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Interview with Rüdiger Theobald, EUMEA Marketing and Business Development Manager with a Turkish National Daily: Zaman
Rudiger Theobald

1. Cell phones, digital photographs, songs, family videos ..... we are all getting digital. How do technology brands perceive this? Where are we going digitally?

There are a lot of innovations in the storage market, as the need for storage space is immense. By 2013 the global average home will have over 2.2 TB of data content. 2013 there will be 150 million hard disk drives used in external storage devices. There will be a  storage capacity at growth rate of 60% yoy between 2010 and 2015. Digital storage in the home will become increasingly networked and most mobile applications will migrate to flash memory. The storage devices are becoming faster, USB 3.0 will be the standard in 2011 and the trend to small storage products with large capacities will continue, latest new Verbatim product is the Netbook USB drive, of the size of 1 EURO coin and with a capacity of 32 GB, which offers a perfect solution for Netbooks with limited SSD storage or car audio applications with USB ports.

2. Remote access and mobility is perceived as the platform of the future. Where is the data storage world? What is the future planning?

In the next years Flash Cards, USB drives and external Hard Disks will continue to grow. Cloud computing is furthermore identified as one of the main trends, but also discussed very controversial.  With Online Cloud Storage data will be able to access remotely. There is no need to carry around a physical storage device or use the same computer to save and retrieve your information. On one hand it is more convenient and flexible, but on the other hand people do not like to entrust their data to a 3rd party without a guarantee that they'll be able to access their information whenever they want and no one else will be able to get at it. Also security and reliability aspect plays an important role.

Whatever the outcome, there will always be a demand for physical removable storage devices. Recording media market growth is mainly driven by Flash, HDD and high capacity optical products. 
This provides Verbatim with a lot of opportunities of growth, as our business is equally based on these three main product categories. In 2010 we aim to solidify our position as the No. 3 in the total recording media market in Europe, a position we achieved for the first time in 2009 according to the GfK, while Verbatim has been the European and worldwide No 1 brand in the optical market with DVDs and CDs for seven subsequent years. In order to maintain this target, we have outlined a growth in revenue of 10% for this year.

Due to the massive installed base of hardware for CD-R and DVD-R media we expect the market for these products to remain very high. According to Santa Clara Consulting Group the total Available Market (TAM) for CD-R and DVD-R products in Europe is expected to be at 1.3 billion units. The consolidation of brands in the optical market will continue. According to Future Source Consulting blu-ray media will boom within the new 5 years from expected 14.3 million units 2010 to 354 million units in 2015.

Despite the declining market Verbatim has increased its market share in 2009 and even plans to grow its DVD market share to 50 per cent in 2010. On top to this, Blu-ray sales have tripled in Europe from 2008 to 2009 (GfK) and is expected to triple again in 2010. It is particularly in the optical market where we benefit from the strong Research and Development part of our Japanese parent company Mitsubishi Kagaku Media (MKM), enabling us to deliver premium quality and to drive the business with the latest technology.

The storage market gets furthermore a strong impact from external HDD growth, whereby the 2,5” HDD market is the most dynamic segment. According to GfK there was a growth of 33% in units in 2009 from 4 million to 5 million units. According to Future Source Consulting the market share of external hard drives will increase from 41% in 2010 up to 47% in 2013 in terms of value, which means an increase from 1369 to 1680 Million Euro. We launched our HDD business in the summer of 2007, and in 2009 we had a very successful year with very high HDD growth rates in both units and revenues all over Europe. Our focus is on the booming 2.5” HDDs and we aim to achieve a 10% market share. Today, Verbatim offers one of the broadest portfolio of products with different formats, interfaces, capacities and colours. Furthermore we will increase the product range by providing various opportunities to customers in the Networking business segment.

The acquisition of Freecom by MKM last year was a further important strategical step in strengthening our market position. We see a lot of synergies for our hardware business in the future with Freecom as a strong and innovative HDD brand.

The USB Flash market is also booming as there is a strong demand for small high capacity and high speed devises for digital cameras, smart phones and other devices. According to future source consulting the Flash market share within the whole storage market will increase from 7 % in 2010 to 13 % in 2015 in terms of units, which means a growth from 227 million to 269 million units.

Verbatim has been increasing its market share in USB Drive business decisively this year by focusing on micro USB technology and a wide offer of state of the art flash based storage. Furthermore we will offer USB 3.0 Drive the latest speed generation, which enables data transfer up to ten times faster than USB 2.0.

3. We want to keep our digital files to last for a lifetime, but the data storage we can use has a time limit. What are longest data keeping instruments? How do you advise end users to keep their data as long as possible and in the most secure way?

