June 20, 2003 2:15 PM PDT
NEC plans server strategy changes
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of the New York show.
"In the U.S., I'd like to re-brand it," Sheffield said.
He said the new name likely will focus on "high availability," a server buzzword that refers to grouping servers so one system can take over if another fails. NEC's strategy accomplishes much the same idea, only with backup components such as spare processors taking over. For many customers, the "fault tolerant" concept has carried negative connotations of expense and complexity.
In addition, the company will move from a direct sales strategy to one relying on a channel of indirect sales partners, Sheffield said. Those companies typically add software and services to make hardware more useful to their customers; NEC expects many of those partners to focus on servers for hosting Microsoft Exchange, file and print software.
Sheffield also hopes to get more mileage out of existing relationships with Microsoft and Intel. And the company will try to encourage storage specialist Network Appliance, which buys fault-tolerant hardware from NEC for some products, to try to sell the NEC products alongside its own products.
NEC plans to begin selling its high-end Itanium servers by October, said Rosie Dalomba, an NEC marketing manager. Fault-tolerant Itanium servers are scheduled to arrive in 2004, she said.
Sheffield previously sold servers for SGI after a 28-year stint selling services and hard drives for IBM.