Procom hits Oz early

Procom hits Oz early

Network-attached storage manufacturer Procom Technology was caught a little by surprise with the early arrival of its latest NAS device, after successful testing in the US saw the product shipped to Australia four weeks ahead of plan.

The product, called NASforce 800 (NF 800), is Procom's entry-level storage device and, according to country manager Steve Frost, gives the company a significant opportunity to penetrate the local market. The product is being billed as a competitor to Maxtor, Network Appliance and Quantum's Snap Servers. But Frost claims it offers more functionality, is easier to maintain and is lower priced than its competitors.

Procom, better known in the US for its multiple-terabyte NAS products, has had limited success in Australia. Frost attributes this to a lack of general brand awareness and the relative size of what is considered mid-tier companies.

"Brand awareness is a concern for us at this stage," he said.

Graham Penn, director of storage research at IDC Australia, said US-based storage companies trying to expand into the Australian market face a tough challenge. He argues that customers looking for a product to fill a particular function will tend to buy from a big-name vendor.

However, Frost is confident that will change, claiming that the NF 800 is well-suited to a large cross-section of Australian companies. Procom has around 60 pre orders for the product and has signed four resellers to take it to market: Integration Services, eServ, SCSI Integration, and Astron Technology. Integration Systems managing director Peter Warde said Procom's decision to establish a presence in Australia, its proven resilience to market downturns and the feature/price point of its products convinced the specialist storage integrator to sign up.

Procom NASforce 800

- Capacity of 640GB.

- Hot-swappable drives and fans.

- Procom's own OS can run NT or Unix servers concurrently.

- Features mirroring software.

- Full NDMP BackUp.

- RRP approximately $35,000.

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