Struggling Imation Diversifies with Cloud-Based Services

Struggling Imation Diversifies with Cloud-Based Services

The new services were announced as the Oakdale-based company, which has long offered physical data storage devices, is struggling to make a profit.

Imation Corporation, which has in recent years been struggling to turn a profit, is now diversifying its offerings in the hopes of turning itself around.
 
The Oakdale-based company, which has long sold data-storage devices such as magnetic tapes and DVDs, announced Tuesday that it has launched two new services that allow businesses to store data on remote servers. Imation One Backup Service can serve as backup storage for desktops and laptops, and Imation Pro Backup Service can back up servers in addition to desktops and laptops.
 
The announcement comes about two months after the company revealed plans to cut its global work force by 20 percent. News of the layoffs came on the heels of a third-quarter sales decline of nearly 20 percent.
 
For the quarter that ended in September, Imation reported an operating loss of $6.3 million, or 17 cents per share, on revenue of $248.2 million. The company reported an operating loss of $33.1 million, or $1.24 per share, in 2011 on revenue of $1.3 billion.
 
Ian Williams, group president for Imation’s tiered storage solutions division, told the Pioneer Press that the company believes there is a vast market for business data backup because 80 percent of businesses do not back up their data outside of their facilities, where the data would be protected should a disaster occur at the business.
 
Imation said that its new services will allow businesses to back up and recover their data efficiently. The services are reportedly based on software that Imation bought last year from a Massachusetts-based company called Nine Technology.
 
“Cloud backup services provide one option, yet many businesses are reluctant to rely on cloud storage for sensitive data,” Tom Gelson, Imation’s director of business development, said in a statement. “Imation One and Imation Pro online backup and recovery services deliver a unique combination of affordable and scalable backup with comprehensive security features to support full integration into a company’s IT data protection strategy.”
 
Imation is among Minnesota’s 30-largest public companies based on revenue. Although it was founded as a maker of data storage media, several years ago, it was billing itself as a “brand and product management” company and selling consumer electronics under various brands. But in January 2011, the company announced plans to shift its focus back to data storage, protection, and connectivity.
 
In January, Twin Cities Business explored what’s behind Imation’s recent struggles, how it’s progressing with its turnaround plan, and its prospects for the future—including whether it’s time for the company to be sold, either in pieces or in its entirety. To read that story, click here.

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