Seagate is creating a new umbrella company for the services businesses the disk drive vendor has been accumulating over the last few years.
In 2006, Seagate acquired ActionFront Data Recovery Labs, which became Seagate Recovery Services. Last year Seagate added backup and recovery software and services vendor EVault, the Open File Manager product line from St. Bernard Software, and eDiscovery service provider MetaLincs. Those services have been known collectively as Seagate Services, but today were re-branded i365, a Seagate Company. (The “i” stands for information, 365 for every day availability.)
Mark Grace, general manager of i365, says the idea is to become a comprehensive group instead of a collection of acquisitions. “We’re committing ourselves to this space,” he says. “It showed good insight on the part of Seagate to chase this market.”
As of now, there isn’t much difference in i365 from Seagate Services besides the branding. The individual services and products will remain, Seagate will not break out i365′s financials, and Grace has already been running the services group. But he says there will be some integration of products “where it makes sense” such as combining data protection with retention and archiving with data discovery.
As for immediate changes, the St. Bernard product line will become part of the EVault family, and Seagate Recovery Services becomes part of the Professional Services platform. The current i365 lineup consists of: i365 EVault Data Protection, i365 MetaLincs E-Discovery for review of electronic information for legal needs, i365 Retention Management for recovering, migrating, restoring, and managing data for e-discovery purposes, and i365 ProServe Professional Services for training, consulting and implementing products.
The move separates the services brand from the overall Seagate brand, which is tied to disk drives. “Seagate is a component manufacturing company. i365 is a product company,” Grace says. ” The go to market approach is totally different. We’re going to bring a different reputation to this space.”
Now i365 will compete as a service company with the likes of Iron Mountain and others looking to expanding into the SaaS space such as Symantec and CommVault. i365also competes with Seagate disk drive customers, mainly EMC, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard. But Seagate claims its services group grew 39 percent year over year for its fiscal year 2008 while other companies were still plotting a move into services.
Grace says i365 will brace for the expanded competition by rolling out new services and products – bare-metal restore is coming soon – and perhaps a few more acquisitions down the road. “We’ll continue to grow organically and inorganically,” he said.