Making strong gains

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Toshiba was an exhibitor at the recently concluded Intersec in Saudi Arabia where its highlighted its strong product line up for surveillance data storage. The company is also rolling out its campaign of ‘Build your own Data Centre’ in the region. Santosh Varghese, Vice President at Toshiba Gulf FZE discusses the key aspects of these focus areas and the growth trends

How long has Toshiba been an exhibitor at Intersec in Saudi Arabia?

This was the third year of participation for Toshiba at Intersec in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh. We have seen tremendous response, and a quality crowd come in on all days, evincing interest in surveillance and also for data storage products.

How has Saudi Arabia been as a market for you over the years?

Saudi has been a very strategic market traditionally, it’s a market where we had a high brand equity and substantial market share, right from our PC days was above 30% and now with Storage products, it is above 55% in the surveillance range in spite of the fact that we started out late between end 2017 to early 2018. The market share then was 0.7%. That fact that today we have 55% market share in surveillance data storage shows how the brand is highly trusted by the Saudi market.

What do you think has driven this tremendous growth?

The right range of solutions that we offer has been a key factor. Further our products are well known for their high reliability. The quality is highly reliable, and the failure rates are hardly anything. We have had consumers come in and say that we have been using x brand and have now started using Toshiba because of the high reliability. In the surveillance product line, we can’t afford failure because the drive need to run 24 hours a day 7 days a week and 365 days.

Discuss the surveillance range and focus for Toshiba?

The surveillance drives are mainly used in surveillance use cases for outdoor locations. We have drives in different capacities from 1 TB up to 18 TB. We see a tremendous growth if data storage requirements. The way the surveillance storage requirements are growing year on year, millions of zetabytes of data will need to be stored by 2025. So, there will need for more storage and we see a tremendous interest in these drives that are fine tuned to work in all kinds of rugged and extreme weather conditions, 24 by 7 by 365.

Our surveillance HDD line-up targets the increasing demand of small & medium businesses, professional & public and big data & analytics and they are optimised for network video recorders (NVR), digital video recorders (DVR) or centralized backend storage.

We have the S300 and S300 Pro drives focusing on the surveillance requirements. The S300 use cases would start from around 4 to 5 TB and scale upto 12 TB. The S300 has been fine tuned for surveillance and record even the smallest detail. They come with 24/7 reliability so you can analyze minute details of your security footage at any time. They can manage up to 64 HD cameras, can withstand the high temperatures of 50 to 55 degrees that this region may experience. We offer three years full warranty and with no strings attached to it unlike some brands that may have some conditional warranty terms.

What have been some of the significant customer requirements in Saudi Arabia for these products?

We have had a lot of projects on the Banking front, for their ATMs. One of our customers had a requirement of 5000 cameras for their ATM locations. Then there are large projects like King Abdullah Economic city and Neon that are driving large scale requirements and growth.

So while Banks are investing a lot on surveillance and security front, there are also substantial requirements from verticals like Education, where surveillance is mandatory and storage data needs to be kept for upto 6 months as per government requirements. And all video is now HD and hence storage requirement is more.

Discuss the requirements from the data center segment?

After the pandemic, everybody has realized the importance of cloud storage and also about on-premise storage. So, now many customers are kind of going for a mix of storage, and many businesses want to have their data center storage. The fact is that now you can build your own data center storage; just buy the main frame and populate it with storage hard drive and you can have a cost saving of upto 30%. We are starting a campaign of ‘Build Your Own Data Center’ and we are going to teach the businesses, mainly the system integrators and value add resellers, as to how they can help the business build their own data center. That’s a campaign rolling out in UAE, then we’ll bring that campaign to Saudi Arabia,  South Africa and other places.

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