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NetApp Tiers Up

Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) -- looking to sink its teeth into a bigger piece of the midrange storage pie -- today announced it has signed distribution agreements with Arrow Electronics Inc. (NYSE: ARW) and Avnet Hall-Mark (see Avnet, Arrow Distribute NetApp).

Arrow and Avnet Hall-Mark, two of the largest technology distributors in North America, supply resellers with products and also provide training, marketing, and sales support. NetApp says its adoption of a two-tier distribution model will augment its current channel program and help it increase revenues without increasing its own infrastructure and to add resellers in markets it doesn't currently cover via existing channel partners.

"The move to distribution for NetApp is not about building a channel; it's about scaling and growing the business," says Leonard Iventosch, VP of channel sales at NetApp. "We believe our distribution partners can take us to the next level."

Arrow or Avnet will offer specialized storage offerings based on NetApp's software and hardware, including those geared around storage consolidation and business continuance.

Currently, NetApp's revenues are about 65 percent direct sales and 35 percent from indirect channels. The company says its long-term goal is to make that a 50-50 split.

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