VAR leads the call for back-up

StoreTech believes that its focus on storage and back-up core brands stands it in good stead for the rest of the year.

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By  Julian Pletts Published  April 20, 2009

StoreTech has made the storage and back-up market its core domain, choosing to concentrate on brands such as EonStor, Tandberg Data and Double-Take when others may have been tempted to diversify their product offering in search of higher sales. The firm believes it is this focus that stands it in good stead for the rest of the year.

StoreTech has a dual modus operandi when it comes to the sale of data storage and back-up solutions. “We are distributors for some products and also resell other products — we do a mix and match of reselling as well as providing solutions to some customers,” explained Anil Gupta, managing director at the Jebel Ali-based storage integrator.

While Gupta estimates that the company’s business is split evenly between both functions, he insists StoreTech’s status as a storage and back-up VAR remains its chief strength, particularly in light of the financial crisis that has affected the market.

Gupta admits that extracting payments from end-users — although not without problems — is easier than serving as a distributor and chasing debts from resellers that might be struggling to contend with the current pressures facing the market. “Right now our focus is on end-users,” confirmed Gupta, adding that whether operating as a distributor or reseller, StoreTech prefers to maintain a direct relationship with the final customer as much as possible.

“It is a matter of reliability at times and if I go along with the reseller they may choose what the customer wants and not necessarily promote my product. Many a time we go along with the reseller and approach the customer directly,” he said.

StoreTech targets both SMEs and corporates, and boasts some notable customer wins with organisations such as the Dubai World Trade Centre, Emaar and PetroChem Middle East.

Gupta claims the company has an edge over the competition in that no other channel outfit is focused exclusively on storage and back-up. Having said that, Gupta acknowledges that large regional names such as STME are competing in the same field, although he claims that broader infrastructure players do not present a direct threat.

“You can look at Alpha Data, Seven Seas or Intertec, but they are essentially into total infrastructure solutions, not completely focused on storage and back-up. There are actually very few companies entirely focused on storage and back-up,” he said. “That is where we score points over others — we are into a very niche business. We don’t do servers or networking, we only do storage and back-up.”

It is not just a narrow product focus and expertise that Gupta cites as the secret to competing with significantly larger opponents. He insists that customer service is also StoreTech’s forte and among the reasons that it has not been floored by the financial crisis.

However, like most resellers, repeating last year’s performance — when it generated sales of approximately US$5m — is likely to prove an arduous task this time around. “If we can match what we did in 2008 it would be a great achievement, but it is very tough for anybody to predict or say that they will have 25% growth, as we had last year,” said Gupta. “I am not looking at growth because if you look at the graph for the last four years everybody has been growing. 2008 was a good year so if you can realise the same in the economic slowdown then that is a great achievement,” he added.

Like many of its competitors in the Middle East storage arena, StoreTech is looking to exploit the fact that CIOs would be amiss to risk the integrity of their corporate data by reducing security investments. “I advise CIOs not to cut back on back-up because data is essential for the organisation and they cannot buy data from anywhere. New data can be generated of course, but old data that is lost is irreplaceable,” warned Gupta.

StoreTech

Address:
PO Box 18478
Jebel Ali Free Zone
Dubai, UAE

Contact:
Tel: +971 4 881 9627

Headcount:
4

Vendor partners:
Ingrasys, Infortrend, EonStor, Tandberg Data, Brocade, Symantec, Double-Take

Market focus:
StoreTech serves a dual purpose within the storage field by acting as a distributor as well as a VAR. In its capacity as a distributor it works as the sole representative for vendors such as Ingrasys.

Website:
www.storetechsys.com

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