Quantum re-emphasizes 'solutions' strategy


Having officially extricated itself from the disk drive market, Quantum says it will now concentrate on expanding its storage systems businesses.

Maxtor shareholders approved the acquisition of Quantum HDD earlier this month, making Maxtor the industry's largest hard-drive manufacturer in terms of total unit shipments, according to industry analysts. Maxtor and Quantum had combined revenues in excess of $6 billion last year.

Quantum reported a tenfold increase in storage systems revenue over the last three years, with the greatest thrust coming from recent investments in its automation, storage area network (SAN), and network-attached storage (NAS) businesses.

Current solutions include backup appliances, SAN and NAS backup for Network Appliance filers, a certified SAN solutions program, and consolidated NAS/SAN backup for mixed storage environments.

"Customers are looking for increasingly creative means to store and protect their data, which we believe is a tremendous opportunity for us," says Michael Brown, chairman and CEO at Quantum. "We believe we have a leadership position [in data protection] and will play an increasing role in the storage solutions business."

Based on data from International Data Corp. (IDC), data protection represents a $15 billion market opportunity. DLT-tape, Quantum's bread-and-butter business, has an 87% share of the midrange server backup market, according to IDC.

Quantum acquired ATL Products in 1998. In 1999, the company acquired NAS appliance vendor Meridian Data. Earlier this year, Quantum purchased U.K.-based M4 Data, a manufacturer of tape libraries. Quantum says it will also look to acquire software vendors in an effort to add functionality to its current storage lineup.

In terms of actual product launches, "we've had the most aggressive quarter in the company's history," says Brown. Quantum began shipping Super DLTtape drives, Snap ES12 appliances, and M4/M1500 libraries.

Most recently, the company introduced the P3000 Gemini SAN/NAS library (see "Quantum/ATL ships GE/ FC library," p. 10) and announced plans to begin shipping Quantum-branded DLT1 tape drives.

Quantum expects 50% of its revenues to come from its storage solutions business this fiscal year, up from 52% last December.

This article was originally published on May 01, 2001