CEO Belluzzo: Why Quantum Offers a Fresh Alternative

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2006-11-06

CEO Belluzzo: Why Quantum Offers a Fresh Alternative

Rick Belluzzo, CEO and chairman of San Jose, Calif.-based data storage disk/tape drive maker Quantum, sees the IT landscape from many different perspectives.

Belluzzo, 53, was a key factor in building Hewlett-Packards considerable reputation in the printer and desktop computer business in the 1990s. He also served as Silicon Graphics CEO from 1998 to 2001 and was president and COO of Microsoft for 18 months prior to coming to Quantum in 2002.

Belluzzo presided over Quantums $770 million acquisition of ADIC in August. ADIC had claimed to be the worlds largest supplier of automated tape systems using client-server drives.

Belluzzo says he envisions his $1.2 billion company as the No. 1 "alternative" full-service data storage/backup/archiving vendor apart from the current market leaders: IBM, EMC, HP, NetApp. He spoke with eWEEK Senior Writer Chris Preimesberger and also wrote via e-mail about the companys future plans.

Exactly how is Quantum now positioning itself in the market, following the acquisition of ADIC?

Our recent acquisition of ADIC is about creating the leading global storage company specializing in backup, recovery and archive solutions. In a world of OEM storage generalists and small startups, we believe there is a need for a large independent specialist in this market, and we are now uniquely positioned to meet this need.

Read more here about Quantums acquisition of ADIC.

In contrast to system OEMs and other primary storage providers, we have the focused expertise, customer-driven innovation and platform independence to address the increasingly critical and complex challenges in backup, recovery and archive.

In addition, unlike startups that offer point products or technologies, we have the global scale and scope to serve a worldwide customer base, with a comprehensive portfolio of systems, software, devices and services and nearly 1,000 sales, marketing and service employees in customer-facing roles.

Youve described the new Quantum as the one true "alternative" to the conventional market leaders, IBM, HP, EMC. Why should Quantum be considered this alternative?

Customers today face a number of challenges in backup, recovery and archive. Beyond just dealing with the continued growth of data, they must meet more demanding recovery point and time objectives, comply with new regulations, and ensure that their data is secure both within their organizations and when its sent offsite.

They must do so in a continually evolving and typically heterogeneous environment with constrained staffs and budgets. As a result, the need for a specialist in this market greater than ever.

While OEMs and primary storage providers have much to offer in the broader storage landscape—and we have strong partnerships with them—their main focus is not backup, recovery and archive. In fact, they often view this as just an add-on or afterthought in a larger sale.

For Quantum, however, all our resources are focused on addressing customers backup, recovery and archive needs, which means we can provide more relevant solutions, consultation and service.

As an independent provider, we also dont lock customers into a proprietary infrastructure—our solutions arent tied to a single operating system, server platform, or compute environment, giving customers choice and flexibility.

The other advantage we offer customers is the unique ability to intelligently integrate disk and tape, systems and devices, as well as software and services.

What makes us unique is the fact that nobody else in the backup, recovery and archive market designs and develops all of this internally.

Next Page: Bringing it to the table.

Bringing It to the


What does ADIC bring to the table that Quantum didnt have, and vice versa?

There were three main reasons we acquired ADIC—to expand our market access, create a stronger growth platform and enhance our financial position. In terms of market access, Quantum now has a much more significant presence in the branded channel and a broader base of OEMs.

Both ADIC and Quantum were well connected with Dell, but ADIC brought us new partnerships such as EMC and Apple and stronger ties to OEMs like IBM that complemented strong relationships we already had with others such as HP and Sun.

From a geographic standpoint, ADIC has had a larger presence in Europe and China while Quantum has been stronger in India and other parts of APAC. Looking at market segments, ADIC has been particularly strong in the enterprise and Quantum in the high-volume channel.

In many ways, however, its simply the combination of the two companies and resulting scale that is most significant. For example, weve tripled our sales force and doubled our service resources.

Regarding the stronger growth platform, both Quantum and ADIC have been at the forefront of developing innovative solutions in disk-based backup, including enterprise VTL offerings.

However, ADIC did not have a midrange solution like we did (DX3000 and DX5000), and we did not have data de-duplication technology that ADIC brought us from its acquisition of Rocksoft.

We will now combine these assets, along with remote replication, in our first new integrated disk-based platform that we plan to launch by the end of this year.

Were also excited about ADICs StorNext software for specialized workflow and large-scale archive, which we plan to integrate more broadly across our combined solutions portfolio.

Is Quantum now a complete company—finished with acquisitions?

Right now, we are focused on integrating ADIC and continuing to provide innovative solutions that offer even greater value and a better overall experience for customers in backup, recovery and archive.

As the leading specialist in this market with global scale and a comprehensive portfolio, we believe we are uniquely positioned to help customers address their evolving needs. However, given this evolution, we will certainly be open to additional acquisitions over the longer term.

Tell me something about Quantums goods and services that you believe people dont know—but should know.

I would again mention the fact that we have nearly 1,000 sales, marketing and service employees in customer-facing roles that are totally focused on backup, recovery and archive. In addition, we offer a comprehensive range of services from product purchase through product lifecycle, including service support in 180 countries.

One of our most valuable service offerings is StorageCare Guardian, a remote monitoring and diagnostic solution that enables us to proactively monitor the health of Quantum systems over the Internet and use intelligent diagnostics data to remotely service the equipment if issues arise.

This provides more reliable backups and faster resolution time at no additional cost for customers with supported products under warranty or service contract.

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