I just learned that one of our major competitors (a large legacy seller of servers, storage and laptops) has internally launched a “never lose to Qumulo” program. Here’s what that means and why I’m delighted about it.
You’ve probably never heard of a “never lose to” program. It’s a tactic legacy companies employ to protect a “franchise” under threat of disruption from an emerging, more nimble competitor. As part of the program, they instruct their sales forces to beg customers not to change, offer one-time aggressive pricing (to be recouped by nickel-and-dime’ing later), threaten customers with scare tactics, and call in executives to make personal “trust us” pleas. While some customers appreciate the attention, most wonder why it comes only under threat of change, rather than as a sustained, delightful experience.
These legacy companies have developed a strong and misplaced sense of entitlement over the last decade. With the ascendance of file storage as the standard for enterprise workloads and limited enterprise-class options, many legacy customers are frustratingly stuck. A growing market with lack of choice leads to high prices and little need for innovative R&D. That’s a nice tidy business for a legacy company, but totally unhinged from customer success and value. While okay in the short run, longer term that complacency becomes cancerous for legacy companies.
When large numbers of customers abandon legacy products in favor of modern customer-centric solutions which help enable achieving business goals, incumbent providers effectively have two options: 1) innovate quickly, disrupt the status quo and create value for customers or 2) focus on thwarting competition. Unfortunately for legacy companies, the ability to innovate has long been neutered away through budget cuts, outsourcing, offshoring, reallocating R&D dollars to interest and debt service, and general ambivalence. When they find it impossible to innovate, they reactively move to stave off competitors.
A “never lose to Qumulo” program is wonderfully validating and a clear signal that we’re adding massive value for our customers. As the super legacy providers hold fast to yesterday, we at Qumulo will work harder than ever to pull tomorrow forward.
We Qumulons believe strongly in data’s power to be a force for good in the world, and we focus our work on unleashing its power. This mission drives us to constantly outdo ourselves on cost, reliability, performance, and delightful features. Beyond just the basics, our software provides instant visibility and control to our users, helping to simplify their lives and amplify the power of their work. Perhaps most importantly, we help our customers scale, not just in racks or in their data centers, but also in the public cloud.
This simple formula of putting customers and their data first has led to tremendous success for our business – just look at our stream of customer-, product-, and corporate-focused announcements so far this year. Qumulo’s sales are skyrocketing and our brand has quickly become an industry standard. Noted industry analysts, including Philippe Nicolas and Robin Harris, are noticing our momentum, and Gartner has positioned us in the top right of its venerable Magic Quadrant.
Ultimately, the best measure of success is customer adoption and by that metric we are setting, and then breaking, records every quarter. Customers rave about us on Gartner’s Peer Insights. We’re humbled by their praises, but we’ll never take that for granted and continuously strive to “re-earn” our customers’ business every day.
Being customer obsessed, we don’t have a lot of time to think about competition. But it turns out the reverse isn’t true. We hold a modest percentage of market share where we compete with the super legacy companies, so you might find it surprising that they focus so maniacally on us, rather than their own customers.
Qumulons will ALWAYS focus on you, our customers. We’ll see who wins in the long run!
Bill Richter is President & CEO of Qumulo, where he brings over 20 years of leadership experience to his role. Prior to Qumulo, Bill was a Venture Partner at Madrona, where he invested in and advised emerging businesses across multiple categories. Before joining Madrona, Bill was President of the Isilon Storage Division of EMC, where he grew the business to $1.5 billion in annual revenue in 2014. After Isilon, Bill served as COO of EMC’s $4 billion Midrange Storage business. Bill holds a BA in Business Administration from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.