OnStream Consolidates Entry-Level Tape Operations, Plans Channel Push

The company, which had been based in Austin, Texas, since its emergence from bankruptcy last year, had used the San Diego facilities for manufacturing but will now have all of its sales and support functions under that one roof, said newly appointed Vice President of North America Sales Richard Singh.

As part of the reorganization, OnStream has replaced its outside sales team with an inside group dedicated to supporting solution providers, Singh said. Also, the company is changing its customer-care team into a field-sales team aimed at evangelizing solution providers and providing a variety of channel support functions, he said.

OnStream currently works with about 1,100 channel partners in North America, including retail partners. The bulk of those partners stayed with the company through the bankruptcy, Singh said.

About 65 percent of the company's entry-level ADR tape drives are sold via direct marketers. Thirty-five percent move through systems integrators, but Singh said he expects that ratio to be reversed in the near future. OnStream plans to have about 2,000 channel partners by year's end--many of them from the white-box space, he said.

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In addition, the company is revamping its solution provider programs, with plans to introduce its first tiered channel initiative and its first market-development funds sometime this year, said Bertha Edington, director of channel marketing at OnStream.

OnStream currently sells the second generation of its ADR tape drives and media, which write a maximum of 120 Gbytes of compressed data to a standard, high-quality VCR tape, Singh said.

By early next year, the company expects to have introduced ADR-3, which will include a slight improvement in drive technology with the addition of metal tape for a maximum compressed capacity of 200 Gbytes. Third-generation products will be read-compatible and write-compatible with ADR-2 media, Singh said.

OnStream's road map calls for ADR-4 to offer a maximum compressed capacity of 400 Gbytes per cartridge, ADR-5 to deliver up to 700 Gbytes per cartridge and ADR-6 to offer up to 1.4 Tbytes, he said.

The company also recently introduced an IDE tape drive with a maximum capacity of 120 Gbytes, and plans to unveil a USB model with similar capacity in May, Singh said.