NetApp to expand Indian engineering outfit

Storage technology maker Network Appliance plans to tap India's talent pool and form partnerships to better penetrate the market.
Written by Isabelle Chan, Contributor

India has caught greater attention of storage technology provider Network Appliance.

According to Tom Georgens, NetApp's executive vice president and general manager of enterprise storage, India represents significant potential for the company and is one of the key markets marked for top investment this year.

Georgens, who was in Singapore last week, said during a media lunch that the company plans to beef up its three-year-old engineering and support site in the Indian city of Bangalore. The outfit, which currently employs 600 workers including contract staff, is expected to have about 750 engineers over the next year.

"NetApp has identified India as a strategic operation, and since NetApp has had a facility in India for some time, we have decided to grow this operation with additional investments and to leverage the vast pool of technical talent that exists in Bangalore to drive product innovation," he said.

Striking partnerships with major Indian IT services providers is something that NetApp hopes to do in India, too. Georgens said the Indian players, which are "not hardware focused" but strong in services, would help NetApp penetrate the market there.

Commenting on NetApp's product portfolio, he noted that besides focusing on growing its Asian business in the SAN (storage area network) and NAS (network attached storage) markets, NetApp is also looking to push its Decru data encryption technology which it acquired in 2005.

Suresh Nair, NetApp's managing director for Asean, said the market potential for Decru is high--not only among banks, but companies where issues such as data security and privacy protection are important.

"There is a lot of interest in encrypting tape here," Nair said, referring to growing concerns of data security breaches and customer data losses.

According to Georgens, Decru accounts for 3 percent of NetApp's total revenues. Last year, NetApp crossed the US$2 billion revenue mark for the first time.

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