With the acquisition of Certance, Quantum Corp. now has a bigger customer base and more tape technologies to sell. CEO Rick Belluzzo spoke to SearchStorage.com recently about the integration of LTO into its portfolio, as well as Quantum's plans to invest more in disk-based backup. And we couldn't resist asking about reports that he's a candidate for CEO at Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP).
SearchStorage: Quantum's sales have improved year over year since you took over the company in 2002, but how do plan to keep growing? Belluzzo: First, we need to finish the integration of Certance's LTO products. Also, we want to build on the momentum around disk-based backup, so we'll be making announcements in the area. We'll still invest mostly in tape, but we're seeing more disk being implemented for staging and we want to be ready. We'll continue to capitalize on our tape drive and media sales and push for growth with our tape automation products. SearchStorage:How has tape's role changed in the past two years, and how has Quantum adapted?
Belluzzo: The biggest change with tape is that it's now being used more for archiving. To address this, we've altered our product line by putting more focus on capacity. We've also added new tape management tools such as DLTSage, which has better diagnostics for tape management and DLTIce, which offers WORM capability. We're also seeing that disk is becoming the medium for intermediate backup and recovery. For this, we've added our DX-series disk-based backup systems. SearchStorage: How has the acquisition of Certance changed Quantum's competitive position? Belluzzo: It will help us expand our product portfolio with the addition of LTO media, and it will also increase our channel sales, OEMs, manufacturing and R&D. SearchStorage: Speaking of LTO, how do you plan to balance investments in LTO and SDLT? Belluzzo: LTO will be the stronger segment, but we will continue to expand SDLT. We have an installed base of SDLT users that are using tape more efficiently for long-term storage. Capacity is more important to them than performance. But obviously with the addition of LTO, we have a wider range of products and more customers. SearchStorage: LTO sales continue to surpass SDLT. Any plans to drop the price of SDLT to help sales? Belluzzo: We don't control the price of media, the manufacturers do. But the price of SDLT has been dropping and we're always working with OEMs to make sure products are priced for advantage. SearchStorage: Is Quantum making any non-tape investments beyond the DX-series products? Belluzzo: Yes, we must. I don't want to be here in two years saying 'We need to grow outside of the tape market.' So you'll be hearing more about disk investments. SearchStorage: There have been some articles naming you as a candidate for CEO position at Hewlett-Packard. Is this true? Belluzzo: I haven't read those. SearchStorage: We have. So is it safe to say that you are staying at Quantum? Belluzzo: I've only heard rumors about the HP position. I will say that I'm completely focused on Quantum going forward. It's been a lot of hard work the past three years to take Quantum from a company that was losing millions of dollars into profitability, and I'm dedicated to our plan to keep growing.