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Alliance pumps new life into Plasmon

Alliance Storage Technologies Inc. (ASTI), the Colorado company that bought Plasmon’s assets last January, says it is selling the Plasmon product line whole and hopes to significantly expand its business based on the proprietary Ultra Density Optical (UDO) technology.

ASTI was a Plasmon reseller before the U.K.-based archiving vendor went under after years of financial problems. ASTI picked up Plasmon’s assets for an undisclosed sum, leased Plasmon’s Colorado Springs manufacturing plant, hired many of its employees and is now stepping up marketing of Plasmon products. ASTI will keep the Plasmon brand name and is selling its UDO appliances, drives, libraries and media after rebuilding its channel with new VARs and integrators.

“It’s an identical product lineup as Plasmon’s,” said Bill Gallagher, a former Plasmon exec who is now ASTI’s director of strategic accounts and regional sales director. “I don’t think Plasmon’s failure was a failure of technology. The company suffered for years with restructuring and trying to get its financials in order. Alliance is profitable, and we haven’t seen any change in demand. Customers are happy, they wanted to see what would happen. ”

ASTI has sold optical storage for more than 10 years, carrying products from Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sony as well as Plasmon. ASTI CEO Chris Carr says the company is committed to the future of UDO. “Last year we caught wind of Plasmon’s financial difficulties and we saw an opportunity,” he said. “Specifically, we were looking for UDO technology.”

UDO discs hold up to 60 GB and are supposed to last for more than 50 years. Plasmon’s largest libraries have 638 slots and store 38.3 TB. ASTI execs claim Plasmon shipped over 17,000 libraries. ASTI will not honor service contracts for Plasmon customers but is offering discounts on new contracts, Carr said.

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