Spectra Logic Rolls Out Federal Channel Division, Dedicated Products

The new division, Spectra Logic Federal, should account for about one-fourth of the Boulder, Colo.-based company's revenue, and will maintain its own sales and systems engineers, as well as dedicated channel marketing, said Brian Grainger, director of federal sales. The group also is expected next month to release its first tape library aimed specifically at this market.

Steve Bishop, CTO of VeriStor Systems, an Atlanta-based solution provider who works with Spectra Logic and government clients, said federal clients, especially military and intelligence, are much different than traditional commercial accounts. They need special support, such as security clearances for installation and services. There are also unique issues related to procurement, such as having the right resources including GSA contracts.

"To work with such customers, you need a group of people on the sales side, including sales people, consultants, and engineers, who understand the procurement side," Bishop said. "It's nice to have them in a separate group."

The new division includes a channel sales rep focused specifically on Federal solution providers, as well as 14 Federal sales reps, Grainger said. The company currently has about 20 solution provider partners, mainly on the East Coast, and is looking to expand in the west, central and northeast of the United States, he said.

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Spectra Logic Federal does not deal direct with the government, but instead works only with channel partners, said Grainger.

As part of the new focus on the Federal government space, Spectra Logic Federal is offering new market development funds and lead generation programs, as well as other support for solution providers at government IT tradeshows, said Grainger. The company this year already has penetrated over 230 federal agencies with sales, up from just a handful of accounts in 2001, he said.

On September 13, Spectra Logic is expected to unveil a military-grade version of its Spectra 10K, with over 20 Tbytes capacity on AIT-4 tape. The library is sealed against severe operating conditions such as dirt, dust and sand, and has managed air flow to withstand temperature fluctuations. It also can withstand shock and vibration from battle and non-battle conditions, Grainger said.

For Federal agencies with restricted-access areas where security clearances are a necessity, Spectra Logic offers customers a self-maintenance option which includes a kit with all the parts that can go bad, said Grainger. Customers can replace the parts on-site, and Spectra Logic will replace the bad components, he said. "Any component can be replaced in five minutes or less," he said.

The company is currently the only tape library manufacturer to offer WORM (write once, read many) capability across its entire library line for compliance and regulatory purposes, he said.

Spectra Logic has been a big proponent of self-service for end users, which is especially important in the military and intelligence space, said Bishop. "I'm glad to see Spectra Logic making architectural changes to products specifically for the Federal government," he said.