Iomega is lately becoming quite aggressive across SMBs. Why the shift from core focus on consumer segment?
Huberman: Iomega operates across NAS, DAS and Multimedia. DAS is becoming a less interesting market as most offices/houses have more than one computing device and a single attached disk does not suffice the technology requirements. The price difference between DAS and NAS has reduced dramatically. We will however continue in multimedia, which is a tiny part of the business. Let me clarify that we are not abandoning consumer business.
China and India have colossal SMB footprint especially the ‘S’ part. Hence, the opportunity is enormous. In next few years, we would predominantly become ‘SMB and Distributed Enterprises’ Company. NAS across Indian SMBs are completely under-penetrated and we are targeting this through a solutions-based approach.
But most technology vendors do pursue a solutions-based approach than a ‘box-push’ for SMBs.
Huberman: Software is where all vendors are differentiated. NAS box, with no additional software other than the basic one is only good for file share and backup. Our personal file technology shifts the mentality of local file sharing and back up and moves it from LAN on WAN. Video surveillance, video monitoring and analysis would be largest drivers in India. We announced partnership with Tulip Telecom and Mindtree around innovative video surveillance solutions for SMB and distributed networks in India. Mindtree and Iomega would take the same technology across the globe.
How will Iomega win fierce competition in the NAS market with dozens of vendors, including the likes of Buffalo and Netgear?
Huberman: It is a price dependant game, as we try to be lowest priced to succeed in volume centric market. The capability lies in our software to deliver ease-of -use products with solutions wrapped around them. We have more feet on street and the wide network of multiple offices of EMC in India. The post sales support includes both local and global, which is from EMC CoE offering L1/L2 support to end customers. We recently announced next business day service plan for SMBs.
How does Iomega leverage the technology expertise and brand recall of EMC?
Huberman: Iomega has extensive NAS portfolio targeting SMBs starting from 300 USD in India up to 10000 USD. We are launching wide range of refresh products next year for this segment.
For software, we rely on EMC Avamar technology mainly across end point for smaller /distributed offices. The mainline storage structure in corporates can run on EMC NAS, but when it comes to smaller branches, cost becomes an issue. With Avamar software installed on every product, Iomega NAS can tie back to EMC NAS in the corporate house.
Doesn’t this synergy result in a conflict of both brands during deals?
Huberman: On hardware side, VNXe is lowest-end product from EMC for mainline enterprises. There is barely an overlap. NAS from EMC and Iomega are fundamentally different products. Iomega NAS is more value oriented, with great flexibility and application support while EMC offers high availability and premium products. It really depends on what the user wants and at what price points.
What about channel partnerships? Do you depend on the long standing partner base of EMC?
Huberman: We have at least one common distributor across most countries. Technically we both go after different market segments. For example a small jewelry shop cannot afford EMC NAS but can opt for Iomega or our competition. India distributors for Iomega are Neoteric and Redington (who are also EMC distributors). Our program is ioclub which is quite different from EMC Velocity partner program. Some systems integrators are common to both. However, we have more partners (1000 plus) than EMC in India. We sell more petabytes across large number of SMBs.