Nimble Storage partners have latched on "very, very quickly" to the firm's new all-flash array strategy, its CEO Suresh Vasudevan told CRN as he vowed to continue causing pain to larger competitors.
Nimble was founded in 2008 and focused originally on hybrid flash solutions, before branching into all-flash arrays earlier this year.
"It was really important to drive a very quick adoption of our flash arrays," Vasudevan (pictured) explained. "Our last quarter [Q2, ending 31 July] was the first full quarter of having all-flash arrays in our portfolio. In that quarter, 23 per cent of our new flash deployments were all-flash. It was a faster adoption than we thought and a very strong sign of the competitiveness of our products. Our channel partners have latched on very very quickly to this."
Nimble, which saw Q2 GAAP net losses widen year on year to $40m (£31m) on revenues that rose 21 per cent to $97.1m, will continue to wrest market share from Dell/EMC, HPE and NetApp because of the lower costs of its products, Vasudevan vowed.
"Dozens of flash start-ups were founded in the last several years, and in the last year or so there has been more consolidation. Venture capital funding into start-ups has not been as strong as it was," he said. "It is shaping up to be three large vendors that have always been around: Dell/EMC, NetApp and HPE. To some degree, if you look at the results of these vendors over the last few years they have seen revenue declines and market share losses.
"The two emerging vendors are Pure and Nimble, both driven to some degree by flash. What has remained true over the last three years is the shift in market share from the three large vendors to the younger vendors. I do think the technology advantage we have, the simplicity we have and the cost advantage, will continue to drive market share away from the large vendors and towards us."
Vasudevan said that when Nimble goes up against EMC, NetApp and HPE, the main reasons its wins customers is because its products scale "much better" and the total cost can be "anywhere between a third and 50 per cent lower".
"In most of our engagements, when we start the process, the thing that drives the win for us is the incredible simplicity for the customer, because of our cloud-based platform," he added.
Nimble launched a cloud service provider programme earlier this year to make sure it was treating its CSPs as "channel partners rather than just customers". Around 70 to 80 CSPs are currently on the programme, and Vasudevan said the vendor is looking for providers with a large enough "regional scope of operations".
"We are looking for service providers that have enough of a regional scope of operations that partnering could drive joint growth. If someone is extremely focused on a narrow vertical, then a broad-based programme might not make as much sense as addressing them as a customer," he explained.
"Depending on their revenue, we have tiers of service providers where we offer different marketing funds. We offer market development funds and other programmes that allow us to reinvest in driving end customers to their services. It's about how we can go to market with them, rather than just selling to them. When you are a CSP using Nimble products, we are not just focused on treating you as a customer, we want to drive demand for our cloud services to our cloud providers."
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