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Purchase decision question


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I am a week into the trial period with Retrospect Desktop and with an intention to purchase. It has come down to this or Cloudberry - and I'm likely sticking with Retrospect (despite the frustration of a clunky and inescapable dashboard.) I'm a Retrospect Professional 7.7 owner currently and dashboard almost made me stick with that to wait out another version, but I like Proactive backup too much and suspect I'll be connecting with the cloud for backups as well.

My question has to do with the ASM (annual service and maintenance agreement.) Normally, I don't purchase service agreements with software after the initial period of included tech support, because most of my learning curve and shake-down work is done in that period. So I have little need for extended tech support. But there are other variables here. I was told by Retrospect sales that a new version is coming out in March or thereabouts and I'd be very interested in that especially if it fixes some of the current issues (ASM = free upgrades during that year of tech support.) But even more to the point is that Retrospect is now owned by Storcentric (they purchased it I think this past August.) That's my real question here. I've been reading up on Storcentric. They also bought Drobo (DAS and NAS machines) and seem to be focused on creating a new integrated (software + hardware) approach to data storage and security. Storcentric seems innovative rather than just a company that wants to buy and sell without investing much in R&D. Given that Retrospect seems in relative decline among a fast, new pack of more elegant interfaces and solutions to backup data, it hardly seems like something worth buying just to ride the dropping sales profits. It would seem a more rational reason to purchase Retrospect is to develop what is a fundamentally sound solution and making it better. I don't know that I trust my insights into these things, but I see that plus I look at Storcentric's intent of redesigning an integrated software-hardware product with Retrospect and Drobo and can't help but think that would translate to a more meaningful overhaul of Retrospect. For that reason alone, I think it might be worth the ASM and - heck - maybe I should buy a few shares of stock in Storcentric while I'm at it? I'm far from a financial guru so please don't take that too seriously, but I'd still be interested in anyone else's thoughts on this.

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You raise a whole bunch of points in your post.  Retrospect, or any other product in its class, is not just a point-in-time purchase.  You also need to "invest" in learning the product (non-trivial) and doing configuration and tuning.  You also want to be sure that your investment is protected long-term because of the financial strength of the vendor.

I don't know much about Storcentric (or its competition) but I will observe that backup is a relatively mature market category. One could argue that web-based backup is a different market segment than more traditional premises-based backup, but I will leave that argument to others.  And what is Storecentric's strategy in purchasing Retrosepct and Drobo, as opposed to any of their direct competitors, I simply don't know.  That is an issue for Storcentric of course, but it's also the kind of issue that is catnip for product management types like me.

However, on the more narrow decision to purchase an ASM.  I have found that I can get quite good support for my issues, even though I have not purchased an ASM.  of course, when release 17 comes out, then I will have to pony up for the upgrade.  More generally you have to decide if Retrospect, as it exists today, meets your needs better than the competition.

Salespeople are supposed to "SWAT," Sell What's Available Today.  I would ignore the statement about a new release next March, because the reality of software development is that March can easily become May or July or September.  And unless you know what is in that release, you don't know how important that release is for you with capabilities that you need now, but are not in the current release.

Whatever you do, DO NOT buy shares in Storcentric. There is not much information on the website, certainly not who/what is funding this acquisition strategy.  https://storcentric.com/

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