The Data retention on USB, SSD and HDD products is approximately 10 years.  Among the currently available storage media, optical media are the most stable in the long term. For standard applications, we recommend the redundant storage of important data on DVD. According to our tests the average lifetime of our AZO based recording layer CD-Rs and DVD-R show a durability of approx. 100 years both for. Light, heat, atmospheric humidity, scratches and dirt all play a role in determining wear. Therefore it is very important to handle the CDs and DVD with care to avoid data loss. Verbatim offers for long archiving a special Gold Archival DVD, with a golden and silver reflective layer, which offers high data reliability.
Generally it is recommended to check the technology updates in order to make sure the media still has hardware to read from. Out of the experience in the past it is required to swap data within technology jumps.

4. Data is personal and confidential. Security is of the up-most importance. What do you advise on this issue as Verbatim?

Portable storage media are used widely as essential business tools to conveniently carry and share large volumes of data. But this freedom has created the increased possibility of sensitive data being lost or stolen. No-one likes the thought of storing or archiving sensitive data that can be accessed by unapproved people.  This can be true for many files, from private images, financial data, lists of names and addresses - basically, anything that would be considered private or confidential. Data security is becoming a priority for businesses as well as for private users.
How to best ensure security of memory media?
The main tool to protect data is encryption. Encryption is as old as mankind, but nowadays the methods are much more sophisticated. Encryption is the process of converting information into an encrypted form, so that it is available only to someone who knows how to ‘decrypt’ it in order to obtain the original data. There are two different methods, software and hardware encryption.
The primary benefit of software encryption is lower cost. The downside of software-based encryption is the keys are placed in the device's memory, so a hacker will know where to look for the keys by their unique format and can target those keys for a brute-force attack.

The benefits of hardware encryption are speed and security. In hardware-based encryption, the key never leaves the hardware device, thus you can't access them by simply looking at the device's memory. There are two kinds of encryption, 128-bit AES and 256-bit AES encryption. 256-bit AES encryption is the strongest form of encryption commonly available in consumer products.

Verbatim is owned by the Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation Group and its reputation for quality and reliability in the storage industry is worldwide well renowned. Over its 40 year history and now with its security range, it has developed a portfolio of digital storage solutions matching and exceeding the increasingly complex and varied requirements of modern society today. Responding to the need for reliable data security, Verbatim has focused on 256-bit AES Hardware Encrypted Storage Products to offer highest reliable and secure storage devices.

With its new Secure ‘n’ Go USB Drive, Verbatim is addressing the increasing need of private users for total control of their portable data. Verbatim’s new Secure Data USB Drive features mandatory password and 256 bit AES hardware encryption which ensures that the data on the drive is always encrypted and secure.  Additionally, for added security, the USB device erases all data after 20 wrong password attempts. 

Verbatim’s new Secure ‘n’ Go Small Business Security Pack offers a complete and easy-to-use solution incorporating data encryption and endpoint protection for professionals - doctors, engineers, tax consultants, architects etc. - where security of information is vital. The 256bit AES hardware encrypted USB drive ensures that all data saved on it is 100% secure, and the embedded endpoint protection software can be loaded on PCs to only allow approved, encrypted USB drives access to the data on the computer.  Easy to handle, quick to install and intuitive to use, it is ideal for organisations that may not have a full time IT administrator but still require a robust security solution for their data.

5. What is the world status of data storage at the moment and what will be the future of data storage? What is coming for the future? What will be the future product specifications?

Data Storage will continue to diversify. As data quantity and the need for more storage is increasing and prices are falling NAS (Network Attached Solutions) will conquer living rooms in near future. High speed for fast data transfer will continue to be on high demand. In 2011 USB 3.0 will become a standard. The choice of storage device will depend on particular needs (sensitivity, file size, length of storage, cost of the storage media etc).  On-line storage will become more used, but the whole market will continue to expand so there will be opportunities for everything, from 100GB Blu-ray media to Micro SD Card!

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About Verbatim
Since 1969, Verbatim has been shaping the development of data storage technology – from Floppy Disks and Magneto-Optical storage media, CD and DVD formats to the latest High Definition media Blu-ray.  Moreover, Verbatim offers high quality products in the field of Portable USB Drives, Flash Memory Cards, SSD and External Hard Drives in 4,57cm (1,8“) Pocket, 6,35cm (2,5“) Portable and 8,89cm (3,5“) Desktop-Format as well as a broad variety of computer Accessories. Verbatim is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Group and benefits from the outstanding research and development department. With these innovations Verbatim has played a key role in shaping the storage media market.  Ultra-strict quality controls during the manufacturing process ensure the high quality of Verbatim’s products, which have been the winners of numerous international comparative tests.  The company is the worldwide market leader for Optical Media.  For more information, please visit

Press Contact:
Maria Csilics
Verbatim GmbH
Düsseldorfer Str. 13
65760 Eschborn
Tel: +49 (0)6196-9001-30

Posted by Beth Morse at 11:13 AMemail story

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