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Nimble Storage takes aim at rivals in 2015

Nimble Storage takes aim at rivals in 2015

New business models leading to high growth

Nimble's vice president for Asia-Pacific Japan, Peter O'Connor, says that since the company's listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013, it has gone from strength to strength.

While O'Connor wouldn't share specific stats, the company grew 81 per cent year on year globally, ANZ was even higher, he claims.

"We've been in APAC for two and a half years now, and we're thrilled with the way we've grown over that period. We don't break out individual figures for Australia, but it grew at a faster pace than the company as a whole," he said.

"To be fair, we are coming off a reasonably small base, but we now have 200 customers in ANZ, and 400 across APAC."

The company has been working closely with partners Cisco and Schneider Electric/APC on its Smartstack solution, an integrated storage and datacentre/networking box that compete's with Netapp's Flexpod and IBM's Versastack systems.

Nimble Smartstack was on display in APAC for the first time at last week's Cisco Live conference in Melbourne, after being formally unveiled at CiscoLive Milan in January.

The company is also seeing increased traction from its product refresh mid last year, and O'Connor says the launch of its Fibre Channel protocol late last year has seen its addressable market increase "four-fold".

The increased challenge from flash players, such as HP's 3PAR, Pure Storage and the like, hasn't deterred him.

"We’re quite confident about winning against those guys on a performance basis. Our prices are also a lot more affordable than an all-flash device," he said.

Read more: Seagate unveils its new retail portfolio in Australia

"We've also just announced an 'adaptive flash challenge' on our website, it gives insight into how our product performs against all other flash devices. We wouldn’t come out with the challenge if we didn’t think we had the upper hand."

The company has also been pushing its Storage on Demand product, a pay-per-use subscription service for on-premise storage.

"We have the ability to make offerings as attractive as some of the large Cloud providers. And the data still resides in their datacentre, without the upfront burden of having to buy a lot of storage two to three years in advance," he said.

"The days of purchasing three to four years of capacity upfront, consuming it, and going back to the board for more money only a year later are fast disappearing. That’s not just the advent of Cloud, but the billing models too."

Combined with its Infosight proactive wellness portal, Nimble allows users to view the info within their user arrays, making it easy to identify what capacity is being used, and bill accordingly a month in arrears.

"There will be more features coming this year that will make it even more cost efficient," he said.

Nimble remains with its sole distributor, Nextgen, which it signed on with in November last year. The company remains 100 per cent channel focused.

"It’s a new relationship, but its going very well for all of us I think. We are exclusively tied to Nextgen in ANZ, and will be for the foreseeable future. We do have other disties in other parts of Asia-Pacific, but those we would classify as a different type of distributor. John [Walter's] company always adds a lot of value – we’re a good fit with Oracle environments, and he is a very large Oracle distie. His Oracle reseller community is definitely of great interest to us," O'Connor said.

O'Connor isn't threatened by industry luminaries, such as Netapp.

"I worked at Netapp when Flexpod came out, and I think [Nimble] is a much more attractively priced solution. Flexpod and Vblock are more targeted at the enterprise, this is more targeted at the midmarket, in distributed customer environments."

Goals for 2015?

"We plan to grow as quickly as we can. I think that the good thing about our organisation compared to other storage vendors that I’ve worked for, is that Nimble puts a tremendous amount of effort into lead generation. Its not just lip service like other vendors, we create a lot of opportunities for our resellers," he said.

"We do a lot of co-funded events with our resellers, Nextgen, and our alliance partners such as Cisco and others. We have a lead distribution process that is more targeted towards our loyal resellers. We have more than 60 resellers in Australia today and close to 750 certified Nimble resources avaialble to the ANZ community."

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Tags IBMstorageStorage on DemandciscoFibre ChannelSchneider Electric/APCnetappnimble storage

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