Data storage protection vendor Tandberg Data is emphasising good, old-fashioned service as it heads into 2009.
Confident that its fitness level will remain high, the vendor plans to support its channel in the fight against a sluggish economy.
Gary Preston, sales director for EMEA at Tandberg Data, said: “Due to the current economic climate, companies will continue to fight for business. Now is the time to invest in some good staff, educate them, and roll up your sleeves and get dirty.
“They say that 2008 was the year the party ended, and certainly in the IT industry we received a few sharp reminders of what can happen in an economic downturn.”
In October, Tandberg posted revenues of $41m (£27.6m) for quarter three 2008, a decrease of $8m compared with Q3 2007. However, the vendor’s loss before tax narrowed to $1.7m compared with losses of $9.5m for Q3 2007.
Preston pointed out that throughout the gloom, one fact remains: data volumes continue to grow at prolific rates and organisations of all sizes need to find ways to efficiently address, secure and retrieve it, but in a more cost-effective manner than they have done over the past decade.
Preston said Tandberg’s partners have focused through the year on advising SMEs on how to reduce budgets while increasing data protection, usually through a mix of tape and disk in their storage infrastructure.
“Effective use of both has been proven to actually lower costs while providing total security and accessibility of data. The combination of cost-effective disk to ensure that data is constantly available at speed, with lower-cost tape, which can lower power consumption in the server room, is reassuring in this climate,” said Preston.
Danny Jolly, storage sales executive at Tandberg reseller Willow Starcom, said: “Tandberg fully supports us as a partner and helps business. If there is a problem, it is logged and quickly dealt with so there is more time to generate leads or support customers.”
Preston said it is important that Tandberg supports its partners when needed, but without treading on their toes. “The fact that we are 100 per cent channel means our partners can be safe in the knowledge that we will not poach their deals, but help close them.”
Budgets take a beating
Preston explained that enterprises are searching for cheaper solutions and are looking towards products for the SME on which they can build as they grow.
“The principles and benefits of tiered storage are filtering and reaping rewards for SMEs. Companies may not be able to justify spending on storage they do not need yet, so instead of a 200-slot library, give them an 80-slot for now.
“Budgets have been effectively freed by using tape as the easy off-site archiving method for older data to free up space on the more expensive primary disk,” he said.
Jolly said that Tanberg looks to enhance what the customer already has. “We are an SME-focused company and have found that people are changing their strategies to become more focused in this area. We concentrate on consolidating what the customer already has and building on it if needed.
“The fact that Tandberg has an upgrade pass means that a customer can make improvements at its own speed, instead of having to buy an expensive system straight away and then being stuck with it. Upgrading means the customer does not have to buy a completely new system.”
Preston stressed that good service to customers will continue to be Tandberg’s focus as the vendor heads into 2009.
“Our philosophy is based on providing a good service to our partners and their customers, as there is a shortage of it in the UK.
“We are not saying that systems do not break down, but if they do, our flat internal structure enables us to jump on the problem.”
Good, old-fashioned service
And this approach works well for the firm’s partners. “We like the fact that Tandberg has old-school values and is always on hand to help,” said Jolly. When dealing with a large company it can sometimes lack that personal touch, but Tandberg makes a point of coming out to visit us.
“The services from Tandberg filter through to our own customers. It is important not to fit and forget – we want to keep our customers. Most new customers come from recommendations instead of through marketing so it is essential that businesses send people out to knock on doors and get their faces known,” said Preston.
“One thing is sure, although data storage may not be the sexiest character at the party, it certainly remains one of the most stable.”
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