IBM Simplifies FlashSystem Storage for Ease of Use, Sales, Service
IBM FlashSystem storage now will be easier for channel partners to sell and service, the company says, after revamping it from three distinct offerings into one integrated product line that uses a common software platform, training and support services.
The latest IBM FlashSystem Storage products are built for a wide range of enterprise storage needs and will replace some 20-30 product numbers with six-part numbers designed to make it easier for partners and customers to deal with, Eric Herzog, the chief marketing officer of IBM Storage, told Channel Futures.
Three of the FlashSystem storage arrays are all-new, while the other three are slightly updated from earlier versions, he said. The devices are storage arrays that can be moved seamlessly to hybrid cloud or run on premises or in the cloud using IBM’s Spectrum Virtualize software for use with any workloads.
“We have fewer model numbers than before,” said Herzog. “We had feedback from partners and end users who said they didn’t need 20-30 product numbers.”
While competitors are still offering storage lines that include three to five product families, IBM has pared its product line – which previously had three dissimilar product families – into one standardized family to ease their use and deployment, he said.
“Customers were complaining and partners were complaining,” Herzog said of the previous product organization.
For partners and customers, it was too costly and unwieldy to have multiple applications, manuals and training to support, he added.
“By going to one family, it’s easier to get trained and easier to use,” he said. “That makes it less expensive for the partners with the end users.”
The product-line refresh also means that the high-end features of the flash storage line are now on all of the offerings, while mid-range and entry-level customers now get more value for their money, said Herzog. This allows enterprises of all sizes to get what they need when it comes to storage, while also providing for later scalability and expansion.
The lineup now includes the all-new IBM FlashSystem 7200, with NVMe and enterprise-class hybrid multicloud functionality for mid-range deployments; the new IBM FlashSystem 9200 with NVMe for demanding enterprise requirements that require higher levels of performance; and the new IBM FlashSystem 9200R, which is designed for users that need an IBM-built and tested complete storage system that’s delivered ready for use.
Also in the FlashSystem family are the updated entry-level FlashSystem 5010, 5030 and 5100 products.
Phil Godwin, president and chief operating officer for Clear Technologies, an IBM partner, told Channel Futures that IBM’s reorganization of the FlashSystem line helps partners by simplifying the messaging while adding increased innovation and reduced costs for IBM storage.
“It’s more likely to encourage our team to lead with IBM” when making sales calls, he said. “It’s a great move — reducing complexity not only for us and our clients, but likely for IBM development and support with only the one family.”
Godwin said he was particularly interested in the introduction of storage class memory in the products, which combined with IBM’s Easy Tier will deliver …