Q&A: Nutanix accelerates EMEA business; searches for sustainable growth
Hyperconverged infrastructure specialist Nutanix Inc. has seen steady growth these past two years, including adding 3,500 customers in the past 12 months alone. Now with over 5,000 employees and over 14,000 customers, the company must reassess internal processes to avoid their growth getting in the way of quality of their software-led storage services.
The boom for Nutanix started with its delivery of hyperconverged infrastructure solutions, then through pure software though OEMs partnerships. Now Nutanix is looking to sustain growth through the subscription-based models better suited to pay-as-you-go cloud services. Its presence in EMEA has also grown since the company launched the region’s operations in 2012. It’s since worked to accelerate efforts in EMEA, as reflected at last week’s .Next conference in Denmark.
“We started from scratch in EMEA; we built a lot of relationships with the channel. The only thing we could not forecast was the speed of growth,” said Sammy Zoghlami (pictured, right), senior vice president of sales, EMEA, at Nutanix. “And if you told me six years ago that we would be four-and-a-half thousand in this conference, I wouldn’t have believed it. I think the overall journey is an accelerated journey of development that we have.”
Sylvain Siou (pictured, left), senior director, EMEA, systems engineering at Nutanix, and Zoghlami spoke with Stu Miniman (@stu) and Rebecca Knight (@knightrm), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the .NEXT Europe event in Denmark. They discussed the growth of Nutanix overall and in EMEA, hiring talent at Nutanix, and private and public cloud (see the full interview with transcript here). (* Disclosure below.)
[Editor’s note: The following answers have been condensed for clarity.]
Miniman: Talk about the competition for talent. The channel is very strong, it makes it a little bit tougher to pull those pieces in if you’re Silicon Valley … but have to imagine things are a little bit different in EMEA.
Zoghlami: I would say competition for talents is definitely here in EMEA, especially on the topics that we are tackling in the cloud, the DevOps, big data, etc. We are an attractive brand. There are demonstrated paths of development for employees, so I think on top of being a successful company, we have a lot of proof points of building careers. So people want to join for the fun, for success, but also to build a fast career. That helps. Now, saying that, it’s still not an easy task. The mindset of successful employees are the ones that are focused on the outcomes. They’re not here to sell a product; they focus on projects and the outcome of customers.
Miniman: Give us a little bit of insight as to your vision. What we should expect to see as a strategy for Nutanix and EMEA.
Zoghlami: I think there’s a successful recipe in EMEA … lots of good methodologies, lots of good principles of working. For EMA and the whole company [we] focus on our strength. I think today we do a very broad set of projects with customers. Tomorrow I would like customers to think first about Nutanix when they think about something that is critical to their business. And in the same way for partners, if we can move from being a vendor with high growth, great margin, to a vendor that is helping them transform their business model or the way they attack different segments, then we will have achieved a good phase two.
Knight: What do you see here as the biggest challenges?
Zoghlami: The biggest challenge is clearly, growth. We see that in every area, every time we grow fast, then suddenly you need to change organization processes, your principle of working, and you need to reassess yourself and your way of doing things. I think if we are not constantly paranoid about reassessing that, growth can break a lot of quality in the relationship with customers but also in our velocity.
Miniman: Strategically, where would Nutanix change over time as to where they’re engaging with the customer?
Siou: So now there is no more question about the fact that part of the IT will be in the cloud, and part would be internal. Some people will go more on one side or the other side. Because Nutanix has both technologies on both sides, we can take care of old-school application and be sure that can still run in the cloud and on the other side. If you develop an application totally distributed, meaning cloud-native, we can run it on Nutanix.
So we are in a unique situation where we can give a strategy to the customers of what it can do, what is the good point, what is the most difficult to achieve, on both sides. Our [Nutanix] platform works … you get all the benefits that you can see on the public cloud; now it’s more the way you consume it.
Knight: You’re here, as you said in Copenhagen, thousands of European customers all here under one roof. What are you getting out of this? What kind of conversations are you hearing?
Zoghlami: Most of the customers I talked so far, they’re really accelerating on becoming a service organization. So enterprise companies really want to organize themselves to be cloud ops. And even though we were talking about automation before, now they really are doing it and they are actually focusing on changing the skills of their teams, their organizations, and of course the technology afterward.
Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the .NEXT Europe event. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the .NEXT Europe event. Neither Nutanix Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)
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