Even though the overall scenario of the Indian IT products’ business was not that impressive, especially in the second half of 2008, we have witnessed a number of exciting products in the storage market for varied purposes in the last whole year. Some of the noteworthy launches include - Western Digital’s RE2-GP family of hard drives, Seagate’s Savvio 15K.2 HDD, Buffalo’s DriveStation FlexNet, Hitachi’s Deskstar 7K1000.B 2.5-inch 512GB SSD. Of course there are many others… So, how was the market scenario in 2008? What is the present trend?
Recently, I was going through a statement from WD, the well known HDD manufacturer. Let me share its contents with you. The communique informs, with so many impressive headlines about hard drives and disk storage this year (2008), one would think that the storage market evolved this year, which in fact it did.
It also asserts, "Data storage proved to be a big market (in 2008) with every single digital device, which we use today has some form of storage. Digital cameras store images on memory, music players on hard drive or SSD, or again flash memory. With the increasing importance of higher storage capacity, one terabyte HDDs have gained significance in the market as they satisfy the ever increasing consumer appetite for digital content."
What’s the consumers’ need?
Consumers have become more tech-savvy and are increasingly creating personalized digital content. The availability and advancement of digital devices, such as digital cameras, digital videos, etc., have encouraged the need to store data. Thus, they have stimulated the need for higher capacity hard drives in the Indian market. Concepts like Green Technology, Fashionable Technology and small size / more space appealed the buyers in this market.
What did Western Digital do in 2008 to grab the opportunity?
WD initiated the Green Power series of hard drives. The company also brought out the high speed SATA hard drives. For digital fashion market, they offered My Passport series. Mac users got My Passport Studio from WD. Also, there were launches of - My Book Mirror edition dual-drive storage system with RAID Mirroring, ShareSpace for the SME segment marking WD’s entry into the NAS segment with storage capacity up to 4 TB.
What are on cards?
The company informs, 2009 will see the launch of WD TV HD Media Player products, which will turn WD My Passport portable drives into Media Players. The year will also see the launch of more such products with higher capacity, higher RPM, higher data transfer rates and lower failure rates on the internal as well external product line. There are some more items - yet to be announced.
What’s there for channel in 2009?
In the words of Sharad Srivastava, Director Sales (India & South Asia), WD, "We can expect a lot of sales and growth coming in from the retail segment providing customers with the ability to be selective about what they buy. On channel front, we will continue to see how fast and efficiently channels will be able to adapt to the new age customers."
Obviously, the manufacturer is quite optimistic about the growth in demand of the disk storage systems. Expecting the shift in paradigm, it is going to bring innovative change in portable drives - converting them into Media Players. However, once again it’s a new challenge to the IT channel to prove its effectiveness. I believe the channel will make the best out of the opportunities in this segment.