Violin Memory has talked up its progress in an open letter after losing ground in Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant for solid-state arrays (SSAs).
The loss-making flash vendor was positioned as a "Niche Player" in Gartner's latest research, with the analyst writing that customer reception for its new Flash Storage Platform has so far been "tepid".
In an open letter regarding the research, Violin argued that the analysts have yet to "fully understand and appreciate" the transformation it has made over the past two years.
The NYSE-listed vendor said its Flash Storage Platform is "doing very well", claiming it has grown sales from $1m (£760,000) to $17m in its first year and has racked up 60 enterprise customers, including five Fortune 100 firms.
"Over the past two years, we have divested a PCIe business, stopped manufacturing our historical product line, and have introduced a completely new, fully integrated hardware and software all-flash storage solution. As a result, Violin is a different company," the open letter stated.
Violin claims it invented flash but its 2013 IPO fell flat as it lost ground to rival upstarts such as Pure Storage. Its Q1 GAAP net losses hit $22.2m, more than double its sales of $9.7m and its share price stands at $1.78, down from a high of $28.08.
Although Violin was a Niche Player in Gartner's 2015 SSA Magic Quadrant, it has moved further left and further down this time around, and is the furthest down and second-furthest left of the 13 vendors assessed.
The quadrant for SSA, a market Gartner forecasts will grow from $2.7bn in 2015 to $9.67bn by 2020, was led by Pure Storage, EMC, IBM, HP and NetApp.
Gartner claimed delays and setbacks around new technology had undermined Violin's success in 2015 and continue into 2016.
"Violin Memory has had to streamline its workforce and focus more heavily on the channel, and is doing so with a new entry point to court new customers as well as channel partners," Gartner said. "This will be an increasingly difficult endeavour until product revenue growth returns and company viability has stabilised."
However, Violin hit back, arguing that the Gartner report is a "reflection of this current state as a public turnaround, versus the value proposition we have delivered to our customers".
A "major" product announcement is pencilled in for 14 September, it added.
"Violin has work to do to effectively ensure that the financial and industry analysts fully understand and appreciate the transformation Violin has taken on behalf of its customers. And we will do so," the vendor said.
Jonathan Lassman, managing director of storage VAR Epaton, felt Violin, as well as other all-flash players like Pure Storage, had lost some ground to hybrid competitors in recent years.
"We have sold Violin but they're not putting anything into marketing in the UK or Europe. Product innovation has fallen by the wayside and it's too expensive - that's where we're at with them," he said.
"What we are seeing winning at the moment is hybrid players that sell all-flash as well, as noone really needs all-flash as disaster recovery."
Gartner declined to comment further, but stresses in its Magic Quadrants that a vendor's position in them "should not be equated with its product's attractiveness or suitability for every client's requirements".
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