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Quantum's Belluzzo Bets On Midrange Automation Arena

CRN Senior Editor Edward F. Moltzen interviewed Quantum CEO Rick Belluzzo prior to the vendor&s recent product launch to talk about strategy and other issues. Following are excerpts.

Senior Editor Edward F. Moltzen interviewed Quantum CEO Rick Belluzzo prior to the vendor&s recent product launch to talk about strategy and other issues. Following are excerpts.

CRN: So where is Quantum now, several years after you began refocusing it?

BELLUZZO: The company has been around for quite some time, primarily focused on hard disks. And then in 2001, we divested the hard-drive business and we began a journey of repositioning the company. And ultimately our mission [became] to be a leader in backup recovery and archive and data protection—believing that is a vibrant area of storage.

CRN: Your new products focus on the midrange segment. Why is that an important direction for Quantum?

BELLUZZO: Our midrange libraries are really important. While tape is somewhat mature, the midrange automation segment is an area where there is lots of growth and opportunity. I think it&s also really important from the channel perspective in that it is probably the area where there is the most potential to grow business. It&s an area where you can surround capability with those products because we&re trying to redefine the enterprise with those products.

CRN: Why do you see more opportunity in that area?

BELLUZZO: It&s just the way the market has shifted. Because of the way tape drives have grown in capability and capacity, you have the potential to build an enterpriselike product for the bigger marketplace at very competitive prices. We are basically taking high-performance, high-capacity tape drives and putting them in these new platforms and being able to deliver a family of products that deliver enterprise capability. So it reaches into the midmarket but also meets the needs of the enterprise.

CRN: What does the Sun Microsystems-StorageTek deal mean for Quantum?

BELLUZZO: Sun&s been an important partner for us. In some ways, we view [Sun&s acquisition of StorageTek] as a good thing because we have another major system player who has a big position in storage, and we think that&s a good thing as we partner with them. On our branded business, we think it gives us, also, an opportunity to position a new set of products as the channel works to absorb what this change means. We are now the largest independent provider of tape products, now that StorageTek is integrated with Sun. We think that the industry needs that. We think the channel needs that.

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