McData to tap demand for services

Storage networking vendor McData says its recent acquisition of long-distance data specialist Computer Network Technology (CNT) will double its number of customer-facing staff and tap into a US$6 billion storage services market.Senior vice president of world-wide sales and services Gary Gysin told ZDNet Australia  his company's customers -- who operate more than 10,000 of the world's largest data centres -- had been asking for more direct McData contact for a long time.

Storage networking vendor McData says its recent acquisition of long-distance data specialist Computer Network Technology (CNT) will double its number of customer-facing staff and tap into a US$6 billion storage services market.

Senior vice president of world-wide sales and services Gary Gysin told ZDNet Australia  his company's customers -- who operate more than 10,000 of the world's largest data centres -- had been asking for more direct McData contact for a long time.

"They want more resources in front of them in terms of professional and break-fix services," said Gysin. "We've got over 400 people in the services organisation, and these are all people who will engage directly with our customers".

The executive is a worldwide tour talking to McData's largest customers. He says they have continually told him that while McData's staff have a track record of speedily resolving customers' issues once they get involved, historically that process has taken a while to actually kick off.

"It might take a while to get through the path before [a problem] gets escalated to a McData technician," he said. "So the biggest area of frustration is, customers don't want to wait two weeks, or a week or even days. They say: 'If we have an issue and it's serious, we want your guys deployed instantaneously.'"

Other concerns expressed by customers included the immediate need to get McData help in building disaster recovery centres and the ability to move large amounts of data vast distances between international data centres.

"We've got very large entities in Singapore, Switzerland and here in Sydney that want to tie their infrastructure together," said Gysin.

Just one of CNT's products will be dropped in the merger -- a high-end Director class product which clashed with McData's own Intrepid 10k Director.

In Australia, the CNT acquisition and some organic growth will see McData's prescence swell from two to eight employees, while the wider Asia-Pacific region the company has doubled its staff numbers.

Ken Cooper, Australia/New Zealand country manager, said locally McData counted "all the major banks, the majority of the telcos, the major utilities, and government departments" among its customers. Cooper said the company's Fabric range of switches had been "phenomenally successful" locally.

Customers shouldn't expect McData's acquisition splurge -- which has seen four companies snapped up over the last three years -- to finish any time soon, according to Gysin. "I wouldn't expect that we're done," he said.

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