Recovery vendor vows a comeback

Recovery vendor vows a comeback

After a tough 12 months in the top job, David Wright, Legato's CEO and chairman, has pledged a comeback for the embattled backup and recovery vendor - and he's going to look to the Asia-Pacific and the channel to do it.

The former CEO of Fujitsu subsidiary Amdahl has had a baptism of fire heading up Legato after the company lost direction and market share in 2000, following a hammering by analysts and the stock market.

Admittedly, Wright said, Legato's channel was also caught in the crossfire.

"We really crapped on them," a candid Wright told a luncheon conference in Sydney yesterday. "We really did a job on [our channel] because we really didn't understand their value."

But that is set to change, according to Wright, as the company prepares to grow along three lines of business: servicing existing customers, growing OEM and third-party agreements, and, most importantly, the channel.

Wright is aiming for around 50 per cent of Legato's revenues to come through the channel, with 25 per cent coming from direct sales and strategic partners, respectively.

He said 40 per cent of Legato's staff are new to the company from January 1 this year. In Australia, Legato lost its regional manager, Graham Schultz, to switch vendor Brocade last year before appointing Scott Phillips to the role in October 2000.

The Asia-Pacific region, led by Korea, has provided the strongest growth rate for Legato at 48 per cent compared with 8 per cent in the US and a flat growth rate in Europe.

Wright also flagged a number of possible "investments" in the region, such as setting aside marketing and training funds, and not ruling out the possibility of setting up an R&D centre in Australia. Wright claimed the vendor is this year spending 25 per cent on R&D in order to ramp up its product offerings.

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