The Silicon Review
“Atempo has a complete range of backup solutions for almost all data protection requirements – from physical and virtual machine backup and recovery, endpoint file backup to large NAS protection.”
An overwhelming majority of the data in the world is unstructured, and that data continues to grow. Unstructured data is what we value the most, and as time goes on, it increases in value.
For individuals, it is pictures of our loved ones. For movie studios, it is raw footage and outtakes. It is MRI images, CAT scans and EEG images that, when evaluated together, make up the map of our well-being. It is high-resolution electron microscopy images of cells and brain tissue that is the raw information that fuels many innovations in life sciences. It is the petabytes of data that are the outputs of today’s computer-aided design and manufacturing of chips, planes and cars. It is the exabytes of high-resolution video and LIDAR data that is the source material for AV programs that seek to make self-driving vehicles a reality.
In light of the above-mentioned scenario, we’re thrilled to present Atempo.
The company develops data lifecycle management products. It offers a data management framework that automatically matches the level of data protection and security to information’s value over its lifecycle. Atempo offers products that encompass data recovery management, storage security, continuous data protection, non-repudiated long-term archiving, and regulatory compliance. It offers its products through resellers.
Atempo was incorporated in 1992 and is headquartered in the south of Paris (Massy). It has additional office locations in Europe, the US, and Asia with a channel network in excess of 100 partners, integrators and managed service providers.
Luc d’Urso, Atempo CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Q. What is the impact of big data and cloud on IT infrastructure? And what do you think is the next big thing in data science?
The volume of unstructured data is growing exponentially, bringing new needs for both high-performance storage and software. In terms of backup, restore, and disaster recovery, conventional solutions are not adapted to process volumes of data that regularly exceed petabyte levels and move towards the exabyte scale. The cloud brings an additional layer of complexity because the network layer limits transfers and means new requirements in terms of mapping and security. Data is out of our control to some extent.
The next generation of data movement and protection solutions will make life easier for operators. They will enable a consolidated view of different architectures that host and manage data. Teams will be able to move and store data with simplicity and cost-effectiveness based on their needs and available processing power. Criteria will fit each organization’s needs, internal and external rules, economic considerations, and performance requirements.
This level of service will only be possible through integrated layers of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Q. How did you overcome the challenges your company faced at the outset?
With more limited resources, Atempo has positioned itself in certain niches on the strength of proven technological excellence. By creating innovative concepts in the field of backup, such as the concept of time navigation, for example, we have progressively won new accounts from demanding customers in banking and finance, aviation, media and entertainment, medical research and life sciences.
Q. How do you stay relevant to consumer needs and interests?
As mentioned, Atempo is not a marketer’s company but an engineering one. We avoid following blindly and maintain a critical eye when it comes to trends which sometimes prove to be ephemeral despite the promise and hype. We always seek out real and concrete benefits of an actual technological revolution that our customers can benefit from. Our stance is that the best marketing does not face the test of time and that our customers appreciate our clear vision and dissonant voice which sometimes sets us apart from the mainstream. For example, we are not cloud fundamentalists. We know the limits of a 100 percent cloud architecture not only in terms of availability, security or business continuity but also budgetary control. Our solutions are particularly well-adapted for hybrid cloud environments.
Q. Please help us understand the current market landscape?
Like many traditional IT sectors, the backup market is in full mutation mode. The number of offers remains high and the market is buoyant growing over 10 percent per year. The Cloud is an increasingly popular target for companies offering MSP and BaaS (Backup-as-a-Service) offers. Ever diverse IT environments, exploding data volumes also mean there are often several backup solutions in one organization. Cybercrime is also a key driver with companies attempting to secure not only on-premise data but also roaming and endpoint data.
Q. How is your company positioned in the current market scenario?
Atempo has a complete range of backup solutions for almost all data protection requirements – from physical and virtual machine backup and recovery, endpoint file backup to large storage & NAS protection. Our current market stance is to continue to offer powerful mainstream data protection and management but continue our drive towards the massive unstructured data protection and movement. Our Miria platform is ideally positioned to address the needs of our customers for the backup, migration and archiving of massive unstructured data sets.
Q. A tech company needs to be very agile with product and service innovation in order to withstand the competition, what is your approach towards innovation?
We have started an open innovation process by involving a third-party research center in our innovation process. We want to better exploit the collective intelligence of our industry ecosystem. In concrete terms, this means opening up and involving our innovation program to our major customers, integrators, suppliers and technological partners. We benefit from the genuine skills and academic excellence of French data research laboratories and innovative start-ups in our domain.
