Backup, recovery and archiving provider Unitrends, Inc. is expanding a program with the goal of taking on some of its biggest industry competitors.
Unitrends’ competitive replacement program is expanding to incorporate trade ups and trade-ins of Symantec Backup Exec, Veeam, Barracuda and AppAssure, rewarded by a 50 percent discount. The promotion ends Dec. 31 of this year.
Meanwhile, the expansion follows up on a program launched earlier this year that incentivized partners to replace their customers’ Symantec Backup Exec products with a Unitrends backup solution.
It was also likely no coincidence that the offer first went live shortly after Symantec Corp. unleashed a troubled Backup Exec 2012 release earlier this year, which among other things, replaced the solution’s job monitor with a server-oriented interface and made the tool more complicated and harder to navigate.
The release elicited a firestorm of criticism from partners. And while the Mountain View, Calif.-based security company took steps to quell the backlash, the series of events opened a window for smaller, lesser-known players to edge into the backup and recovery space dominated by other major players.
And now the small but growing backup and archiving firm is going after a few more big fish.
“Symantec Backup Exec customers who took advantage of our promotion earlier this year were able to realize for themselves the technical and financial benefits of our enterprise-class data backup and recovery solutions,” said Mike Coney, CEO of Unitrends.
Thus far, Unitrends contends that the Symantec displacement program was a success, claiming that approximately 20 percent of its third quarter sales came from the competitive Trade Up/Trade In program. Of those, the majority of customers switched out Symantec and Barracuda solutions, the firm says.
However, it appears that Unitrends is gaining ground in this space. The firm reported 83 percent growth in Q3 2012 compared to Q3 2011, as well as 115 percent increase in customer bookings and the addition of 300 new customers.
Keep in mind that Unitrends occupies significantly less market share than major industry competitors. According to IDC, EMC Corp. has remained the industry leader in the PBBR space, commanding 65.5 percent of the market that totaled $2.4 billion. IBM and Hewlett-Packard followed respectively, occupying 15.3 percent and 4.1 percent of the market respectively.
With a fraction of marketshare, any growth for Unitrends will likely be significant. And it’s unlikely that the Colombia, S.C.-based backup firm won’t threaten the market standing of larger industry players anytime soon.
But the market remains strong. IDC predicts that the PBBA market will continue to grow with a CAGR of 19.4 percent, totaling nearly $5.9 billion by the end of 2016, largely driven by customers’ need to bolster existing data protection and recovery infrastructure.
And as with the age-old fable of the tortoise and the hare, competition has a way of sneaking up on you.
Unitrends’s claim to fame is that it has an all-in-one backup, archiving, disaster recovery and instant recovery solutions that touts some sophisticated features at an affordable price point in order to appeal to a greater swath of users. Earlier in October, Unitrends launched a tiered backup appliance, that aimed to wedge its way into the market by combining backup, archiving, instant recovery and disaster recovery functions under one roof. Features such as content-aware adaptive deduplication, instant disk-to-disk-to-any data protection, virtual support at the host operating system, near continuous data protection and AES-256 bit encryption, all served to help give it a competitive leg up against well-established enterprise-class offerings.
Also, additional features such as cloud-based disaster recovery, appliance management and no limits licensing gave partners a solid foundation from which to launch any number of related monitoring, management and remediation services at their discretion.
Now, the fact that it is eager to take another crack at competitive displacement efforts could imply that it is simply willing to skimp heavily on price point to in order to grab marketshare. But it also probably indicates that there’s a wider playing field in the mature backup and recovery space than one might think.
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