What kind of trends in Storage do you see in the market across globe and especially in India?
Globally, the storage market is evolving with virtualization and cloud computing being the current technology trend. In India, the significance of an IP-based data storage solution is becoming more prominent and requirements are rising more than ever. On the technology front, virtualization and de-duplication are observed to be the trend currently visible in the market. And as always, disaster recovery continues to be one of the key requirements with many enterprises, particularly those which have locations in different geographies.
Director & CEO,
American Megatrends India Pvt Ltd.
What is the overall market size in India? What is your market share?
The current market size is roughly estimated to be about US$50 million for IP-based data storage solution. We are being well accepted in the market and are moving upward.
What is the range of products do you cater to this market?
We cater to the iSCSI/ Ethernet-based storage segment. StorTrends offers all enterprise-class features for SMBs, medium and large enterprises. Our unique selling proposition is that we offer all features in a single licence and the customer saves on any additional licences. We also have SafeTrends, a PC backup CDP software suitable for any enterprise.
Which are the most popular products in the market?
In the current market, there are quite a few players who offer IP-based data storage solutions. Looking at the market, these players have been successful in pitching their products. However, StorTrends is not far behind. We have already positioned our range of products and proved to our customers the benefits of using StorTrends range of solutions. Apart from StorTrends, we are also bundling SafeTrends, data backup CDP software, along with our data storage products in some cases, as required.
What is the partner's role in the deployment of products and services?
AMI, as a policy, promotes its products and services through partners. For AMI, channel partners are the ones who can expand the business of our products and services. They play a major role in developing the business within the end-user segment bridging the relationship between us and the user. It is the partners to whom we look up to for giving the after-sales first- level support for users in and around their location. Partners are adequately trained for giving the support as well as doing the installation of our products.
What kind of benefits do partners get? What are their pain points?
Our partners have openly indicated to us that they get twice the margin from selling our products than they get by carrying other competitor products. Some of the pain factors that the partners have brought to our notice are, for example, difficulty in allocating/dedicating the right sales force and retaining it.
What are the opportunities for channel partner?
Looking at the market for IP-based data storage solutions, partners have a great deal of opportunities that they can capitalize upon. They also have options to either include our products into their product line to cater to SMBs, mid-sized companies' requirements where the customers look at IP-based storage solution; or make the product part of their solutions while offering the complete network solutions to any client. Alternatively, they can offer this as a cost-effective solution, highlighting that the client saves on fibre channels.
How important is after-sales service support? How do you provide after-sales support?
Unlike any other electronic or computerized solutions, after-sales support in storage is one of the most important factors the customers look for before procuring. Data is important and valuable. Non-availability of data even for few minutes is unacceptable with many customers. Without an efficient after-sales support, no such solution can be offered or accepted by any customer.
AMI has identified some partners in different geographical locations who are trained and equipped with knowledge to handle first level of concerns from customers for our range of solutions. We also have a dedicated team of engineers who are available at any time to give online support or site visits, if required. These engineers come with hands-on experience of working with and getting trained from the development team directly.
What is the evolution path in the future?
In the storage and server market, the trend appears to be growing with virtualization and cloud computing being the key technology areas. Apart from these, the need for dual controllers would be one of the primary requirements. Under host connectivity, FCoE is going to be popular with the advent of 10 Gigabyte Ethernet network which matches and performs better than the FC. Another key evolving area is the high-performance storage media such as SSDs.
Can you brief your market positioning globally and certifications, if any?
AMI is a global company with ISO 9001: 2008 certification. Our flagship product, AMIBIOS, caters to 65% of the global market share. Apart from this, we also have Remote Server Management solution, MegaRAC, catering to all major OEMs across the globe. We have been successful in earning several key customers worldwide because of our product performance. In storage, we offer the Ethernet-based storage and would like to be the top recognized brand in the Ethernet storage segment.
At present, StorTrends is certified by VMware, global leaders in virtualization and by Microsoft for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007.