To say that over the last few years Overland Storage has experienced a tsunami of events that have dramatically impacted the company would be an understatement. Looking at Overland’s most recent SEC 10-K filing gives some hint as to the challenges of the last few years: HP notified Overland it planned to stop shipping its tape products; Dell agreed to resell Overland’s tape libraries and then cancelled its agreement; Overland then reversed its decision to outsource the manufacturing of its products and bring manufacturing back in house. These developments, along with the rapid shift in the general business market from tape to disk as a backup target, led Overland to aggressively pursue the disk-based data protection market while leveraging its legacy tape technologies to deliver end-to-end data protection.
To get a status update on Overland’s progress in its latest endeavor, I recently spoke to Ravi Pendekanti, Overland Storage’s VP of worldwide sales and marketing.
Jerome: Ravi, what exactly is the state of Overland’s business? Can it bounce back?
Ravi: As a publicly traded company, Overland Storage is required by the SEC to disclose the exact nature of the conditions affecting its business, hence the recent onslaught of bad news in its press releases. But Overland believes the bad news is in the past and we should be steadily gaining momentum in the market for three principle reasons.
- First, end-to-end data protection is taking a foothold on a global basis, so companies are looking for data protection solutions that meet their needs. Overland has all the components to satisfy these corporate needs.
- Second, Overland probably has the best price-to-performance tape- and disk-based solutions on the market, so we’re well-positioned to give companies the most value for their money.
- Third, internally Overland has merged sales and marketing departments into one unit. As a result, they are more chiseled as a team and more focused in delivering a unified message.
Jerome: For the most part, I agree with the points you make, but as you astutely point out, these trends are only gaining momentum. How close is Overland to achieving an actual turnaround?
Ravi: Overland is not a company that is trying to turn around, but is a company that has already made the turn. Everyone is experiencing a credit crunch right now, but Overland’s customers and partners are being very supportive. They believe in what Overland is doing and are very excited about our future and the products that Overland will be announcing in the coming months.
Jerome: Can you point to some specific examples where Overland is seeing support and enthusiasm from its customers and partners?
Ravi: Internally, we are receiving additional requests from our customers and partners about Overland’s product suite. A section of Overland’s website to which only its customers and partners have access give them the right tools to make the right decisions for their business continues to grow in the number of hits it is receiving. Finally, additional partners are continuing to join our channel.
Jerome: How has the purchase of Snap Server helped Overland and its perception by current and future customers and partners?
Ravi: Snap Server has been a tremendous boost to Overland. Existing channel partners are very excited about Snap Server while Snap has also resulted in an infusion of new partners joining the Overland channel. Much of the reason for this excitement is because Snap Server allows our partners to solve new problems for our customers that they could not solve before. File services and disk-based backup over corporate LANs are the two most immediate benefits that Snap Server provides. At the same time, video surveillance is a rapidly growing market for which Snap Server is well suited. Overland has a team dedicated to better positioning Snap in that market. Our recent announcement with Mobotix Vision Systems is just the first of many alliances that Overland anticipates making to expand its presence in the video surveillance market.
Jerome: So what does the new Overland Storage look like?
Ravi: Overland has a long legacy in tape and that will not go away. However, the addition of Snap Server rounds out Overland’s disk-based offerings, so we can address an entirely new class of customer as well as better serve our existing customers. Overland also has a number of new products in the pipeline for 2008 and beyond that will give our current and future customer the right tools at the right price to meet whatever data protection needs they may have.