UPDATED 14:22 EST / OCTOBER 09 2019

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Nutanix gets it together for the multicloud future: .NEXT Europe keynote analysis

Ten years from its inception, hyperconverged infrastructure leader Nutanix Inc. is celebrating a year of record gross margins, a stronger product pipeline and an increase in new customers.

“Going to full subscription and software model has been increasing their gross margin,” said Stu Miniman, co-host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio. “They’ve done the faster transition of any company that’s done this.”

Joining Miniman for theCUBE’s keynote analysis of day one at the .NEXT Europe event in Denmark was co-host Rebecca Knight. They discussed Nutanix’s place in the competitive landscape and how the company has changed over the past 10 years (see the full interview with transcript here). (* Disclosure below.)

Nutanix’s early dreams and future vision

TheCUBE has followed Nutanix’s growth since “the paint was drying on the wall,” said Miniman, describing how founder and Chief Executive Officer Dheeraj Pandey had given him a tour of the fledgling company’s offices and shared his dreams for the future expansion of the company. Now, with 5,000 employees and over 14,000 customers, including 3,500 added in the past 12 months, Pandey’s early dreams for Nutanix have come to fruition.

Nutanix is starting its second decade looking to the challenge of the hybrid and multicloud world. “The core [Acropolis] AOS software … has gone through a complete revision to be ready for cloud-native,” Miniman stated.

Another product Nutanix has designed for the hybrid cloud is Xi Cluster. An interesting application of Xi shown during the keynote was not on Google Cloud Platform, which is a solution Nutanix has been working on, but on Amazon Web Services.

AWS is actually opening up bare metal instances,” Miniman stated. “It’s the [AWS] EC2 bare metal instances that we’re going to be able to run the Nutanix software on.”

New growth opportunities in the multicloud marketplace

This could be a powerful option for pure software, location-independent companies seeking integration solutions and open a new growth market for Nutanix, according to Miniman.

“When we’re talking the multicloud market, you’re talking about companies like Microsoft and Google and Cisco and, of course, VMware … and Nutanix would not be one of the first ones that I would mention,” Miniman said. “But what we need in cloud is the simplicity that hyperconverged solutions like Nutanix brought to the data center. So Nutanix has that opportunity to reach a much broader audience and a much broader market — to go from the 14,000 customers they have to literally hundreds of thousands of companies out there that need these types of solutions.”

The messaging out of today’s keynote is all about simplicity, choice and delight, according to Knight. “Make computing invisible,” she stated. “It is clearly what … the market needs, but does Nutanix have the staying power?”

Nutanix drives cultural change

“What was built here is a culture in a company, not just a product,” Miniman said. Nutanix’s first value proposition was increased speed, with customers saying, “I love Nutanix. It gave me my weekends back,” he said. Now the message is about how Nutanix enables cultural change within the company from the ground up.

One Nutanix customer that Miniman spoke with faced resistance from his information technology department when he advocated going to Nutanix, because they didn’t want to disrupt their existing routine. But disruption is a necessary part of digital adoption.

“I don’t want IT to follow the rules. I want them to try things. I want them to break things. I want them to be able to get ahead of the business and not just meet the requirements,” Miniman quoted the customer as saying.

“Nutanix is an enabler because it doesn’t just work, it exceeds their expectations. [Developers] have headroom to try things and throw things at it, and that is exciting,” said Miniman, describing how by encouraging innovation, Nutanix is changing workplace culture from the ground level up. “It changes my workflow. It changes how I work between groups.”

Here’s the complete analysis, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of .NEXT Europe. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for .NEXT Europe. Neither Nutanix Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: Nutanix

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