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Retrospect targets SMB market in Australia

Backup and recovery software vendor, Retrospect, is looking to extend its reach into Australia, especially within the SMB market.

It has updated its Mac and Windows versions of the Retrospect product and has announced a VMware add on agent to the solution.

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Retrospect sales, marketing and support partner, Matthew Johnson, said he intends to focus on the SMB space with the product as he claims it is the fastest growing market.

He not only intends to expand the business but also create stability as the company faced some challenging times to establish itself in the past.

The product retrospect was created in the late 1980s on the Mac platform under a small manufacturer named Dantz Development. In 2000, it released the Windows version of the product.

In 2003, EMC Corporation acquired the company in a bid to move from enterprise space to the SMB space. It was then named EMC Insignia, a division focused on SMBs with the flagship Retrospect product but the partnership failed in its purpose.

"Unfortunately, the issues weren't so much in terms of not having those right types of products, it was because we took enterprise class software and hardware, we refurbished it and tried to make it work in the SMB space. It was not the right fit," Johnson said.

After heading in that direction for three years, EMC revamped its strategy and decided to remove some of its products from the Retrospect product 2006.

"We began seeing great growth, by up to 300 per cent then. We shrink our infrastructure and began increasing our sales.

In 2008, EMC's acquisition of storage company, Iomega, caused the creation of the Iomega/Retrospect division, but that alliance was not fruitful as well.

"When you have hardware and software companies merging together and when hardware gets the main control, the software becomes added in for free. Obviously that caused some internal problems," he said.

After a year of attempt, Iomega sold off the Retrospect division to Sonic Solutions/Roxio. Rovi then acquired both companies but after six months, Johnson and two of his partners were provided with the opportunity to buy Retrospect back in November 2011.

"It was a phenomenal coming around for us because all of a sudden we were just focusing on one product. There was no internal politics, no worrying about who's going to tell us what to do. Then we decided to move through the channel space into A/NZ."

It partnered with Australian distie, Software Only, as its master distributor and has been looking to penetrate the Australian market since.

Johnson said the channel is a key aspect in its progression plans and intends to re-engage its channel partners that it has worked with over the past 20 years.

"We don't work as a box pusher. We work to educate the market, expand our reseller reach and make the transactions as easy as possible," Software Only managing director, Andrew Paton, said.

In the coming months, Retrospect will be looking to launch a tailored partner program in A/NZ and conduct more training sessions for its re-engaged partners.


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