ASP start-up set to make waves in storage services is a dot com company with a difference. Based in
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India and Fremont, California, USA, it is an Application Service Provider (ASP) focusing on providing storage and back-up services over the internet to SMEs in the US. 

Founded by S Rajeev, formerly director of Java and Strategic Alliances at Sun Microsystems India, and Raju Indukuri, formerly of Intelliguard, a storage software firm, with an initial capital of $250,000, is currently beta testing the technology developed by them. It is in the process of getting venture funding to the tune of $4 million to bring its services to the market.

As the name suggests, will back up a company’s data remotely on to its servers for a monthly fee, thus freeing the company the headache of having to back up data. More importantly, the service also relieves companies the investment in storage devices to back up its increasing data needs. The fee would vary depending on the frequency of back-up, which could range from hourly to once a day. This outsourcing model has the potential to become very large–in fact Srinivasan is looking at revenues in the region of $10 million in two years. 

His confidence stems from the fact that very few companies–especially the SMEs–back up their data despite being aware of its criticality. And, contrary to popular belief, disk crashes are a common phenomenon. According to
Srinivasan, “Market research indicates that one out of every 1000 PC’s crashes every week–there is a great deal of valuable information that is vulnerable to data loss. Using iStoreData’s technology, users can automatically backup their information and retrieve it easily. Thus they can insure themselves against catastrophic data loss.” That Forrester Research forecasts the ASP market to be in the region of $10 billion in 2001 only underscores the confidence of the founders of

IStoreData has set up its servers at Exodus’s internet data center in California. However, as demand increases in the Asia-Pacific region, iStoreData expects to set up mirrored data centers in India as well. Though its services can be accessed by anybody from anywhere in the world, so long as the person has an internet connection, the initial focus will be on the US market. Gradually, of course, the company would be looking at India and the Asia-Pacific region. 

In addition, the company will also offer 24-hour customer support from India for which the company is hiring about 50 people in
Thiruvananthapuram. The 24-hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week help desk and customer support facilities will enable iStoreData to take advantage of the time difference between India and the US. Following a trend set by major multinationals which have set up large call centers in India, iStoreData will offer its worldwide customers phone and web-based help desks operating out of India.

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