Network Appliance chief optimistic about A'Asia

Support centres with the 'follow the sun' mentality have become all the rage lately.

Among a swag of vendors following this trend, storage provider Network Appliance recently finished off its collection of global support sites.

Gone are the days of even thinking twice when an operator located half way around the world picks up the phone to answer your query.

Singapore is Network Appliance's fourth and final location of its NetApp Global Support Centre infrastructure. It will serve the Asia Pacific region and worldwide.

Dan Warmenhoven, CEO for the company said Singapore was chosen for its central location and wide range of language skills, not due to tax incentives, which were "minimal".

Warmenhoven said growth within the Asia Pacific and Australia, in particular, was "very strong" for the company.

"We haven't seen the same downturn here as in the US, but customers tell us they are seeing slowdowns."

The tech markets in general are under a lot of pressure, he said.

"This present [economic] slowdown occurred so quickly and dramatically that on January 1, it seemed as though the whole economy stopped."

Warmenhoven said the storage market in Australia was still "pretty strong", in line with global trends.

"Storage is the fastest growing segment of the computer industry. In 1996, servers accounted for 75 per cent and storage 25 per cent of dollars spent, while in 2000 growth of servers and storage was about 50/50. But by 2003, I expect servers to be at 25 per cent and storage at 75 per cent."

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