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Imation, based in Oakdale, Minnesota, is a global technology corporation that describes itself as a global scalable storage and data security company. The company has three core elements – Traditional Storage (magnetic tape and optical products), Secure and Scalable Storage (data backup, data archive and data security solutions designed for small and medium businesses) and what Imation calls “Audio and Video Information” solutions and products.
Imation was started in 1996, when 3M spun out its data storage business. The company has undergone a divestment of non-core businesses, and according to a press release issued by Imation in February 2011, the company is investing in “four core product technology areas: Secure Storage, Scalable Storage, Wireless/Connectivity, and Magnetic Tape.”
The company has been involved in the development of many technological improvements in data storage, such as the introduction of the first magnetic tape in 1947, the first quarter-inch tape cartridge for data storage (QIC) in 1971 and the 3.5-inch (89 mm) floppy disk in 1984. The company now has a market presence in more than 100 countries.
In February 2012, Imation announced a “unified Secure Data, Identity and Mobile Workspace product set” that includes solutions for securing mobile data, securing mobile identities and securing mobile workspaces – all based on the reality that employees are using portable storage devices to transport corporate data more and more.
The security news follows five acquisitions the company made in 2011 within scalable storage and data security: Louisville, Colo.-based ENCRYPTX; Montreal-based MXI Security from Memory Experts International; the assets of Boulder, Colo.-based ProStor, including the InfiniVault tiered storage system; IronKey’s secure data storage hardware business; and intellectual property and other assets, including key data deduplication technology from Middleboro, Mass.-based Nine Technologies. As part of the deal with IronKey, Imation entered a strategic partnership whereby Imation receives an exclusive license from IronKey for its secure storage management software and service and a license to use the IronKey brand for secure storage products.
In October 2011, Imation introduced a unified, tiered storage solution portfolio for small and medium businesses (SMB), centered around its DataGuard and InfiniVault multi-tier data protection and data archive appliances. According to an Imation executive, Imation’s “new scalable storage solutions help SMBs cost-effectively embrace the rapidly expanding digital world, yet frees them up to run a productive business.”
In addition to selling mobile security and scalable storage solutions, the company sells consumer electronics, headphones and accessories under the Imation, Memorex, TDK Life on Record and XtremeMac brands. The combined Imation, Memorex and TDK Life on Record brands make the company the global market share leader in sales of CD-R and DVD media.