What does your CEO want from storage?


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"We did mention our choice of vendors [to business executives], but it was more in terms of which other companies are using those vendors. It focused on financial viability rather than technology," says Grosz.

According to Hassan Kataf, network manager at Sole Technology, a $200 million global action sports footwear and apparel company in Lake Forest, CA, his business executives simply want "accessibility, reliability, speed, security and space.'' Of course, he adds, those expectations can only be fulfilled briefly before requests start pouring in for more space, faster speed and increased access. "They really don't care what we put on the back end. They just want to know whether it's going to be available, secure and fast," he says.

Sole Technology is embarking on an unprecedented, enterprise-wide, centralized storage project that involves business sponsors in corporate divisions ranging from the art department to marketing and global operations. The project, budgeted for 2008, began small with the IT department trying to meet storage and archiving requests from the marketing department.

"Every season we create catalogues of our products," says George Bock, Sole Technology's senior director of IT. "Each one of those shirts, snowboard shoes, belt buckles ... all of it has a picture associated with it. The problem is that they haven't been

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storing those photos in one spot. They're on servers, desktops, external hard drives, DVDs and microfiche from 20 years ago. You name it, it's out there."

With countless versions of the same photo and large media files stored several times over in various locations, help desk tickets for security permissions, lost files and slow retrieval were piling up. "Right now, for example, we are implementing an online order-entry system using CenterStone Technologies' platform," says Bock. "So we need pictures of every one of our products to put online."

This was first published in December 2007

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