PCR sits down with executive vice president and chief marketing officer Alex Mei

Company profile: OCZ Technology

Where, when and by whom was OCZ founded?

OCZ Technology was founded by Ryan Petersen in 2002, who is still the CEO of the company. The firm’s name – which is short for overclockers – pretty much explains how the business began. Ryan wanted to design and manufacturer overclocking products that helped consumers squeeze more performance out of their systems. This started with milling copper heatsinks and designing overclocking RAM in a garage.

Is the company very different now to how it was back then?

OCZ has gone through a number of changes as we have grown over the years, and our core product line has also changed to reflect the demand of the latest high-power users.

While the company actually started with coolers, RAM and even video cards, today our core product line consists of cutting-edge, solid state drives, high-performance memory modules and premium power supplies. The commitment to deliver the highest performing solutions has not wavered and OCZ continues to focus on delivering best in class solutions.

Will you be branching out from memory, or will that remain OCZ’s core focus?

Our main focus today is actually solid state drives. As a pioneer in this space we are able to find innovative ways in which to improve performance and reliability for storage applications ranging from mobile to enterprise.

We are also the only company that has a complete line of both client and enterprise SSDs in a variety of interfaces, including SATA, SAS and PCI-E. In addition to these solid-state drives we also continue to grow our high-performance memory and PSU offerings that cater specifically to power users.

What is the main driving factor in memory at the moment?

While sheer speed and latency were once the drivers, today with the cost of DRAM becoming more affordable to everyday consumers, the balance of speed and density combine to form the driving force for memory adoption.

The latest platforms can support mindboggling densities and consumers don’t have to sacrifice speed for capacity and vice-versa.

What plans do you have for further expansion around the world?

OCZ products can currently be found in just about every key market, but we are always designing solutions that specifically match local needs and requirements. While OCZ is very strong on the client side, one of the fastest growing portions of our business is now enterprise and OEM solutions, and you can expect this growth to continue globally.

What do you have planned locally for the UK, then?

The UK is a very important market for us, with a very savvy power user customer base. The UK market is often one of the first to adopt the latest and greatest components and we make sure that we design solutions that specifically match the latest platforms, in terms of performance and value.

A good example is the RevoDrive, which was made available to the UK as one of our launch markets. The RevoDrive is the world’s first affordable bootable PCI-E SSD designed specifically for gaming and multimedia applications. You can expect to see many more new and exciting products that cater towards UK enthusiasts in the coming quarters.

Do you think the Christmas buying period will be better for retail than last year?

While nobody has a crystal ball, everyone is feeling more positive about what this holiday retail season holds. In terms of our segment there are always customers who want the very best solutions and we believe that first and foremost we have to deliver products that not only our customers would buy, but that we personally would want as well. These are products like our SSD drives, which let users actually feel a difference in speed and overall system responsiveness the minute they are installed.

Where do you see the company in five years’ time?

Five years seems like a lifetime away in our fast-moving market, but our goal is to continue on our path of innovating and developing products that change the way consumers and enterprise clients interact with their platforms.

You can expect a continued focus on delivering the very best solid state drives, memory and power supplies but don’t be surprised if we introduce yet another category. If there is a computing need we will do our best to address it with an innovative product we feel really adds value to consumers.

We always say internally here at OCZ that we are passionate about performance, and you can rest assured that that commitment will not waver.

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