ChannelWorld.IN : May 10, 2010
"With limited large players in Tier I and Tier III mainly comprising of resellers, we are targeting Tier II solution providers who understand customer requirements and provide good storage solutions."
Director & CEO, American Megatrends India (AMI)
Storage is a highly competitive technology segment as every vendor wants a slice of this growing marketplace. Highlight AMI’s plans for the Indian marketplace.
MANI: Agreed but AMI has a clear segment focus on Ethernet based storage consisting of IP-SAN and NAS appliances from 1TB to 128TB. We are not dabbling in other related technologies like tape library, fiber channel like most other vendors. The Ethernet based storage is growing at around 11% CAGR across Indian market which makes us optimistic about our foray in storage. In the past 18 months, we have seen ourselves grow as a player in the SMB to mid market across verticals like BFSI, ITES, Government and Media across India.
An IP-SAN or NAS box is a piece of hardware, irrespective of vendor make. What is AMI StorTrends differential factor?
MANI: The StorTrends software is robust with high performance that has built in advanced features offering faster I/O capability. While most storage companies use ‘copy on right’ technology, we use ‘redirect on write’ feature which reduces the read/write operations by almost half. AMI StorTrends has a built in WAN acceleration, unlike other storage solutions, for faster disaster recovery and other functionalities. The latest StorTrends iTX 2.7 Network Storage Software features Out-of-Band, OS-independent High Availability, Auto Provisioning. It offers an array of enterprise options, which is at par with the most sophisticated network storage software offerings in the market.
Traditional storage companies like EMC, NetApp, HP spend a lot on MDF, channel enablement and marketing activities. What is your channel strategy?
MANI: With limited large players in Tier I and Tier III that mainly comprise of resellers (box pushers), we are working with Tier II solution providers who understand customer requirements and provide good storage solutions. We have around 60 plus partners in India, which should grow at least three fold in next 18 months. We are not concerned about quantity but more keen on quality of partners.
What about your presence in India in terms of offices, technical staff and other resources for your customers?
MANI: AMI has a development and support centre in Chennai with a 300 plus employee base. Majority of development work of storage stack happens at this centre. We have sales and technical people across most major Indian cities. Since we have been present in India for the past 4 years, the appointment of channel partners and aggressive Indian plans have already been laid in the past two years. We ensure better margins, quick support and more business for our partners.
Which technology trends will drive the Ethernet storage market in India?
MANI: Virtualization, Web 2.0 and ERP/CRM adoption are the key trends. Productivity software like MS Exchange,OracleSQL will further increase demand for storage. The data loss during server/desktop hardware crash is less critical than a storage crash. The mindset amongst storage industry needs more awareness that a server (for operational efficiency) is different from storage (data storing for a long term). Storage is a not a box push but a continuous and integral part of an enterprise infrastructure. This is the message which partners can deliver best to end users. Hence, we want partners with good customer base and sound expertise to offer storage related solutions.
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