Crises and needs of modern business help drive demand for EMC

Corporate August 01, 2014 00:00

By Pichaya Changsorn
The Nation

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Data-storage company EMC expects to meet its Thailand sales target despite some impact from political and economic uncertainties.

Sathaporn Thangthong, advisory system engineer at EMC International, said the company had received a hit from the uncertainties especially from government-sector clients that had delayed spending.
However, he said private companies were still investing.
“Some of them may postpone their decisions, but they consider there are some solutions that need to be invested in with no delay,” he said.
“There are some discussions by regional executives who are surprised and admire the fact that Thailand’s sales figures are still good, despite the crisis.”
EMC has a policy of not revealing sales figures for individual countries. 
But information-technology research firm Gartner forecast in its March report that Thailand’s market for backup, business continuity and disaster-recovery storage solutions would grow from US$37 million in 2013 to $39 million (Bt1.25 billion) this year and $45 million in 2015. 
It predicted the Southeast Asia market would grow from $238 million in 2013 to $259 million this year and $292 million in 2015. The worldwide market would grow from $13 billion in 2013 to $14.3 billion in 2014 and $15.8 billion in 2015. 
Sathaporn said Thai corporations placed more importance on data backup and recovery issues, as they recognised that any disruption would severely affect their businesses. 
He said state-of-the-art data-storage solutions – such as those that enabled higher data-processing speeds, mobility, the handling of “big data” and cloud-computing readiness – could provide a competitive advantage to companies.
Bank of Ayudhya, for example, recently became the first bank in Thailand to go purely “tapeless” and rely solely on EMC’s virtual tape library (VTL) solution. 
Other banks were still running on a hybrid system that relied on a combination of VTL and physical tape.
Sathaporn said VTL could help banks upgrade their service and enhance customer satisfaction, thanks to the faster and predictable data processing and recovery time of the tapeless system. These benefits could be felt at both bank-teller counters and online transactions.
VTL could also help banks reduce compliance risks because they ensured that all data was archived and readily available if banking authorities asked to see something. The Bank of Thailand requires banks to keep all data for 10 years.
Sathaporn said another big bank was considering shifting to tapeless.
EMC anticipates most banks will go purely tapeless within two years. 
According to market researcher International Data Corp, one-quarter of banks worldwide and 20 per cent in Southeast Asia have already gone completely tapeless.
Sathaporn said frequent crises had turned out to be an opportunity for firms like EMC, since Thai companies had increasingly become aware of data backup and recovery issues. Nearly 200 companies applied to attend EMC’s recent data protection and availability workshop – double the forecast figure. 
The adoption rate of these solutions in Thailand is higher than in countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia. 
Sathaporn said that besides data protection and availability, big data and cloud initiatives, flash storage technology was another key growth area for EMC. 
User demand for a quick response time for online transactions had driven the growth of flash-storage technology.
According to Gartner, EMC has about a 40-per-cent share in world markets, a 30-per-cent share in Southeast Asia, and 20 per cent in Thailand.