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Sun 31 Aug 2003 04:00 AM

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STME and ECC Solutions deliver storage offering

STME is teaming up with outsourcing service provider, ECC Solutions, to deliver a storage on demand infrastructure for Egyptian enterprises.

MoU|~||~||~|STME is teaming up with outsourcing service provider, ECC Solutions, to deliver a storage on demand infrastructure for Egyptian enterprises. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties will see the former providing an EMC-Symmetrix based solution for use in the latter’s data centre environment. The end goal of the agreement is to meet the resiliency, flexibility and redundancy requirements of customers, while also relieving them of management headaches. Both parties believe their respective expertise and existing customer bases, coupled with the increasing demand for flexible storage environments, will ensure plenty of initial business for the offering.“ECC has a big presence in Egypt and it is important for us to deal with a major player, [which made] STME very attractive. And the demand is definitely there [for storage on demand] and currently it is not being serviced particularly well,” says Jon Bamford, CEO, ECC Solutions.“A growing number of Egyptian business want reliable and secure data storage, but don’t know where to start in creating a strategy. By employing an EMC-based environment, ECC Solutions will be able to branch out even further to attract more clients interested in the business benefits of the outsourcing model,” confirms Sherif Iskander, STME’s vice president for sales in Egypt & Levant.Both companies believe the deal will entice a large number of enterprises to invest in data protection. Additionally, Bamford suggests companies will be encouraged to select the services in order to gain access to a high level storage environments, which previously might have proved too expensive or complex for them to deploy in-house.“What we are able to do through the agreement with STME is provide a powerful machine [EMC-Symmetrix] to companies that can’t afford it in their own right. We can also give them data protection and much greater access to availability and data sharing across all of their platforms,” he explains.“Together, we [will] deliver real value and competitive advantage to companies that want the benefits of enterprise storage without the challenge of installing and administering it,” confirms Andrew Calthorpe, senior corporate vice president, STME.With the EMC infrastructure being housed in ECC’s Cairo-based data centre, the service provider will be delivering the key support, as well as catering to the day-to-day management of customers’ storage environments. “ECC will provide the first line support and the beginning of the second line. If the problem is a severe one, we will use STME’s expertise and specialist support. So it will be a mix of the two companies, but in terms of day to day operations, our staff are trained for that,” says Bamford.Initially, ECC and STME are focusing on the Egyptian market and looking to encourage existing customers to invest in the EMC-based storage on demand model. However, they are also keen to raise awareness among other medium-to-large sized enterprises about the importance of data protection and the benefits of the outsourcing model.“We will provide customer services that take advantage of this very large storage machine [EMC Symmetrix] that we have through STME. They [STME] have customers who have invested in a specialist storage machine but maybe concerned with their data protection… and we are able to do is provide them with affordable data protection,” says Bamford.While ECC does not rule out any plans to broaden its data centre offerings and extend its outsourcing services to the regional market, Bamford admits that for many enterprises trust and distance are the governing factors in the choice of a service provider.“ECC’s focus is Egypt and in itself it is a very big market [to target.] Also our experience shows that customers generally like their information to be [housed] in the [same] country. However, if customers wanted their data stored outside the country we would be delighted to do that for them also,” he explains.||**||

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