FalconStor CEO Pursues Disruptive Vision of Data Protection Services

FalconStor chief executive Jim McNeil revealed his ambitions to replicate Apple’s Time Machine in the data center during a 2012 interview at research firm Wikibon’s headquarters, where the concept was originally discussed several years earlier.  In the session, the CEO spoke of the rise of data protection as a service: businesses abandoning the traditional one-size-fits approach to backup in favor of more calculated approaches that are founded on professional know-how, rather than on promotional material from vendors.

FalconStor has become one of the driving forces behind this new way of thinking about data protection. In one of his most recent interviews, McNiel offered a glimpse into his vision for the coming year, highlighting a massive opportunity to make the disruptive technology he talked about just a few months before available to SMBs.  He didn’t hesitate to elaborate, outlining his goal that should be keeping FalconStor’s engineers occupied for the next few months.

FalconStor’s mission: Take world-class replication technology and package it for SMB customers — along with their channel partners. It must be easy to access, install, configure and manage. “That puts us back in the software business as a full software application,” said McNiel. “It’s about offering the fastest, simplest file recovery in the market.” And the work, he added, doesn’t exclude the cloud.

McNeil is pushing on all fronts, and his move could not have come at a better time. FalconStor, after all, is not the only name in data protection-as-a-Service.  The company has to buffer its head start now that Symantec is establishing a presence of its own with CommVault, and EMC is following suit.  Stephen Manley, the CTO of EMC’s BRS business, described the new backup model that his unit is adopting back at the company’s annual conference in June.

Under McNiel’s leadership, FalconStor has navigated some choppy waters in recent months.  The data backup provider lost its former CEO to suicide amidst a bribery scandal, now showing all the right signs of recovery.  And according to our Wall Street sources, McNiel could be exploring an exit strategy for FalconStor, in the form of an acquisition.