Q. A company that protects data has two big responsibilities, one – to secure oneself from being attacked and two – securing other companies against attacks. First is rather tough than the later one, how do you manage both?
In terms of data protection and confidentiality, the European Union has the most stringent regulatory framework in the world, and it continues to strengthen. This is due to its history. The French software industry and data hosting companies are structured in compliance with this regulation (CNIL, GDPR ...). They set a gold standard in security. All our developers are fully aware of the credo “security and confidentiality by design”. In addition, Atempo is an active member of HEXATRUST, the association that federates the French cybersecurity sector of which I assume the Vice Presidency. This position puts Atempo at the forefront of the fight against cyber threats and criminality.
Q. How do you maintain your customers’ trust and loyalty?
Building trust and loyalty among customers is primary for Atempo. Availability, responsiveness and the provision of relevant information are key elements and the basis of Atempo’s customer care program. Customer satisfaction is measured on a weekly basis and the rate remains above 94 percent. The yearly staff turnover of our support team is less than 5 percent. Our support team is a united and supportive group that has worked together for a long time. They have a better understanding of their customers, their activities, their technical constraints and their IT architectures. This helps us to provide the best quality of service that our customers deserve.
Q. Please explain your products and services in brief.
Our flagship data protection technology, Miria, addresses the needs of very large storages with millions of files and petabyte-scale unstructured data volumes using a highly efficient, vendor agnostic backup approach. Moving, protecting and exploiting these very large data sets is unequivocally the biggest challenge our economy will be facing in the next decade. Atempo also commercializes these solutions:
Q. If you have to list five success factors, what would they be and why?
The factors that play a vital role in achieving our success are:
Q. Most data science companies invest more than a reasonable part of their profits in R&D, which sometimes is not a better option. How do you see it from your viewpoint?
This market is driven by innovation; therefore, we will continue to work on all fronts to keep it going. Our R&D budget represents 14 percent of our turnover. This figure is high, but necessary, to meet new industry challenges and ensure our engineers always have fresh challenges.
Q. What do you feel are the reasons behind your company’s reputation?
Our customers used to say about Atempo that we still have to learn our marketing lessons, but they admit that we deliver reliable software solutions that perform the job efficiently. And believe me, restoring data is all about reliability.
Q. Do you have any new products ready to be launched?
Miria – a backup, archiving and migration solution dedicated to large and very large volumes of unstructured data. Miria was launched in February 2019.Miria seeks to simplify the job of moving massive data sets with its single pane of glass interface and extensive choice of storage destinations. Our professional services teams are fully trained to accompany you and ensure that each project goes the distance and keeps your data safe.
Please share your latest customer/client testimonials or success stories.
Miria – UNIL, University of Lausanne, Switzerland – “We have backed up our unstructured NAS data sets based on multi-OS sources while respecting ACLs. Thanks to Atempo, we have NFS and CIFS file systems working in perfect harmony with S3-type storage.”
Lina – Barchester Healthcare, UK – “Atempo support is great, the products are great.”
Tina – University Hospital in Angers, France – “Atempo enabled us to recover all our data following a Cryptolocker attack. It showed its strength with the time navigation module which allowed us to restore from just prior to the attack. We were able to limit our losses and rapidly restore millions of files for all our users.”
Luc d’Urso: An Entrepreneur at Heart
Luc d’Urso is the Chief Executive Officer of Atempo. He started his career in Geneva at the European headquarters of Alcoa (Aluminum Company of America).
After 10 years developing companies specialized in the international manufacturing and distribution of sports goods, Mr. d’Urso co-founded Futur Telecom in 1997, a few months before the opening of the French telecom market to competition. Futur Telecom, which became the first French FVNO (Full Virtual Network Operator) to receive multiple awards (Fast 50 Deloitte Regional, Fast 50 National, Golden Helmets of the Customer Relationship, Winner of the Job Awards…), was sold in 2005 at SFR (Vodaphone Group).
Mr. d’Urso retained the chairmanship of the subsidiary within the SFR Group for two years.
In January 2010, Mr. d’Urso founded Wooxo, a data protection publisher for small and medium-sized businesses that rapidly emerged as the French leader in backup appliances in this market segment.
In August 2017, in partnership with Cyprien Roy, he bought Atempo from ASG Technologies.
Mr. d’Urso earned a degree from the ESCAE (High Business School).