Bruce Gow, director—Enterprise Storage Business (ESSG), Compaq Computer Asia Pacific, was in India recently to study the storage market in the country and to evolve strategies to boost the vendor’s market share. Gow spoke to N Geetha about Compaq’s expansion plans and channel strategies in the storage market.
How do you view the Indian storage market?
There is phenomenal software talent in this country and we intend to tap the potential in the storage market here through significant investments. Our storage business in India grew 40 percent last year and contributed 10 percent of our APAC storage revenues.
What is Compaq’s positioning in the storage space?
Our key strategy is our emphasis on open SANs and development of storage management software. Our enterprise network storage architecture (ENSA) is open, modular, and scalable, and offers ‘many-to-many’ functionality. Our competitors do not offer this kind of migration path. Our ENSA architecture allows data to be moved across the entire spectrum, from archive and restore to snapshot cloning and remote disaster recovery centers.
What are your plans in the Indian storage market?
We will look for investment opportunities in Indian software companies that are developing storage-related technologies. We have a $100-million fund globally for investing in storage technology companies and we may even go in for outright acquisitions. We also plan to set up test centers for storage products from multiple vendors, which will enable customers to get a first-hand knowledge of the products before making their purchase decisions. The first such center, called a ‘Sincubator’, will be set up in Mumbai.
Do you intend to expand your storage division?
We currently have 12 people in our storage division, which we intend to increase to 100. There have been a few layoffs in Compaq India’s other divisions, and we plan to induct some of those employees into the storage division. We are also expanding our channel base.
What are your channel plans to grow the storage business?
I have asked the storage division to look for partners in the southern and eastern regions. Currently, 30 percent of our storage revenues come from the North, 35 percent from the West, 25 percent from the South, and 10 percent from the East. We will forge strategic partnerships in these regions to address niche segments, and also offer training to these partners to enable them to evangelize our storage architecture and provide value-add.
Investment will not be a constraint in our efforts at training our partners and about 80 resellers are already being offered specialized training. Compaq India has so far sold nine units of its MA8000 SAN solution through its reseller channel. We also intend to push the MA12000 solution through the resellers.
How is the your channel and marketing strategy in India different from that in other markets?
In India, we have been traditionally stronger in technology than in marketing. In the US, about 65 percent of our storage revenue comes via the channels, while in the Australian market, the channel contributes 90 percent of the storage revenues. In the APAC region as a whole, 35 percent comes from direct sales, 30 percent from SIs, and 35 percent from the channels. Compaq’s global external storage market is valued at $2 billion while the Proliant-based market is worth $6 billion.