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Symons on DR trends, Legato's current market plans

SearchStorage recently caught up with George Symons, Legato Systems' vice president of product management and development, to ask him about Legato's take on the relatively soft IT side of DR spending this past year. This interview shares Symon's insights on where companies are regarding disaster recovery planning, spending and what's looming for Legato's future.

What are your thoughts on Legato's position in the marketplace and how it's faring against competition like Veritas?
It's a good time for us right now. We've broadened our product line with our OTG Software acquisition. It brings with it an interesting channel that allows us to focus more on vertical markets. The biggest difference between us and Veritas is that we take an application focus. We try to look at storage from the standpoint of which application you are using -- database, e-mail, etc. The OTG channel, for instance, includes the tracking of data flows in credit unions or construction industry invoices. OTG's application extender line, including its EmailXtender, [allows administrators] to give policy-based rules -- such as migrating messages over a certain size, or messages that have been around X amount of days -- that move the data to less expensive storage. I like [Microsoft] Exchange, but as the database gets into the gigabytes, it doesn't work real well...If we can be successful with e-mail, that's a huge market. Veritas is going through a tough time right now internally. It's our job to take advantage of this. If you go to a Fortune 500 company now, as compared to a year ago with DR and business continuity, what's changed?
Most companies had some level of disaster recovery plan in place already because of the Year 2000. Y2K literally saved many companies a year ago who would otherwise have had nothing [in terms of disaster preparedness] to fall back on. Now, the planning is better. People are taking the time to ask themselves, 'Are we prepared?' They are now looking at potential exposures and what they are going to do about them. What else is Legato doing to help improve on its position?
On the business side, we've done a really good job in reinvigorating our channels over the past one and a half years. We lost sight of our channel partners a while ago, unfortunately. But, some of our primary competition is helping us with this by the way they treat their channel partners.

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