By Kevin Komiega
-- Seagate Technology has been building its storage services portfolio through acquisitions over the course of the past two years. Today the company is starting the next phase of its strategy with the launch of i365, a new company created to provide all of Seagate's software-as-a-service (SaaS), hosting, managed storage, and consulting services under a single brand.
Seagate has been building toward the i365 launch since 2006, gobbling up smaller companies along the way to create a comprehensive data management and protection services portfolio.
In 2006, Seagate acquired ActionFront Data Recovery Labs and created Seagate Recovery Services. In 2007, Seagate acquired EVault (which provides data backup-and-recovery software and SaaS), the Open File Manager product line from St. Bernard Software, and MetaLINCS (which provides e-discovery software as well as hosted and managed services).
Until today, Seagate has been operating each of its acquisitions as stand-alone businesses. Mark Grace, former president of Seagate Services and new general manager of i365, says taking a piecemeal approach has worked well, but it is an approach that limits potential growth.
"As we built this portfolio we continued to allow these companies to pursue their markets and go to market under their individual brand identities, but that will only get us so far," says Grace.
As a result, the products that make up the Seagate portfolio in this market will retain their pre-existing nomenclature, but will be sold under the i365 brand.
The new i365 portfolio comprises i365 EVault Data Protection software and SaaS offerings for backup and recovery; i365 Retention Management solutions for data recovery, migration, restoration, and data management; and i365 MetaLINCS E-Discovery services for first-pass processing and content analysis of electronic information.
According to Grace, i365 is launching with about 500 employees and an existing customer base of approximately 22,000. Over time, he says, i365 will invest significant dollars in research and development as it continues to integrate its products and services around data management, retention, and archiving.