Flash, AI Help Fuel Record Growth, Bright Future For Pure Storage
May24

Flash, AI Help Fuel Record Growth, Bright Future For Pure Storage

SAN FRANCISCO: I’m in the City by the Bay attending PURE//ACCELERATE 2018, the third annual customer/partner event from Pure Storage, and it appears the enterprise flash storage vendor couldn’t have scripted the timing any better. In addition to its new partnership with NVIDIA — AI-Ready Infrastructure (AIRI), a ‘major move in serving the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) space’ — and its ongoing relationship with Cisco — i.e. as an Original Storage Manufacturer (OSM) — on Monday the company reported Q1 revenue of $255.9 million, up 40% YoY. “Pure has delivered another strong quarter as we lead the industry in delivering new data-centric architectures that enable enterprises to succeed both today and tomorrow,” said Pure CEO Charles Giancarlo, in a prepared statement. “The combination of our innovative business model, first-to-market technology innovations, and focus on customer success drove continued momentum in Q1.” In addition to record revenues, the company announced it had added 300 new customers during the quarter, bringing its installed base to amost 5,000 organizations. It forecast an even better Q2 — $296 million to $304 million — and approximately $1.345 billion for the year, up from 2017’s $1.023 billion, as well as a slightly higher net loss, $64.3 million compared to last year’s net loss of $57.2 million. “We were ahead of the market in all-flash,” said Giancarlo in the earnings call. “We were ahead of the market with NVMe. And we’re ahead of the market with A.I. (artificial intelligence).” At last year’s event — more than 3,000 customers, partners and staff (with another 2,000 online, for a total increase of 300% over 2016’s inaugural event) — the vendor was predicting at least three more years of 30%-plus revenue growth, surpassing the $2-billion annual revenue mark by 2020. It also stated that the total addressable market for its faster solid-state storage arrays is $35 billion, but according to Dave Vellante, chief analyst of Wikibon, Pure was involved in a knife fight, and a market ripe for consolidation. “If it can stay ahead of what I call the ‘storage cartel,’ it will emerge a winner.” Shortly after last year’s event the company hired Giancarlo, formerly the Cisco CTO and then Avaya CEO,  who took over as CEO in late August when Scott Dietzen was bumped up to chairman of the board. Late last year he told Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst with ZK Research, that if “you had asked me at the beginning of 2017 if I would join a storage company, I would have said probably not. I was caught up in the conventional wisdom that the storage industry had reached its zenith,...

Read More
DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 1 of 3)
May10

DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 1 of 3)

LAS VEGAS: During one of my Dell Technologies World 2018 briefings last week I had to stop part way through and explain that I meant digital transformation, not Dell Technologies, when I used the DT acronym. The business phenomenon digital transformation (AKA digitization or Industry 4.0) and its related technologies — cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics (BDA), mobility, social media and security — is literally an extinction-level event — it’s ‘go digital or die’. While clarifying acronym anomalies is not a unique experience, it made me think of the greatest challenge I see facing Dell: how will the biggest IT infrastructure vendor — i.e. products and services — continue to prosper when the customer focus is moving to business outcomes, and not the bits and bytes that facilitate those outcomes? The answer is “better than everyone else.” I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say Dell is better-positioned than every other vendor out there. That’s not to say countless companies won’t provide one or more superior offerings in the fast-emerging software-driven, cloud-first IT environment, but that when it comes down to the vendor to trust most — and most often — it will probably come down to Dell. During his opening keynote to the approximately 14,000 customers, partners, employees, media and analysts in attendence — and an estimated 35,000 online — Michael Dell talked in generalities, stressing digital (along with IT, workforce and security) transformation  and the latest buzzword trifecta — AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning) and NN (neural networks), ‘Make It Real’ (the event’s DT theme), and how “our customers are using technology to change the world for the better, whether through a reimagined process or a reimagined industry.” He noted that since starting the company 34 years ago, it had grown to over a trillion dollars in revenues and a trillion customer successes but all that is “absolutely noting compared to what’s ahead.” The DT future — with or without Dell — is incredibly bright: spending on related hardware, software and services is expected to reach approximately $1.3 trillion in 2018, a 16.8% year-over-year increase, and continue growing at a compound annual growth rate of 17.9% through 2021 to more than $2.1 trillion. And the reasons so much money is being thrown at DT initiatives are equally compelling, as Dell (along with Intel and the Enterprise Strategy Group) told us in survey data released last month: -transformed companies are 22x more likely to get new products and services to market ahead of the competition; -81% of firms (4,000 were surveyed) agree if they do not embrace IT Transformation, their companies will no...

