“I’ve been watching you for the last few years, and now is the time to choose Qumulo.”
I’ve heard this statement said in three separate customer meetings last month alone. It’s terrific news!
Those customers will join hundreds more who have entrusted Qumulo with their most precious asset: their data. I love the momentum we’re seeing, and it’s driving records at Qumulo by every measure.
But truth be told, nothing particularly special happened at Qumulo last month. Sure, we released two awesome software updates with new capabilities, but we do that every month. So why are customers so rapidly coming off the sidelines and choosing Qumulo? I starting asking around.
Storage companies are founded practically every week, and often devote much of their time to preparing fanciful PowerPoint pitch decks for customers before writing even a line of code. Customers that yearn for a better way to store their data will often take those meetings.
Inevitably customers will begin asking the obvious questions:
- “Does your product really exist or is this just slideware?”
- “Have you actually developed anything new, or is this just a set of open source libraries wrapped in a UI?”
- “How reliable is your product?”
- “Will it integrate with my existing environment?”
- “Can you support it?”
- “Is it secure?”
- “Can I depend on it??”
By the end of the pitch meeting, these start-ups are sent away, and told to come back in a couple years; that is, if they still exist. Most never return.
While many organizations are frustrated and dissatisfied with their legacy storage systems, they’ll often choose “the devil they know” rather than put their data at risk.
And as a result, enterprise customers end up engaging in some sort of “Storage Vendor Survivor” spectator sport. They watch and even politely meet with emerging companies, but wait to see who doesn’t belong, who quits, and who gets voted off the island, until there is a clear view of the winner. Many wait for years.
As Qumulo’s CEO, I spend as much of my time as possible making sure that we delight customers and solve their hardest problems. I’ve never thought we were playing Storage Vendor Survivor, and I’m not surprised we’re winning.
We’re a values-driven business, and one of our five values is to “do the hard, right thing.” That means we don’t cut corners, hack the product together, or hire below our bar.
It means we ALWAYS take care of our customers.
Qumulo is completing its seventh year in business. We’re incredibly well capitalized by the finest investors on Earth. Many of our earliest employees are still on the team, and more passionate than ever. We’ve never pivoted or backed away from our North Star mission of solving customers’ most challenging file-based data problems.
We provide the world’s best solution for storing, managing and empowering file-based data, and we help our customers not only to scale-up or scale-out, but also scale-across from the data center to the public cloud. Recognizing our execution and innovation, Gartner recently positioned us in the top-right “Leaders” section of their Magic Quadrant for distributed file systems and object storage vendors.
So while nothing specifically special happened last month, something very special has occurred over the last seven years here at Qumulo. As we focus on our customers, proof points mount and their effect on our capabilities multiplies. Some people call this “crossing the chasm,” or reaching “escape velocity.”
I’ll never claim victory like that because I believe our team’s efforts and our purpose is more powerful when we just relentlessly focus, innovate and execute, rather than bloviate.
It turns out that customers do watch on the sidelines, and wait for all the right reasons. It’s gratifying that they’ve decided it’s “now time to choose” Qumulo.
You have our commitment that we’ll continue to remain steadfastly focused on our North Star and live our values every day to make your lives easier, your infrastructure better, and your data more powerful than ever.
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.