Interview With Adriana Grau - CEO of Grau Data

Published on: June 9, 2024
Shauli Zacks Shauli Zacks
Published on: June 9, 2024

In a recent interview with SafetyDetectives, Adriana Grau, the CEO of Grau Data, shared the fascinating journey of her family’s business and its evolution into a leading software company. Founded by her father, Herbert Grau, over thirty years ago, Grau Data has a rich history rooted in innovation and a deep passion for data management. Adriana, inspired by her father’s entrepreneurial spirit, joined the company in 2021, bringing fresh insights and a shared vision for the future. Together, they continue to drive Grau Data’s success, blending tradition with modern advancements in data management and security.

Can you share the story behind the founding of GRAU DATA? What inspired you to start the company?

My father Herbert Grau founded GRAU Data Storage more than thirty years ago.

GRAU was an IBM partner for integrating their scara robot back in 1985. In 1986 IBM introduced a new cartridge based tape drive called 3490.  We decided to develop a mainframe based Automatic Tape Library which we launched on the CeBIT Computer Show 1988. We were the second company worldwide next to StorageTek, Colorado, offering a fully Automatic Tape Library. Our solution could integrate the IBM tape drive family and also tape drives from other manufactures like Hitachi, Memorex etc.  In 1995 EMASS, a daughter company of E Systems in Dallas, Texas bought the majority of GRAU Storage Systems in Germany. Through this partnership we sold a lot of Automatic Tape Libraries to the US. The US government evolved as the single largest customer during that time.

Finally ADIC acquired all of EMASS and GRAU Storage Systems, before Quantum bought ADIC.

Herbert Grau restarted GRAU DATA back in the year 2000. GRAU DATA is today a pure software company selling 4 software products in Germany, Europe, the US and Asia.

I grew up with the family business and as a young kid I was impressed by the big magnetic tape robot systems. My dad’s passion for data and entrepreneurship definitely shaped me and after gaining external experience at an American software vendor for several years I decided to join the family business in 2021. Since the beginning of this year my dad and I share responsibilities and successfully manage the company in a dual leadership. This marks an important milestone in our succession planning.

How does GRAU DATA differentiate itself from other software development companies in the market?

We are a German software manufacturer with our own local in-house developers with more than 30 years of experience in the market. We develop and innovate very market-driven since we work very closely with our partners and customers. As a company run and owned by a family we do have the advantage being very fast and agile when it comes to strategic decisions and navigating through dynamic trends and challenges on the market. Also, we do have a special culture here that is very much shaped by family oriented values.

What are the biggest challenges companies face today in terms of data management and security?

The amount of data is exploding, new data storage options evolve everyday as well as new end-points, devices and applications. The data landscape has become more and more complex and at the same time IT resources are scarce and cyber criminality has increased. Under these conditions the biggest challenge really is keeping control over your own data and that is why our slogan “Your Data. Your control” is more true than ever.

What are the common misconceptions about data archiving and management that you encounter?

Data archiving does not have a very sexy reputation since it is the so called “data graveyard”. However, data archiving is not a choice but rather a must. Especially in current times where security is an increasing risk. Cloud computing is an option, but we think the cost efficiency and data control is much better if you use on-premise solutions or an MSP of choice.

What are the key factors companies should consider when choosing a data management solution?

Scalability and flexibility, performance and reliability, as well as a user-friendly interface are often considered standard and are taken as a given. However, the key to a future-proof solution is seamless integration with third-party applications and existing systems (API-driven). This interoperability, along with the ability to fit into a broader ecosystem, allows adaptation to new technologies and business requirements, ensuring a long-term, sustainable solution.

What trends do you see shaping the future of data management and storage solutions?

There are trends that we are seeing and incorporating in our solutions: The future of data management depends on embedded metadata – the hidden superpower that will help us in unleashing the value of unstructured data and empowering AI development and data science. Further we see a clear trend towards creating a “zero-trust” environment as well as the good old tape having a “come back” these days, also driven by the large hyperscalers.

About the Author
Shauli Zacks
Published on: June 9, 2024

About the Author

Shauli Zacks is a tech enthusiast who has reviewed and compared hundreds of programs in multiple niches, including cybersecurity, office and productivity tools, and parental control apps. He enjoys researching and understanding what features are important to the people using these tools.

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