Well, it’s official, Tobias Brinkmann is back within the OCZ fold as Director of Caching and Hybrid Drives. So what is this new role all about and why was OCZ so keen to get their business development guru back on board? KitGuru peaks at satellite footage from San Jose and ponders.
There are a lot of smart cookies at OCZ, no doubting that.
Once known for its memory products, like the distinctive Reaper 8500, a few years back the company started to expand its product range.
At first it wasn’t clear which direction would be best for OCZ – and the industry was treated to a variety of sales presentations on everything from low-cost, power supplies – through to a vision for local notebook system building and upgrading, using a modular system developed in conjunction with Intel.
Then came SSD and the world, for OCZ, changed beyond recognition.
From nothing, to its first SSD, to the monstrous 1TB Z-Drive and, finally, to the Vertex range – OCZ has built a significant global brand in less than 3 years. Along the way, it has recruited some very skilled individuals into key positions. The company’s localised technical knowledge is impressive and its sales teams highly focused.
Then we come to marketing and business development.
If there’s one area where OCZ has out-muscled its neighbours, its here. In creating the brand and – through that – demand in the channel for Vertex and its siblings.
Tobias Brinkmann built his reputation at Kompett, helping build the online resellers brand and reputation across 7 countries. When he joined OCZ originally in 2006, his role was a general one – covering all aspects of marketing. No surprise that AC Ryan was interested in bringing his brand-building skills to the home media stream specialist in April 2010.
The real surprise is that after only a few short months in the US of A, OCZ wanted to re-establish its dream team. And so Tobias is back. But where will he be focusing this time? Where can he help OCZ build bigger business?
The answer is in the hybrid area. The amalgamation of low-cost, massive hard drive technology with more expensive, but significantly faster SSD.
Just as your system memory acts as a cache for your hard drive, so your processor’s cache provides a buffer to your RAM. Modern systems give an illusion of being much faster and more responsive than they might otherwise be, through the intelligent use of buffering any two components that are too far apart in performance terms.
With Ivy Bridge from Intel in 2011, every new PC will have buffering capability built in. Specifically, a system that allows your SSD to cache hard drive content automatically. As 100GB drives drop below the magic $100 mark, so SSD will begin to hit mass-market systems. But we all know that 100GB is no where near enough storage in a modern system. So part of the SSD’s function will be to seamlessly buffer data from your +1 TB drive – making sure the stuff you need the most is held on the SSD – and swapping out in the background as smoothly as possible. KitGuru first saw this as a single-chip solution on the Silverstone stand at Computex 2010.
However, in just 12 months, it had become very real by Computex 2011, and it will become much more important in 2012. And who does OCZ want on-board to maximise this new business opportunity? You’ve guessed it, Tobias.
KitGuru says: The idea that every system over £500 having some element of SSD, while still offering mass storage of more than 1TB is really appealing. You only need to look at our various tests with laptops which were not supplied with an SSD boot drive – where KitGuru Labs added a Solid State Drive after initial testing and benchmarked it again. The jump is performance and responsiveness is amazing. It’s what you all deserve.
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