Thursday, September 29, 2022

“ We have the technology and expertise to deal with diverse needs of the market ”

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Seagate is the global leader in data storage solutions, developing amazing products that enable people and businesses around the world to create, share and preserve their most critical memories and business data. In an exclusive gathering in Singapore,  NCN got a chance to interact with B.S. Teh, Senior Vice-President for Global Sales, to discuss about future role of storage, its impact and India Market.

What is your present focus and approach towards storage market in India? Who are your main customers?

There are three areas we focus in enterprise space for providing storage. First segment is dominated by big brands like Dell, HP, etc. We contact the local OEM offices of these brands, conduct seminars and education programs for them and train them how to incorporate our storage systems. Second is System Integrators and the third is Cloud. India is a very large future market. For cloud, our main focus is the entry level products. They need high capacity storage, so we are coming up with a 20TB device. We help them to install the setups with multiple memory devices, say 100, on a single rack. Next, we also help them how to optimize drive performance. This is where a deep technical collaboration comes into play. In the last 10 years several new and big customers like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Hikvision, etc have emerged as important for storage. Also datacenters and networking space including surveillance are going to occupy a major share of our business. Today storage has become a very essential to many companies like SMEs, corporate, etc.

What is Seagate’s present technology policy for memory systems?

Depending on the need of the market and specific segment, we will keep on developing our solutions. As I said, we have the technology and expertise to deal with diverse needs of the market. Our focus will continue to be HDDs at present. Regarding advanced encryption key software solutions, we are already working for US government. We are yet to plan on bringing them to India. We take everything issue and every development in the technology or in the market trends very serious.

Prices of storage are increasing steadily. Do you think this trend will continue?

Prices of storage units are increasing, but they coming down when compared by the storage capacity; in future, you will get more storage capacity for the same price. In other words, though unit prices are increasing, today we are delivering much more capacity for the same value. Business is not just about lowering prices. We aim at delivering higher capacity drives, instead of lowering prices and constantly innovating to provide more value to the consumer. Our focus for the next few years will continue to be on HDDs, for which we have an established base for technology and innovation, and a strong partner ecosystem to reach out end customers.

What trends do you see in India for HDDs with SSDs usage increasing in the coming years?

India is a bit behind compared to markets in developed markets when it comes to using the latest storage technology and the demand varies from the type of device. In general, SSD usage is higher on commercial PCs and less on consumer PCs. HDDs market is steady right now, though SSDs sales are expected to match or overtake HDDs, with SSD prices coming down further. However, as I said, our focus will continue to be on HDDs. We have our manufacturing plant in China supported by the latest technology to design, develop and manufacture the best memory products. These factors give us leverage over others. The market demand profile of industry is changing: now we are shipping lesser number of units, but each unit we ship is several times higher in capacity compared to the one unit earlier. For instance, earlier, 5 yrs back, we were shipping 180 million units, but today it has come down to 110 m units. But total memory capacity has increased several fold and revenues are growing continuously. India is one of the fastest growing markets and we see a lot of future opportunity in India. At present, we have no plans to start our manufacturing in India.

What is trend in surveillance segment? What is your policy on data safety and security?

Demand for memory in surveillance segment is growing very fast, at 30% a year. Nearly 50% of our memory drives today are going into surveillance market. For example, during the recent demonetization, we saw a great increase for surveillance devices particularly by banks, which in turn increased the demand for our storage devices. We do respect and value data privacy and we try our best in protecting data.

What is your approach to distribution channel and competition in India?

In the last couple of years, sale of PCs has been coming down. But increasing demand in surveillance sector has more than offset the downslide in PC segment.  Recently, we had our channel summit in Agra, where we discussed on how to go about. Channel is very important for us as our success depends on our channel partners support and hard work.

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