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Case Study

Designing a future-focused, mobile and modular system to solve problems with storing the world’s enterprise data

/ Seagate: Intro

Seagate

When tasked with designing a line of hardware products to solve the world’s enterprise data storage challenges, Seagate’s CMO, Jeff Fochman, asked Sprout to co-pilot the mission. In Sprout’s partnership with Seagate, projects conceptualized for a 2025 launch have been pushed to the forefront and accelerated five years to debut at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV.

/ Seagate: The Challenge

Reinventing the future
of data storage

Although the nature of data use continues to evolve, the enterprise solutions for these problems lag behind: as the sheer amount of data created grows exponentially, terabytes of data can’t transfer from cars, phones, and drones to the cloud quickly enough due to latency issues over the current network structure. Data storage and transport need a leader in the field to pioneer cutting-edge designs, solve everyday problems, and imagine a not-so-distant future of data.

For example, in the United States alone, Media and Entertainment consistently generates more data content than any other industry. With a current resolution between 2K and 5K, video capture for a single TV series can easily generate 14 Terabytes of digital content per week. With resolution demands of 8K emerging in the near-future, digital storage demands will quickly grow by over a factor of 10. The challenge of managing these large data amounts is only compounded when studios use different hardwares/softwares — creating inefficiencies, cost overruns, and security risks.

Seagate already owned an opportunity to lead the industry in solving these problems, yet needed a forward-thinking, design-minded partner to help lead the way. Seagate approached Sprout with a few product directions focusing around latency to cloud storage and other implications looking at current trends in data storage.

/ Seagate: The Approach

Designing for data storage

In looking at the vision of Seagate and the company’s aspirations to not only solve data storage problems but also decide the future of data storage design, Sprout needed to innovate with product design and translate highly technical concepts into a cohesive visual brand language (VBL) and a suite of marketing materials.

/ Seagate: The Approach

Telling the story
of data storage

Understanding that the nitty-gritty of data storage makes sense to highly technical folks (but not most others), Sprout needed to communicate the larger vision and purpose of Seagate’s products in an understandable yet disruptive way.

In order to successfully and effectively convey important information to an audience comprised of all levels of data knowledge, Sprout intentionally structured the Seagate product story for each platform. Marketing materials like brochures and videos were designed first for the internal Seagate team before future iterations focused on target B2B partners.

/ Seagate: The Approach

Designing the building blocks of data storage

Sprout focused on modularity in our product design and also designed for agile workflows. Rather than a one-size-fits-all solution, a modular portfolio allows for customization so that users can utilize individual components. These components are not only modular but also mobile, creating a seamless data integration experience.

In the multi-product family of data storage options, smaller-tiered products (1TB-100TB) were designed with mobility and shippability as the main goal, including integrated handles and hardshell-locking cases for shipping ease. Sprout designed mobile-mounting accessories for these products as well, so that each product can be mounted in any vehicle or mobile data generating endpoint. Ultimately, these modular blocks can be integrated into an on-site or off-site RACK system that could store petabytes of data for businesses.

/ Seagate: The Outcome

Setting the scene for the future

With a strong foundation set for future data design, Seagate has secured its place as an industry pioneer. These solutions were initially planned to launch in 2025, yet due to their innovative nature, market readiness, and strong design and development team, they will start rolling out in 2020. The necessity saddled with the products will presumably set the scene for future products from Seagate.

Further, an identifiable VBL for other Seagate products will only help to strengthen the company’s positioning amongst its competitors. This guidebook for Seagate’s VBL has created a streamlined process and roadmap for the creation of an ecosystem of new products. And with a roadmap in tow, new products built on the identified and designed requirements of modularity, agility, mobility, and a distinctive design provide an incredible amount of enterprise opportunities for Seagate.

/ Seagate: Testimonial

“Lyve Drive is Seagate’s first step toward a unified data experience”

Jeff Fochtman

Seagate's VP of Marketing