Western Digital: Upping the storage game

Khwaja Saifuddin, senior sales director, Western Digital talks about enabling partners and expanding their opportunities in the storage market

Almost half of the world’s digital data resides on a Western Digital device, says Saifuddin.
©ITP Media Group
Almost half of the world’s digital data resides on a Western Digital device, says Saifuddin.

The video surveillance market in the Middle East is growing, creating a huge demand for storage solutions that can support the exponential growth in surveillance data and footage. This segment has undergone massive transformation with data from video surveillance being used as a source of information, intelligence and insight.

According to IDC, the amount of data generated by surveillance solutions is expected to grow by 25% per year through 2022 globally. Consequently, the demand for optimum storage products has also grown in the past few years.

Analysts at Research&Markets predict the video surveillance storage market in the GCC to grow at a CAGR of 6.6% over the next five years. This is in part due to government norms for mandatory installation of video surveillance systems with regulations that mandate the retention of footage for 180 days. These regulations also specify camera locations, specification details, and parameters for video quality.

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As the surveillance industry moves to higher-resolution cameras and new applications requiring real-time analytics, Western Digital (WD) has continued to up its game, and bring products and technologies in line with market demand. In line with this, the storage vendor has expanded its range of AI-enabled edge to core surveillance solutions through its WD Purple ‘beyond surveillance’ campaign. According to WD, the full edge-to-core surveillance portfolio shifts focus from ‘seeing’ to safety and insights, enabling surveillance system integrators to capture, transform, preserve and access video surveillance data in real-time.

The gaming industry is another significant line of focus for the company due to its demand for high capacity and reliable storage. With the preference for digital delivery of games and an increase in disk space required for PC and console games, there’s more demand than ever for high performance and reliable storage devices.

With the preference for digital delivery of games and an increase in disk space required for PC and console gaming, there’s more demand than ever before for high performance and reliable storage devices.

To address the capacity and performance challenges, Western Digital recently launched five WD Black external gaming drives with capacities ranging from 2TB right up to 12TB. “The biggest portion of our revenue, from a channel perspective, comes from the consumer side of surveillance business, followed very closely by the commercial side,” explained Khwaja Saifuddin, senior sales director, Western Digital.

“This, in turn, creates the perfect cross-sales opportunity for resellers. Whether selling a new console or building a new high-performance PC, WD enables resellers to provide a complete solution to gamers that also take care of their need for storage. The biggest challenge is providing the right solution for the right gaming platform, and we deliver on that challenge with various solutions catered to each platform,” said Saifuddin.

From a storage perspective, from the smallest storage SD and micro-SD cards that go into the 4k and high-resolution cameras going all the way to a command centre setup, we have a dedicated product for every need, he added.

Channel a priority

WD is one of the oldest component vendors to invest in this market. With over two decades of local presence in the region, the storage vendor feels it has a responsibility towards its partner ecosystem and customers. “This is reflected in our local office, on-ground teams, local investments, partners and distributors.”

Western Digital boasts a strong network of partners across the Middle East and Africa. The company prides itself on maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with partners and often joins forces with partners on activities and events.

“For the reseller channel, we work with Redington, Logicom, FDC and Techmart, while the retail side is handled by National Stores. The enterprise solutions side of the business is handled by our regional distributor ASBIS Middle East,” he added.

Since the launch of myWD partner programme in 2012, the program has grown to over 25,000 partners spanning across 190 countries and 17 languages.

He added that the company has made additional investments to empower its channel through the Surveillance myWD Programme that offers training to prepare partners to serve this emerging niche market efficiently.

“We have updated the myWD partner programme for MSPs, VARs, and integrators with new features such as product solution centres, industry-focused marketing assets and on-demand product training. This allows us to ensure that our partners are fully trained and equipped to deal with any customer query that may arise on our products and, on a broader scale, the segment that the product fits into. Since the launch of myWD partner programme in 2012, the program has grown to over 25,000 partners worldwide spanning across 190 countries and 17 languages,” explained Saifuddin.

GITEX Technology Week

GITEX Technology Week is the region’s biggest and boldest technology trade show that brings the latest IT solutions to one stage. Western Digital has been participating at GITEX for over a decade. “This show allows us to reach out to a large captive audience and bring our latest storage technology to our customers in the region. Last year, we saw a complete turnaround in the show. There was a fantastic crowd throughout the show, from the very first day until the last. What is more important is that we are seeing more serious buyers who are interested in the new technologies that we are bringing to the market,” said Saifuddin.

With such momentum, and as consumers generate more content than ever, Western Digital aims to continue to create and deliver solutions that can help customers capture, share and manage it all. At GITEX this year, the vendor showcased its lastest offerings from WD and SanDisk brands ranging from Ultrastar enterprise drives to WD_Black line of gaming products and latest storage products catering to the surveillance.

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