Silicon Valley report: Major disk and tape provider Quantum moving into services
As part of our tour of the Silicon Valley at the beginning of June 2010, we had a meeting with representatives of Quantum in San Jose (photo of Jerry Lopatin, EVP in engineering on the left).
Quantum is traditionally associated with drives, it is a specialist firm, very focused on niche markets and making $700 million per annum. It is also a worldwide market share leader in tape automation and a major provider of data management software. Its acquisition of ADIC in 2006 "wasn't just about consolidating the tape market it was about growth into new markets" Bill Britts, VP of sales and marketing at Quantum in San Jose, declares.
Amongst its OEMs and partners are Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, HP, IBM and regional OEMs. Quantum is 2000 employees big and its most important strategic achievement in the past four years, is that it managed a shift from being "a 75% OEM-based company to a 75% Quantum-based branded revenue company" according to Britts. It's also moving from being a device company based on disk drives to a systems company with a sharp focus on software, therefore "moving the profit from that tape business and moving it into systems and software". Its go to market model is aimed at independent integrators, ISPs and partners. One of the most interesting traits of Quantum though is that its evolution is also describing a change of role of tape in backups, which is underlying an overall change in the industry.
Britts describes Quantum's evolution
I have interviewed Bill Britts, at the end of the presentation so as to explain to us what was at stake with this evolution of tape usage in backups. Firstly, Bill Britts explains, tape is moving away from operational recovery and discs are becoming the primary target for this purpose. It means also that tape is becoming a tool for long-term retention archives instead. As a consequence, the role of Quantum is also moving away from that of a mere hardware provider to that of a systems provider, with a sharp focus on de-deduplication and replication in order to improve disaster recovery. Quantum is also working with Orange Business Services in that respect, therefore providing state-of-the-art technology and disaster recovery for its enterprise clients.
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