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Sofocles Socratous, Regional Sales Director, Seagate
Sofocles Socratous, Vice President, EMEA Sales and Marketing, Seagate

Sofocles Socratous, Vice President, EMEA Sales and Marketing, and Christian V. Assaf, Snr. Sales Manager METAG, from Seagate discuss the recent rebranding along with 2015 roadmap and channel strategy. 

Seagate has had many ups and downs in its long history of doing business in the global market. And for the success of any brand, the single most important component is evolution. Following the objective of staying ahead of change, at CES 2015, the 36-year-old brand unveiled its latest logo, termed as the ‘living logo’. The aim was to showcase data as a living, vibrant thing that powers human invention, culture and advances, according to the company. Recently the vendor also held its annual channel conference for the Middle East region to communicate to its partners the new objectives and plans for 2015 along with the thought-process behind the rebranding.

Keeping up with technology is no easy task, especially when the demands and requirements are evolving at such a fast pace. Sofocles Socratous, Vice President, EMEA Sales and Marketing, Seagate, says, this also happens to be the company’s biggest challenge today. “Seagate as a brand and as a company has to evolve with market changes. We have made a huge investment in the rebranding and also continue to invest in R&D in new technologies.”
The rebranding communicates to the market about the company’s values and innovations and about its on-going goal to be identified as a trusted partner by consumers and organisations. The storage business has changed dramatically over the years. It is no longer about selling a single unit but about offering a comprehensive storage solution, which will add value to the customer’s business.

Socratous says,“Over the last couple of years, through acquisitions, we have really been able to understand the system processes a lot differently and view things from an infrastructure perspective. From offering innovative and intelligent devices, we are now able to add another standard to the infrastructure to add genuine value to the customer’s business.”

The vendor’s channel strategy for the region hasn’t changed much in the last eight years – it continues to support and guide partners through the market evolutions.
“The Seagate Premier Partner (SPP) programme has evolved with time, especially in terms of value. We are opening the box of information and data obtained from market researches to help and guide partners through the technological changes.”

The partner event is a gesture to thank the company’s premier partners, says Christian V. Assaf, Snr. Sales Manager METAG, Seagate. The top 50 partners who attended the event contribute 70 percent to Seagate’s total business in the region.
He adds, “Apart from the rebranding, we also discussed some of the emerging vertical segments. Today the use of data and where it is stored is changing. Storing personal data is gaining prominence. The storage idea is evolving and we need to change as well, we are leading this transformation.”
The deluge of data being recorded in the surveillance market is driving the growth for storage solutions. And more than that, the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, which enables machine-to-machine communication further demands solutions to store and analyse data.

The total number of drives sold by Seagate in 2014 was less than the previous year. But what’s interesting to note is that the capacity was a lot higher.
“We educate our partners on how this shift is happening. Giving the right kind of tools to our partners, to help them to keep growing and to be on top of their business, is our objective. Our commitment to our partners is to educate and give them everything that we believe as a company is required to be on the path of future. Putting them on the right track and supporting them in every way continues to be our aim,” adds Assaf.
Across Europe, the company has select premier partners who receive support in terms of market investments, account management and also access to early samples and roadmaps.
Socratous says, “We work with them from an innovation perspective to understand better what other solutions we can create and come forward with. The partner conference forum is a platform to receive feedback, interact and reward them. Also it allows us to provide an insight into the bigger picture of Seagate and communicate what’s next for them.”

Seagate has grown and broadened its product portfolio over the last few years. According to Socratous, 2014 was a successful year and “has created excitement for the next several years.”
Along with focusing on the rebranding this year, the company plans to embed itself deeper into vertical markets such as surveillance and NAS. “The Middle East surveillance market is the second largest one for Seagate across Europe. Surveillance, NAS and cloud are some of our focus areas for 2015. We will continue to support and work with the manufacturers and partners for these solutions. Storage is the backbone of everything, we aim to be the trusted partner in this segment.”

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