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Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Storage vendors

Overland Storage gets a makeover

Overland Storage Inc. has a new management team and business model as it battles for survival with a product strategy built more around disk storage systems than tape libraries. That's the message executives are touting as they explain how the company plans to claw its way back to competitiveness in the enterprise data storage market.

CEO Eric Kelly remains in the post he's held since replacing Vern LoForti in January 2009. Jillian Mansolf, formerly of Snap Appliance, Dell Inc., Maxtor and Data Robotics Inc., is the new vice president (VP) of worldwide sales and marketing. Chris Gopal, most recently of Dell, has been named VP of operations. Ravi Pendekanti, formerly with Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc., is now VP of business development and solutions. The team is still looking for a new VP of engineering and a new chief technology officer (CTO), Kelly said. Only chief financial officer Kurt L. Kalbfleisch remains from Overland's former upper-management team.

In addition, Mansolf said 80% of the worldwide sales and marketing organization has been replaced in the last six months.

The product strategy isn't as new as the management team. Overland executives have been talking about shifting from a backup-focused vendor to an end-to-end storage line for years. A big step in that direction came when it acquired the Snap NAS business from Adaptec in 2008. Kelly was CEO of Snap Appliance when Adaptec bought it in 2004, and while serving on Overland's board, he advised the company to buy the Snap business. Along with Snap, Overland is keeping the NEO  family of tape libraries but Mansolf said the REO virtual tape library (VTL) line is still being evaluated. REO lost its data deduplication when its OEM partner Diligent Technologies was bought by IBM in 2008.

"More than likely, once we figure out the deduplication situation, we'll put a Snap brand on it," she said of the VTL platform. "It's easier than having six different brands."

The Snap Server NAS platform has also been through its ups and downs. Adaptec paid $100 million for Snap, and sold it to Overland for $3.6 million four years later. So far, it hasn't had much impact on Overland's revenue and earnings.