Read More

DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 2 of 3)

LAS VEGAS: As usual, there was a lot to see and do at this year’s Dell Technologies World, so I’ve selected a number of analysts’ comments to provide a better synopsis of the week’s events. First up is the digital transformation research, released in April, that set the stage for DTW18. “Companies today need to be agile to stay competitive and drive growth, and IT Transformation can be a major enabler of that,” said John McKnight, Vice President of Research, Enterprise Strategy Group. “It’s clear that IT Transformation is increasingly resonating with companies and that senior executives recognize how IT Transformation is pivotal to overall business strategy and competitiveness. While achieving transformation can be a major endeavor, our research shows ‘Transformed’ companies experience real business results, including being more likely to be ahead of the competition in bringing new products and services to market, making better, faster data-driven decisions than their competition, and exceeding their revenue goals.” Another research initiative resulted in last week’s Built to Adapt Benchmark, a ‘quantitative framework of indicators that gauges how well an organization builds and operates software’ from Pivotal. According to the survey of more than 1,600 of the world’s top organizations in six countries and across five industries, software release velocity does not meet business needs: -38% of organizations polled report deploying code on a continuous, hourly, or daily basis; -50% only deploy code on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis; -37% of apps were built, or have been refactored, to run in the cloud; and, -20% of software launches and upgrades were delayed due to defects. Patrick Moorhead, Founder and President of Moor Insights & Strategy, noted that the event started well, and built from there. ‘One of my biggest takeaways from Day 1 was that Dell Technologies is more connected than I have ever seen before … which is very powerful to customers and partners.’ He was equally positive about the various product announcements. ‘From machine learning to hyper-converged, to VDI, The Dell Technologies family continues to make progress, and the industry is better for it. Moor also credited Michael Dell for leading credit ‘Dell Technologies to be a much more interconnected and valuable company while maintaining best of breed components. This is very hard to do. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done in enabling, optimizing and getting revenue from the software-defined datacenter and the future of work, but I am liking what I am seeing.’ Jason Bloomberg, President, Intellyx, believes that the event proved that the company had ‘largely succeeded in rationalizing a complex, diverse product line’ but that digital transformation posed a challenge...

Read More

DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 3 of 3)

LAS VEGAS: Of all the leading IT vendors, Dell has done the best job of ‘keeping it simple’, and ruthlessly embracing that mantra in everything it does, and the product launches at last week’s Dell Technologies World 2018 were no exception. Given its major brands — Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream, and VMware — and leadership in 22 product categories, the opportunity was there to release a flood of new and enhanced products and services, but KISS prevailed. Here’s the abbreviated version of the product — and company — news just announced by Dell Technologies: –Dell Technologies Capital emerged from stealth, and announced that it has completed 24 investments in the last year, with one third of new investments focused on AI/ML and the remaining focused on security, next-gen infrastructure and developer ecosystem, including DocuSign, MongoDB and Zscaler; -updated VDI portfolio includes adding the Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation infrastructure and simplified configuration options to the Dell EMC VDI Complete Solutions, and the Dell Wyse 5070 thin client, the company’s most versatile and scalable thin client platform; -AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) initiatives, including expanding the Dell EMC PowerEdge server portfolio to accelerate AI-driven workloads, analytics, deployment and efficiency, deeper relationships with Intel, and Dell Precision Optimizer 5.0 enhanced with machine learning algorithms, intelligently tunes the speed and productivity of Dell Precision workstations; -additions to the Hyper-Converged Infrastructure portfolio, including a simplified path to VMware-based clouds, and enhancements to VxRail and VxRack SDDC; –Dell EMC PowerMax, engineered with end-to-end NVMe, ready for Storage Class Memory (SCM) and NVMe over Fabrics, making it the world’s fastest storage array built for mission-critical applications of today and tomorrow, as well as Dell EMC VxBlock System 1000 support for end-to-end NVMe with PowerMax, native replication and a new entry point X-Brick system Dell EMC XtremIO, and a sneak peak at Dell EMC PowerEdge MX infrastructure, which is scheduled to be released later this year; -collaboration with Microsoft to build a secure, intelligent edge-to-cloud IoT solution featuring Dell Edge Gateways, VMware Pulse IoT Center and Microsoft Azure IoT Edge; and, -the next generation of Virtustream Viewtrust, its risk management and continuous compliance monitoring solution that offers enhanced scalability, performance, and serviceability to enterprises and public sector organizations with new SaaS capabilities. For more information on DTW18, check out Connecting The DoTs Part 1-Dell and digital transformation and Part 2-analysts’ insights. DISCLAIMER: I hold shares in many of the companies referenced in this article, and Dell looked after airfare and hotel while I was at Dell Technologies World....

Read More

Dell Technologies World: Power to the People

Dell Technologies World this week was about expanding the Digital Transformation story, this time through the entire technology family. With his keynote on Monday, Michael Dell extended the idea of digital transformation beyond simply a competitive necessity (“technology strategy is business strategy”) to becoming an engine by which businesses could positively change the world as “technology amplifies human activity.” These conversations about the greater role of technology set the pace for the rest of the event in a couple of important ways. To read the complete article, CLICK...

Read More