storage in its own right, the company does have the channel partners that HDS badly needs to woo if it is to compete with EMC.

Under the agreement the two new storage products, WMS100 and AMS200, will be rolled out country by country, slowly. Italy will be first followed by Germany at the end of the year, then the UK in the first six months of 2007, and France by the end of next year.

John Roberts, Acer's server business unit director, said: "The combination of... storage solutions and Acer's channel supply programme... provides a clear advantage for SMEs with no extensive IT infrastructure looking for reliability, performance and scalability."

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