Seagate wins in the Server/NAS Hard Disk category. Hitachi trails in second massively behind. Quantum comes in third. Maxtor and Fujitsu complete the top 5 and the Users' Choice Club. Last time's Club was just Seagate, Hitachi and Quantum-so, it is nice to see two new entrants in this category.The brand-loyalty tables for this category are a little strange.
Maxtor, itself at fourth place, enjoys 100% confidence of its customers. Quantum after having lost 1 index point since 2004 continues in third place, but is poised to lose 36% of its customers to Seagate. And except for 67% of Hitachi's current customers, the polls don't show an influx to that brand. Hitachi though has gained a few loyalists since last time. In 2004, only 61% of those polled wished to remain with them, this has risen by 6 % this year. And the number of people who wished to move out has reduced. In 2004, 38% of Hitachi customers wanted to move to Quantum, Seagate or other vendors, primarily preferring Seagate (30%). This time, this figure is about half that at around 21%. With Quantum though, the figures are about the same as last time, about 40% of its customers still want to switch to other brands, with around 35% preferring Seagate.
And the number being wooed away by Seagate (from Quantum) is higher by 5% this time. Whatever confidence loss the other vendors suffered, seemed to be sweeping into Seagate's kitty, where they have gained 9% confidence with that fewer customers wanting a non-Seagate hard disk.
Let's look at the trends 2004-05. Hitachi gained one index point, Quantum lost that one point-did they swap customers?
The market seems to be gravitating towards exactly one vendor-Seagate. Hitachi is the strongest in the south zone, while Maxtor gains in the north. Quantum sees the east zone giving it happy balance-sheets while Seagate does equally well everywhere except the west. The media/communication industry seems to be Hitachi's strongest customers (14%). For Maxtor, that would be the BPO/ITES. Quantum enjoys doing business with the manufacturing industry. And Seagate seems to be comfortable with the Services. The 50-250 Cr groups seem to prefer Quantum or Maxtor.
Apparently this category is continuing the echoes of our last survey, with the buying decision being made on the same lines as the personal hard disk. The brand identity of the personal hard disk vendor (like Seagate) is too strong in the minds of the buyer that it is still preferred over that of the server or NAS device they have purchased. We continue our earlier advisory to storage vendors to investigate the reason behind this choice. However, this category reflects the purchases and future choice not just for NAS and storage devices, but also server-side storage.
The 'in' thing now is server consolidation and when you increase the roles and performance of a server, you naturally also add more storage to it. With regulations come the requirement for companies to retain far more information-in the way of documents and e-mail. All this again, means more storage requirement. And among the players in the Club, it seems Seagate's brand awareness and preference is the highest for those requirements as well.