Synology: NAS beyond storage

Nick Jheng, regional manager - Middle East at Synology talks about increasing awareness around Synology NAS portfolio’s value proposition and strengthening its channel in the Middle East

Our NAS devices have many built-in features such as file syncing / backup software, mail service, collaboration tools, and surveillance software, which is unique compared with other vendors, says Jheng.
Our NAS devices have many built-in features such as file syncing / backup software, mail service, collaboration tools, and surveillance software, which is unique compared with other vendors, says Jheng.

Investment in data storage products and technologies is on the rise due to the unrelenting growth in data. Technology development in the field of storage and low cost of hard disk drives are further fuelling growth in the storage market. 

Network Attached Storage or NAS devices are essentially external hard drives that connect to your network, rather than your PC and allow easy access, sharing and synchronising of files across multiple platforms. Today’s data-led economy is particularly driving the demand for these devices. As users struggle to manage their data scattered across public clouds, USB drives, or personal computers, NAS storage offers the much-needed solution. 

Recent research by Global Industry Analysts states that the market for NAS devices is projected to reach US$13.2 billion by 2020. As a result, the NAS market that was dominated by big players is now attracting new vendors to address the growing demand for data storage from enterprises, making this market a very competitive one. 

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Specialising in NAS products, Synology is a channel-driven company operating on a two-tier model, with at least one authorised distributor or service provider in countries across the region. In UAE, Synology has joined forces with regional distributor, FDC International to bring its products to the market. 

Over the years, the company’s NAS portfolio has expanded significantly in the Middle East, witnessing a growth of 30% year on year. Nick, regional manager - Middle East at Synology explains that the market needs affordable solutions for their storage requirements, and Synology’s NAS portfolio offers just that. Since consumers are now using external storage and cloud services proactively, we saw the opportunity to offer centralised management and better security to our customers.”

While the commercial market segment still contributes to a bigger part of the vendor’s business in the region, Jheng emphasises that NAS storage is not limited to business applications. Its versatile nature is suited for creative professionals as well, ranging from those who work from home offices right up to small- or medium-sized businesses.

According to Jheng, in more mature markets, the consumer and prosumer units often account for more than half the sales quantities. However, he finds the Middle East region unique and balanced. “In this region, the demand is evenly distributed among different user categories, with roughly 25% for consumer/prosumer, 45% for SMB and SME, and 30% for the enterprise. 

To expand the company’s business in the region Jheng highlights the importance of delivering the right message to the market. Since this region is an emerging market for Synology, the vendor actively engages with partners and customers to expand its market reach and increase brand awareness. 

To build its presence in the region, Synology recently hosted an annual Solution Seminar for customers, channel resellers and implementation partners. Other modes of engagement include attending regional events like GITEX, workshops organised through authorised partners and other regional events and exhibitions. 

Synology maintains a direct line of communication to strengthen its channel relationships and remain in touch with regional market progress. The vendor offers customised training and marketing materials to enable its partners to become Synology NAS experts. “Educating the customer on the benefits of NAS is the first step to establish a growing customer base. Hence, we engage with our partners to understand customer requirements and pain points, and offer customised solutions.”

Jheng adds that many users are not aware that NAS has numerous uses beyond being a storage device. Synology addresses this with its multi-function file server integrated with tools for collaboration and office. “Our NAS devices have many built-in features such as file syncing / backup software, mail service, collaboration tools, and surveillance software, which is unique compared with other vendors,” adds Jheng.

With cyberattacks becoming a more serious concern in recent years, Synology has allocated a lot of resources to make its products more secure. Synology solutions offer an additional layer of data protection. Ransomware can easily attack Windows devices, but it is difficult to penetrate Synology NAS devices because they use DNS (Domain Name System) which is more secure. These devices also have antivirus software that quarantines suspicious files for free. 

For SMBs, the major concerns when choosing a surveillance solution are cost-effectiveness, reduced liability, multi-functionality along with efficient management, adds Jheng. 

The video surveillance industry is witnessing massive growth due to an increase in the use of surveillance cameras for security and protection. Thus, this industry is attracting attention from all market segments and with the proliferation of data being generated due to IoT in surveillance, storage is understandably becoming more important. 

Synology NAS does not only offer storage for surveillance, it also acts as a network video recorder or NVR via built-in surveillance software to manage the IP cameras used in a commercial or personal space. Synology has integrated over 7000 IP cameras from 140 renowned brands, which makes it easy to find compatible IP cameras with Synology NAS. 

Synology offers Surveillance Station, which includes various features optimised for small installations. Running on all Synology NAS, this surveillance management system is cost-effective while offering optimal security. “Most new NAS devices can handle recording video from a wired or wireless network camera, but Synology’s Surveillance Station turns the NAS into a surveillance system that has enough in-depth features to suit both SMB and home usage scenarios, adds Jheng. 

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