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Posted: November 02, 2012

Top Company winner: Spectra Logic

Nora Caley


Spectra Logic

Spectra Logic makes products that help companies store tremendous amounts of data. To explain how much data, Molly Rector, who is chief marketing officer for the Boulder-based company, points to this year’s Summer Olympics.

"NBC is a huge customer of ours," says Rector, who is also executive vice president of product management and worldwide marketing for Spectra Logic. "They have digitally stored everything that happened in the London Olympics, every event, by every camera angle." That’s a lot of hours, and if NBC wants to query and retrieve a clip of one person during a particular race, the TV network can do it thanks to Spectra’s products.

Spectra Logic designs and manufactures data protection products such as tape and disk-based backup. Entertainment is one industry that requires a great deal of storage, and also quick retrieval. When Whitney Houston died, TV stations and others needed footage of the celebrity in various moments throughout her career. "Everyone wanted to see her through the years," Rector says. "All that content is kept forever."

The privately held Spectra Logic has been around forever, or at least forever in the technology world. Nathan Thompson, who is still CEO, founded the company from his dorm room at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1979. At first the company supplied memory boards for computer hard drives. In 1992 Spectra Logic switched its focus to backup software and tape storage, and over the years developed products that could store more data and also had features related to encryption, an important issue with data storage and retrieval.

Financial-services companies use Spectra’s products to store customer transaction data. Health-care systems such as Exempla Healthcare, the parent of St. Joseph Hospital and Lutheran Medical Center, use Spectra tape libraries to store patient information to comply with HIPAA privacy regulations, as well as employee and corporate data. NASA uses Spectra tape libraries to make sense of data transmitted from Mars. Spectra Logic products are installed in 40 countries.

Nora Caley is a freelance writer specializing in business and food topics.

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