Overland Storage Goes Looking for Input; Wants Gold and Silver Partners Certified by EOY 2008

In an earlier blog entry, we took a look at how Overland Storage made some top-level changes in management. These individuals are now starting their initiatives to bolster the company’s competitive position in the market and bring the proper new products to market. In this blog entry, we continue our conversation with Ravi Pendekanti, Overland Storage’s new VP of worldwide marketing, who was brought in to help articulate the company’s product roadmap to its channel partners as well as better align its product roadmap with the needs of channel partners and their clients.

Strengthening these relationships is what Pendekanti sees as the key to satisfying Overland Storage’s existing customers’ hunger for innovation while attracting new customers. To do this, several strategic areas require keen focus:

  • A refreshed marketing roadmap: This is needed to align totally with the product roadmap. To do this, Overland Storage needs the input of its channel partners and their customers so the company’s products meet their immediate and future needs.
  • Remain 100% loyal to channel partners: Overland Storage does not have a direct sales force, so maintaining and growing channel relationships is vital for the company’s continued success in the market.

Already Pendekanti cites a few key initiatives that Overland Storage has put in place to deliver on these objectives:

  • The recent launch of a monthly channel newsletter. This is intended to better inform the channel about what is going on at Overland as well as build rapport and collaboration with their partners.
  • A new council of channel partners. This group will meet quarterly and act as an idea-sharing forum where partner discussions about Overland’s products occur. This will give partners a chance to provide feedback and information on products and features that they would like to see in the future.
  • Certify all Platinum and Gold partners on Overland’s products by the end of the year. Pendekanti sees this as a way to better fulfill the company’s pledge to provide customers with the highest levels of serviceability. Expect a July 2008 launch timeframe.

Overland Storage’s ULTAMUS RAID near-line data protection products and REO SERIES disk-based backup solutions provide a solid starting point for addressing customers’ data protection requirements. However, Pendekanti astutely points out that the market is ravenous for innovation and it’s obvious from recent management changes that Overland Storage feels the need to pick up the pace to become more competitive in the rapidly changing data protection market.

Creating new lines of communication with its clients and channel partners is a solid first step, but innovative new products are what customers want and need. It will be interesting to see what new technology comes from Overland Storage, and how quickly it can be produced thanks to the new initiatives that Pendekanti is putting in place.

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