At least a half-dozen tape storage businesses will meet behind the scenes at the Comdex trade show next week in Las Vegas to discuss creating an industry consortium.
Called the Tape Technology Council, the meeting attendees—who will probably include representatives from IBM, Seagate Technology LLC, Sony Electronics Inc., Storage Technologies Corp. and Tandberg Data ASA—will begin work to advance the tape storage business and to educate users that the aging technology still has a future, said Jim Ellis, director of business strategy at Oakdale, Minn.s Imation Corp., which is leading the efforts.
Tape storage technology was first developed in the late 1950s by IBM.
"There is no voice in the tape industry when someone says tape is dead," Ellis said. "We were in a good position to try to start something.
"The agenda for this meeting is just to get these few companies together to see if it makes sense to have a tape council, and how we might be formed, and if we did form, what the charter would be."
The council could address issues like tape capacity and transfer rates, and could publish white papers, exhibit at trade shows, establish consistent industry terminology, he said. It also could build a resources Web site.
Industry analyst David Hill, of Aberdeen Group Inc., in Boston, said the group could be good for looking at new innovations. Also, "they may be looking at how they can work together" in light of Imations pending lawsuit against Quantum Corp., Hill said. Imation is suing Quantum, of Milpitas, Calif., over alleged price-fixing.
Besides figuring out exactly what the organization will do, the group next week needs to figure out things like what the dues will be and how it will be organized. To help, Imation has hired Creative Business Inc.s Rich Harada. Harada also works with the High Density Storage Association and the Optical Storage Technology Association, running both from his Hillsdale, N.J., headquarters.
"Its going to be open to any tape manufacturer or technology provider or developer that wants to join," Ellis said.
The meeting was scheduled to happen on Sept. 19 in Chicago, but was delayed because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.