Seagate looks to new enterprise partners as eVault brand departs in enterprise push

The scalability of the old eVault solutions has been massively increased up to 400 per cent, so Seagate is rebranding them with the Seagate name and looking to extend them into the enterprise data centre market, as well as the ROBO space where they play today.

David Flesh Seagate 300

David Flesh, Seagate’s vice president of marketing for cloud systems and electronics

Seagate has announced a rebranding and significant upscaling of its eVault brand, with new and updated Hybrid Cloud Data Protection that leverages Seagate’s own brand, and which are targeted more at the enterprise data centre, a market its former eVault offerings simply lacked the scalability to address.

This isn’t the first time Seagate has tried to rebrand eVault. After they acquired eVault in 2007, a year later they placed it within i365, a new organization Seagate created. By 2011, eVault was out of i365 and the brand was back, because Seagate concluded it was simply a stronger brand.

This time, while eVault won’t disappear as a name overnight, Seagate has concluded that changes in the market require a stronger enterprise focus. While eVault was certainly sold to enterprise customers, it was typically for their remote office/branch office needs. The brand was associated with that market, as well as with SMBs.

seagate_logo 300“We are making this change as Seagate goes through a transformation of its image in the market since we announced our new logo in January,” said David Flesh, Seagate’s vice president of marketing for cloud systems and electronics. “We have traditionally been seen as a hard drive company and now are being seen as a problem solving company, which includes cloud systems and electronic solutions that have capabilities we are bringing to market that Seagate has not had before.”

The company wants to associate the Seagate brand with the enterprise push.

“We’ve had a tremendous response to the Seagate brand, so this the beginning of the phasing out of the eVault brand,” Flesh said. “It won’t be a light-switch turnover. Customers and partners will see it, but it will take time.”

The new and updated hybrid cloud solutions announces all have the Seagate brand. They include the Seagate Backup and Recovery Software, Seagate Cloud Backup and Recovery Services, Seagate Backup and Recovery Private Cloud, and Seagate Data Management Services.

Critical to the data centre push is that Seagate’s Backup and Recovery Software and Cloud Backup and Recovery Services now deliver up to a 400 per cent performance improvement in the speed of backup, restore and replication over the former Seagate eVault offering.

“Much of the increase comes from work we have done on the agents, and the algorithms in how we collect and dedupe data, improving the performance around all those different aspects,” Flesh said. “We are also leveraging the core capabilities of our systems business, particularly Xyratex, an OEM maker we acquired last year. This, and a lot of subsequent internal development, gives us the capability and skillset to engineer solutions and the ability to deliver rack scale appliances that leverage that back end infrastructure.”

Flesh acknowledged that Seagate simply hasn’t had a product for main data centres previously.

“One of our gaps before was the central data centre, because our focus was ROBO,” he said. “Enterprise customers wanted something for the main data centre and we haven’t had a solution to support that. We needed these performance increases for that.”

Flesh acknowledged that every potential enterprise prospect will likely have some competitor system in place, but maintained that market conditions and the Seagate brand will give them an opening.

“Our feedback we get from customers is that because of the amount of storage required, some are outgrowing their current systems and are looking for their next opportunity, which ideally will be a hybrid cloud-based solution, rather than just on-prem,” he said. “We are a very trusted brand as a storage provider. It’s an easy conversation to go from drives to storage solutions because we are also able to talk about how we support HPC for National Labs and have oil and gas customers — Big Data and Big Science with massive requirements in terms of storage.”

At the same time, Flesh stated that the product being scaled up to sell in the enterprise space won’t make it too complex or too pricey for SMBs, particularly since the main change is adding the scalability that will let the solution sell in the data centre in addition to where it plays now.

“We have heard loud and clear from enterprises and managed service providers and cloud providers that the ease of management is so important for the enterprise, the same as for the ROBO market,” he said. “They need that same ease of management in the data centre. The ability to extend out the storage pool very easily is other area we have focused on, because historically a limiting factor in scaling out the solution was a management overhead. We need to reduce management overhead.”

Finally, since Seagate will be looking to penetrate what is essentially a new market for them in the enterprise space, exactly what sales force they will use to get there becomes important. While they have a small direct sales force, most of their business goes through channel partners and Flesh said that won’t change. The channel sales force of the future appears to consist of three elements: existing channel partners who also sell, or who can sell, into the enterprise; MSP partners; and new enterprise-focused partners who have not sold Seagate in the past.

“On the MSP side, we have very strategic arrangements there,” he said. “On our existing partners, we have a set of successful partners who can sell in the enterprise. There is also an opportunity to go to a new set of partners who are more specialized in the enterprise space, and we will be working more with those partners over the course of the next year.”