Quantum: Now a Much Bigger Company for Storage Solutions
Nowadays, life without data is unthinkable. Intelligent storage of data with backup and restore is the key to success of every enterprise – SMB or large. Even today, technology aficionados are predicting that it will also influence the life of consumers as well.
Therefore, the market for storage and backup solutions is a huge one and the solution vendors are quite busy in outperforming each other in technology and price also. In this very space, a name which comes to mind very easily is Quantum, which has not only kept itself updated in its offerings but has also added complementing solutions, which not only help the company to go broad-base but also offer opportunities to its partners to expand their top-line and bottom-line as well. Sunny John, Country Manager for India, Quantum, says, “Quantum is the world leader, as measured by tape automation and tape drive unit sales. We also are a leader in disk-based backup utilizing data de-duplication intelligence.”
“While backup is a horizontal marketplace need, our products are designed to meet a wide range of customers. SMBs may only need a tape drive or an autoloader. In contrast, a bank (to whom time is money) may need ultra-fast disk-based backup and restore plus the archive of data for decades. Tape remains the best solution for archive given its 30-year shelf life, removability and low cost per gigabyte. Ultimately, our products are targeted at specific customer challenges, which means that there is little to no overlap, even with a wide range of product offerings,” he adds.
Recently, Quantum added StorNext, data management software to its kitty. According to Sunny, the high performance alternative to NAS, Quantum StorNext data management software enables customers to generate revenue faster and store more data at a lower cost. Combining high-speed data sharing with cost-effective content retention, StorNext helps customers build an infrastructure for consolidating resources so that workflow operations run faster and maintaining business assets cost less. And, because data sharing and retention are combined in a single solution, there is no need to cobble together multiple products that only deliver a part of the desired functionality and may not integrate easily.
For long term, data storage, StorNext expands pools into multi-tier archives, automatically moving data between different disk and tape resources to reduce costs and protect content. Data location is virtualized so that any file can easily be accessed for re-use, even if it resides on tape. Additional cost savings can be achieved by using DRS, Data Reduction Storage, which provides content-specific data reduction using Quantum’s patented de-duplication technology.
The go-to-market strategy of Quantum is aligned with its alliance partners. This model also works in India. Quantum’s main focus has always been to build committed partners. The Quantum Alliance Partner Programme is dedicated to help resellers and distributors around the world to increase their sales of Quantum’s Tape Libraries, Autoloaders, Software, Disk-Based Backup Systems, Drives and Media products.
Sunny adds, “In India, distributors and VARs are extremely important to us as we are a channel-focussed company. Our award-winning programme, Quantum Alliance, features three member levels: Distributor, Registered VAR and Premier VAR. Membership to a specific level is based upon a reseller meeting certain requirements, including sales volumes and network storage competencies.”
This online programme has given us the flexibility of offering value-added offerings to our partners. Moreover, we run multiple high- response, end-user lead-generation campaigns and push 100 per cent of the leads back to the channel.
In addition, Quantum provides channel partners with deal registration which we call OIP (Opportunity Identification Programme). OIP rewards resellers for developing opportunities by providing them a special discount for that deal which is the ultimate form of protection.
Quantum trains its existing channel partners and offers incentives such as the Quantum Visa CashCard, which is the company’s synonym for a prepaid debit card. This motivates the Channel Partners to increase Quantum’s sales.
Quantum recently appointed StorIT, a leading storage specialist, as a value-added distributor for India. The agreement strengthens Quantum’s channel strategy in India and leverages the combined storage expertise of both companies to deliver data protection solutions and consulting services to address the increasingly complex IT environment and high growth levels of data storage.
The company simultaneously appointed Ideal Broadcasting, an arm of Ideal Systems Asia-Pacific Ltd., as an Indian value-added reseller for its StorNext data management software. The agreement strengthens Quantum’s channel strategy in the region and leverages the combined experience of both companies to deliver data management solution specifically to the rich media government and specific market. Another advantage of being a Quantum Alliance partner is Quantum’s “direct assist” model. Quantum invests significant resources into creating end-user demand through marketing and sales endeavours. When an end-user is ready to purchase Quantum, then it affords Quantum Alliance partner an opportunity to conduct the transaction. Naturally, this helps our partners to learn how to develop future opportunities on their own. Quantum does not sell directly which means that the company never competes with its channel partners.
With new solutions that support consolidated network storage and enable cost- effective replication and long-term data archiving, it is now easier than ever before for IT managers to manage and optimize their storage requirements. And, it has seen an increase in the adoption rate in India.
Quantum is the largest independent backup, recovery and archive vendor in the world, and we are committed to provide the best backup, recovery and archive solutions to all the market segments worldwide, including the SMB market. Quantum has provided excellent solutions to many satisfied customers in this market, based on the feature set, reliability and cost, and in turn this market has contributed substantial revenue to Quantum and our partners. Hence, it is pivotal in Quantum’s strategy to continue to serve this market segment well.
In order to make the marketing work easy, Quantum has a concept centre in its India headquarters (Bangalore). The company also makes demonstration units available to its partners at very attractive prices so that they can maintain their own concept centres for their customers. The new and emerging government regulations, coupled with ever-increasing data storage needs, accelerate the urgency for IT administrators to ensure that their information systems and records are archived accurately and efficiently. Public and private companies in virtually all of the data-intensive industries, such as financial services, pharmaceutical, life sciences and government, face a tremendous burden to comply with a variety of new compliance regulations.
Quantum’s mid-market and SMB focus would be on verticals of telecom, BFSI, manufacturing, health and media companies, to name a few.
Today, with the storage and backup solutions becoming affordable coupled with the drop in its cost, there has been a marked change in the market. Storage has been accepted by customers cutting across verticals such as entertainment, financial, banking services, software development, Internet services, value-added services, outsourcing, B
POs, call centres and designing. It is not merely large enterprises’ domain, but it is also being used by even smaller organizations. Government and the telecom sector are also the hot segments for us.
But Sunny maintains, “We would like to tap the SMB market in India more than in other countries, since it is growing at a fast rate. The majority of the SMBs here require efficient data backup systems without compromising on the cost.”
Support is the major issue for any network storage and security. Therefore, Quantum offers comprehensive support such as 7x24x4 hour onsite service. The company also maintains spares inventory in India as its objective is to avoid customer downtime at all costs. With solutions like Quantum’s iLayer, the company continually monitors to predict failures so that a replacement can be made before it has failed (e.g. fan, hard drive, power supply, etc.).
Quantum as a leader in the space also never allows itself loose when it comes to data security. The company adopts three levels of security including data access, administrative access and physical access.
In India, the adoption rate of Quantum solutions is also quite high. Some of the successful and happy customers include the South Indian Bank where the company has implemented DR solution and also successfully done live DR drills. Also, a DR site has been set up with all the facilities in a separate seismically lower risk zone (different city).
The South Indian Bank is using Quantum Virtual Tape solutions and Tape Libraries for data backup. Also, Oracle Dataguard solutions are being used for database synchronization. These solutions have helped to safeguard their data and ensure availability of data/continuity of business operations during DR drills and any other eventuality.
With a high level of redundancy of its products, proactive monitoring and comprehensive support services, Quantum is a popular brand all across the network storage and backup space. Further, its new DXi series of disk-based backup products are designed to be replicated over a network WAN. With the growth of the company, Quantum has consistently grown its sales in India each year. To manage the growth, this year, the company is increasing its sales and strengthening marketing and service teams so that the company can further meet the needs of the Indian customers.