A brace of acquisitions made by StorageCraft since its private equity takeover 15 months ago has expanded the total addressable market (TAM) open to its partners by up to tenfold, its CEO has told CRN.
Matt Medeiros was installed as CEO when private equity house TA Associates bought a majority stake in the storage vendor last January for $187m.
The US-based outfit has since extended its portfolio beyond image-based backup by acquiring Gillware Online Backup and Exablox.
"Having been in tech for the last 36 years, my belief is that a company becomes truly sustainable when it crosses over that $500m revenue point"
Medeiros said StorageCraft was a "great one-product company" at the time he took the reins, adding that its flagship ShadowProtect software only enabled it and its partners to play in a backup and recovery market worth $1.5bn, or just $500m if the number is restricted to its SME stronghold.
"If you look at our total available market now, it's in the high teens, and our responsible addressable market is between $5bn and $8bn. We're clearly five to 10 times the ratio compared to what it was with ShadowProtect," he said.
"Not only did the TAM go up, but now for the first time we're also having meaningful conversations with enterprise customers," he said.
The Gillware acquisition, which Medeiros said was funded through StorageCraft's own reserves, moved StorageCraft into the adjacent file-based backup market, while Gillware's Backup Analyzer software offering also catapulted it into data analytics.
Backup Analyzer enables firms to identify their most and least important data, Medeiros said, explaining that the principles behind it now form one of StorageCraft's key messages.
"We looked at the world and said 'hold on, not all data is equal'; 60 per cent of the data that's stored by our customers is junk, but if you're an IT professional today, without the tool of analytics you have to store everything and treat it all as equal," he said.
The TA Associates takeover left StorageCraft with "very little cash" and Medeiros admitted the vendor had to think creatively about how to fund its next acquisition, of Exablox, an object storage appliance vendor that had bagged $55m in VC investment. The deal was therefore share based, he said.
"While we were talking to Gillware, I realised quickly if I could find an appliance, I could clearly create the entire solution for a company. So we started looking at standard appliance companies, but quickly ran into Exablox," Medeiros said. "We were amazed at their notion of this blurring that is happening between primary and secondary data. For the next evolution of storage, why do we sit here and classify primary and storage data; why can't we just look at data as 'it's data - we want to store it, and I want to have access to it anywhere at any time, and in case something happens I want it recoverable'?"
Exablox had just four sales staff to StorageCraft's 100, and the fact that sales of its appliances doubled in its first quarter under Storagecraft's ownership vindicated the acquisition, according to Medeiros.
In Europe, StorageCraft is in the process of transferring partners to a two-distribution model, a process that should be completed by the end of this quarter, VP of sales for EMEA, Andy Zollo said. The firm has about 450 partners transacting each quarter, about half of which are MSPs.
"Exablox takes us into a slightly different area," Zollo said. "Lots of our partners have traditionally been in the SMB business but when you look at Exablox that's approaching more the enterprise. So this will be a much smaller partner community - more traditional storage people who understand that part of the market."
The fact that StorageCraft now competes in file-based backup, data analytics, and primary and secondary storage has thrown it into competition with Rubrik, Cohesity and EMC, adding to its traditional rivalry with Veeam, Medeiros said.
The focus will now shift to organic product development, with Medeiros pointing out that StorageCraft has already broadened its portfolio organically by introducing its Virtual Boot offering for virtual machines, as well as services for Amazon, Office 365 and Google Docs.
The goal is now to scale to a $500m company, but Medeiros said in order to get there StorageCraft will now focus on making its enlarged portfolio easier for partners to engage with.
"Having been in tech for the last 36 years, my belief is that a company becomes truly sustainable when it crosses over that $500m revenue point," said Medeiros, who previously headed up SonicWall ahead of its sale to Dell.
"I don't think it will happen next year, or even the year after. Getting to $350m requires a different set of skills and approach to the channel. One of the most important things we can consider from a partner's perspective is to make these products easy to manage and deploy," he said.
Dave Southern, managing director of managed services provider Concise Technologies, which has been a partner of StorageCraft for four years, welcomed the vendor's recent diversification.
"On the surface, it looks like they are putting together a powerful solution once those three products are integrated," he said.
"The file and folder-based backup solution is great for mobile users - we were using one of their other solutions to do that before and it was completely unreliable because it was image-based and didn't work remotely to the cloud.
"I'm less familiar with Exablox, as they've not made as much noise about it in the partner channel. But it looks on the surface like a missing piece of the puzzle. It's disc agnostic, so you can put in whatever discs you want. From a partner perspective, one of our biggest costs when we put storage in is manufacturer-certified hard drives, so this looks like it could disrupt the market."
Southern, however, said StorageCraft needs to "do some serious work" on integrating with remote management and monitoring tools if it wants to penetrate the managed services channel.
"Their integration with RMM tools is poor," he said.