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Life in the Channel: Synology’s Jeremie Francois

The NAS manufacturer’s Business Development Analyst discusses upcoming expansions to its surveillance and high-end rack solutions, reveals how Synology is adapting to changes within the storage and security sectors, and explains why prevention is always better than cure.

Tell us about your career in the industry and your current role at Synology.

I joined Synology back in 2012, working at our HQ office in Taiwan. I was working on software side of the business as a product manager for mobile applications.

As I was moving to the UK, a sales role came up in the Milton Keynes office, so I joined the team there as a business development analyst working on channel management and sales.

What is your team focused on at the moment?

In terms of our product range, we have got some very important updates on the high-end rack range enterprise segment coming. Traditionally Synology have been strong on the SMB market, more so desktop NAS, however we have got some great solutions coming out, all-flash array updates and a dual controller with Active- Active technology being released later on this year.

“At Synology we make sure our solutions have the best security levels that are also easy for users to set up and monitor”

On the software side of the business, solutions such as Veeam are very popular and often customers use a Synology NAS as the storage target. Since many businesses need fully integrated solutions and software optimised for its hardware, we have developed a package called Active Backup.

This package is completely licence-free, it turns the Synology into a backup appliance to protect all IT workloads for businesses. We have also recently added support for Sharepoint, and more options for virtualisation environments as Hyper-V is in the pipeline. Microsoft users should be delighted!

How is data storage and security changing, and how is Synology adapting to these changes?

Conventionally building an IT infrastructure implied a tough decision; private cloud versus public cloud. Private cloud means that you have 100% control of the hardware infrastructure, with the downside of less flexibility and possible over investment compared to that of a public cloud. Public cloud means a loss of control over a businesses data, which can be a major concern to businesses, particularly after the implementation of regulations such as GDPR last year.
What we have seen is that customers are wanting to have a hybrid solution. This allows them to have their data exactly where they need it, and gives them the ability to access it when whenever they want.

Take the media and broadcasting industry as an example; they are often needing to edit very large files and are also needing this done locally, with little to no latency, however when you have finished the editing and you want to share these files (especially if your customer is in a different country). You may actually be happy to upload that specific project to a platform such as Google Drive to share the file more easily.

Synology strives to make that as simple as possible, with apps such as Cloud Sync, allowing users to build their own “Hybrid Cloud”.

Security is ever more important. We have all heard about the ransomware threats and they are very real. What Synology does is to make sure that the solutions we provide have the best security levels and that these are easy for the user to set up and monitor.

This goes beyond simply storage and the overall network. We have our own range of routers with excellent features like VPN solutions and threat prevention.

“Our annual launch event, Synology 2020, is a great opportunity to network with like-minded people, try hands-on demonstrations and learn more about what the Synology product roadmap holds for 2020”

It is important to still plan for the worse should your IT infrastructure be affected. We also have great backup disaster recovery solutions that allow you to guarantee if you are impacted that you will always be able to recover fast by retrieving your data and getting systems up and running again, and making sure it has a very limited impact on your business. Prevention is better than cure.

Are there any upcoming plans or projects at Synology you can tell us about?

In terms of product, we have a very exciting NAS coming soon to our surveillance range. Surveillance is a critical activity nowadays and making live-view analytics ever more intelligent is a key challenge, so our newest unit to join the surveillance family is an AI powered model. It is called the DVA3219 (due to be released very soon) and is perfect for the SMB market.

Essentially these are completely powered by the Synology NAS, no cloud platform is relied on which is essential for data confidentiality.

We are currently working on strengthening our high-end rack range and are soon to be releasing a dual controller product notably with Active-Active technology. We are very much looking forward to its release to introduce it to the market. To properly push these high-end rack solutions, in addition to our partner programme launched last year, we are looking to upgrade our service-levels, by working more closely with service partners, Stortrec in the UK notably.

We are holding our annual launch event ‘Synology 2020’ in London later this year where we shall be showcasing our newest technologies. It’s a great opportunity to network with like-minded people, try hands-on demonstrations and a chance to learn more about what the Synology product roadmap holds for 2020. More event details can be found on our website.

This article is part of PCR’s Security Sector Spotlight – in association with 

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