Systex Seeks International Appeal

Here's a storage integrator looking to expand not into, but out of, China

August 21, 2004

3 Min Read
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Word has it the Asia-Pacific region is the next great storage networking market, but at least one longtime integrator there is aiming to break out of it.

Systex Corp., which has spent the last 20 years reselling and OEMing enterprise storage gear in China and Taiwan, has been hosting roadshows in Beijing and other selected cities in the region to declare its move to the international market, including the U.S., Japan, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and Central America.

Systex is trying to get distributors to peddle its ExpreStor brand of value-added storage products in regions outside of China. According to Rob Fowler, newly appointed international business development manager for Systex's Enterprise Storage Division, a big storage specialist in Europe and a couple of partners in Japan are signing on, though Fowler says it's too soon to give out names. Systex is looking to have more than one reseller in each region, which could make divulging relationships a sensitive issue so early in the rollout.

What gives? Isn't the China market the next big thing in storage networking? After all, a slew of companies are looking to get in, including McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA), Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), Sanrad Inc., and AppIQ Inc..

Fowler says business in China is good (a deal in Hong Kong with Reuters is typical), but to get the kind of growth Systex wants, it needs to expand. Currently the company has more than $100 million in annual revenues and 1,000 employees.Systex might also be feeling the pinch of heightened competition in the Chinese market. The likes of EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK) among others, have all been gaining ground in the Asia/Pacific market (see Storage Vendors Look East).

Given the state of competition, Systex is looking for markets where it can make headway. Fowler says Systex is not competing with companies like EMC and McData, but rather is aiming for smaller customers. He cites SMB storage players like Iomega Corp. (NYSE: IOM) as more likely competitors (see Storage Goes Home).

With OEM relationships already in place with FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), and QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC), Systex relies on third-party software added to its own branded hardware. The company also does its own R&D. (See FalconStor, Systex Partner and QLogic Launches SANbox, SANtrack.)

The most recent fruits of these relationships are now hitting the market, as Systex just launched two new ExpreStor devices, the ES 500 and ES 7500 Virtual Tape Library series (see ExpreStor Debuts ).

According to Fowler, the international push is working. He says so far there have been a number of new customers in Europe, Australia, and the Middle East.Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch and Brett Mendel, Senior Analyst, Byte and Switch Insider

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