Iomega has retooled its NAS strategy and will bring a new product roadmap to market in the next quarter. The company has also elected not to replace its Australian NAS business development manager, Greg Cullen, who left the company in January after six months in the job.
With a new NAS offering arriving in May or June, Iomega country manager, Scott Dillon, insisted the decision not to have a dedicated NAS specialist in Australia did not mean the company was shifting its focus away from NAS.
Instead, Iomega is hiring a retail manager for A/NZ. The decision to hire a retail specialist reflected the fact that over half of Iomega’s business in A/NZ comes through the mass merchant channel, said Dillon. “The retail business model is so demanding and so different,” he said.
The retail channel had been a strong one for NAS in the US, Dillon said.
A significant percentage of NAS sales in the US were “true SMB” catalogue sales, he said.
With a regional strategy to provide technical support through the US and Singapore, along with support from distributors Lan 1, Ingram Micro and Tech Pacific, the decision was made that the vendor didn’t need a dedicated NAS BDM, Dillon said.
The NAS roadmap had been redrawn to stick more closely to Iomega’s core small business customer base, he said. “SMB was where we were pitching it, but it was looking beyond the desktop with one and two terabyte products.”
“We were moving into areas where EMC, Network Appliance, IBM and those guys already had a place."
The new NAS products were designed to be simpler devices, offering desktop and small office storage solutions, Dillon said.
They will ship with Microsoft’s Server 2003 operating system. The two terabyte (2TB) product has been nixed, with 1TB now the top of the line. Iomega’s revised NAS roadmap was a positive move, focusing on its core market, according to John Wellar, advanced storage systems product manager at distributor Lan 1.
“They were trying to go after the whole NAS market from enterprise level down,” he said.
Iomega expects to have its new retail manager on board in early April.
The retail manager would handle the often onerous demands of retail partners, including managing price protection, and sale and return policies, Dillon said.