Seagate Unveils i365 Services Company

Menu of services includes data protection, retention, recovery, e-discovery, and professional services

September 24, 2008

3 Min Read
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Seagate Technology announced today it has combined a number of recently acquired companies with a variety of storage services into a new company called i365 that aims to offer a more comprehensive suite of services, including data protection and recovery, retention management, e-discovery, and professional services.

"This is a new name, but not really a new company," said Carolyn Crandall, senior vice president of worldwide marketing. "We already have lots of customers and a great base of technology. This new structure will let us better serve those customers and introduce new services in a nimble fashion."

Many technology vendors offer services as a way to give customers more options and to smooth out the ebbs and flows of hardware sales. Some, like IBM, become as well known for their services as they are for their products. As a major vendor of hard disk drives, that's unlikely to happen to Seagate. But a suite of services does allow it to offer customers a more comprehensive range of options that can be sold with hardware products.

Seagate, with $13 billion in annual revenue, started down the services path in a major way in 2006 when it acquired ActionFront Data Recovery Labs and launched Seagate Recovery Services in 2007. That year it also bought EVault, which offered backup and recovery services as well as software as a service, the Open File Manager line of products from St. Bernard Software, and MetaLincs, which had e-discovery software and hosted and managed services. The collection had been operating under the name Seagate Services.

Seagate says it has more than 22,000 customers, and that i365 will be able to provide them with services from eight global data centers.Crandall acknowledges to Byte and Switch that i365 faces a host of competitors in the services market, ranging from small specialty competitors offering single services to larger rivals like EMC and Symantec that offer a large menu of offerings.

"We see this as a still emerging market with strong growth because companies need help managing the growing amounts of data they are collecting and storing," she said. "As things like software as a service take off, businesses are looking at how to protect their data in an efficient way. It is a complex challenge and a lot of small and mid-sized companies don't want to have to worry about it. And larger companies want help with business continuity and disaster recovery, encryption, e-discovery, and more. There is a huge opportunity to sell services and software."

Today's announcement is more than just a rebranding move, she emphasized. The company just released a disaster recovery appliance, and also offers a disaster recovery service. "We also offer front-end disaster recovery planning, and we can help customers test their disaster recovery plan and process. We can help them with data erasure, data migration, training their people, just about everything."

Crandall described another new offering as "advanced data restoration," where i365 helps companies collect and organize information to make it easier to later do e-discovery. "We also offer first pass processing, where we do a first sweep to get assessment of what information they have and what it looks like," she said.

The business units that make up i365 posted revenue gains in 2007 of 39 percent, the company said. It has more than 500 employees worldwide and will have its headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif."i365's software technologies and their flexible Saas, hosted and managed service deliver models, combined with appliance, service, and software upgrade paths position them well to succeed in this dynamic marketplace," said Laura DuBois, program director of IDC's storage software practice, in a statement.

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  • Seagate Technology Inc. (NYSE: STX)

  • ActionFront Data Recovery Labs Inc.

  • EVault Inc.

  • St. Bernard Software Inc.

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