CA, Sony Team Up On Storage

Through the alliance, which will target the midrange and enterprise storage markets in North America, Europe, Japan and Asia, CA and Sony are launching "a joint bid to acquire a significant stake in a growing storage marketplace," said Stephen Richards, executive vice president of sales and field operations at CA, Islandia, N.Y.

Storage-market growth is currently driven by customers seeking secure, powerful, easy-to-use technology, including small and midsize customers as well as vertical-market customers required to keep up with legislation such as the Security and Exchange Commission's record retention rules or HIPAA, Richards said.

The vendors also said they plan to ship the first deliverables from the alliance in August, including the integration of CA's BrightStor ARCserve Backup v9 with WORM (write-once read-many)-enabled family of StorStation Advanced Intelligent Tape autoloaders and libraries from Sony Electronics, a U.S subsidiary of Sony.

Prices for the combined products will start at about $4,500.

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The alliance calls for the future integration Sony's PetaSite storage systems with CA's BrightStor Enterprise Backup software, as well as the combination of Sony's file servers and tape libraries with CA's BrightStor Mobile Backup storage management software.

The companies also plan to develop new solutions aimed at vertical markets.

The alliance will leverage both companies' distribution networks, said Hideki Komiyama, group executive officer of Sony and president and COO of Sony Electronics.

"For those channels that we share in common, we can deliver a solution to them for resale via forming a commitment to each other's channel distribution strategy. For those we do not share, [we will] create an opportunity for the development of a new avenue into the market," Komiyama said.

For Sony, widely known for its consumer electronics products, the move is part of a push to build up the company's position in corporate IT marketplace, Komiyama said.

"This is one of the new challenges we're facing," he said.

In addition to the storage arena, Sony is eyeing the corporate market in areas such as security, videoconferencing and digital signage, Komiyama said.

Sony plans to develop more software-vendor partnerships like the CA alliance to help boost its position in the corporate IT arena, he said.

"As we're getting into the IT applications side of our business, just like the case of this Computer Associates alliance, we are going to expand more alliances in specific areas such videoconferencing," Komiyama said. "That's part of our new strategy."