Q&A: FalconStor CEO James McNiel

Posted on November 04, 2010

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November 4, 2010 – The departure last month of FalconStor president, CEO and chairman ReiJane Huai may have signalled a change in direction and strategy at the company. Enterprise Storage Forum editor Kevin Komiega recently spoke with James McNiel, who was named interim CEO after Huai’s exit.

Here are some excerpts:

Enterprise Storage Forum: What is your strategy for building FalconStor’s business going forward?

McNiel: Since the beginning, FalconStor’s customers have always been OEMs – the EMCs and Suns of the world – and not corporate IT executives. The company didn’t move rapidly into distribution, work to create a brand name or name recognition, or a branded channel. Most of the OEMs have come to the conclusion that they need to own their own technology, whether it be virtualization, deduplication, virtual tape, replication, etc., which puts FalconStor in a difficult position.

We will continue to have strong OEM partnerships, but at the same time we have an opportunity to build a loyal reseller channel. We have to change our customer focus and start speaking a different language.

Enterprise Storage Forum: How are your partners reacting to the internal changes and the shift in strategy?

McNiel: The discussions we’ve had with our OEM partners have been really positive. The most important thing to them is an assurance that the products they buy from us and resell are of the highest quality. We are in the process of going through a fairly significant audit process to make sure of that. Is that to say that we didn’t make sure of that in the past? Yes, that’s what I’m saying.

In the past, we may have let some [technologies] get out before they were fully vetted. That might be too harsh, but the reality is that we are a heterogeneous company and we have not done as good a job as we could have. Our number one priority today is to deliver the highest quality products in the industry.

Read the full interview on InfoStor partner site Enterprise Storage Forum: “5 Questions With FalcoStor CEO James McNiel”

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