Archives for posts with tag: NAS

I haven’t written a blog in some time, I have been working on many interesting projects.  More on that later.

This week I saw that HPE has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Nimble Storage for $1B.  Nimble is a solid system and the company has done a great job bringing it to market.  Nimble did all the right things from a sales and marketing perspective.  I can understand why it is an attractive target for HPE or any other potential acquirer.  That said, here are some reasons why I question the value of this merger:

  • HPE has a hybrid SSD/HDD system (3PAR); they have spent a lot of time porting it to a smaller entry point.  There is a significant overlap between 3PAR and Nimble from a target market perspective.  BTW, 3PAR seems to be one area in storage at HPE that is growing so why cannibalize or compete with self?
  • HPE has areas of the portfolio that are really lacking in offerings.  This includes NAS/file system storage, Object storage, tier 3 bulk storage, and others.  There is growth in storage in unstructured data and virtualization.  If you want growth, go where there is growth in the market.
  • Part of Nimble’s success is its go to market strategy and execution.  HPE takes a different approach to channel than Nimble.  One consideration is whether the challenge is gaining more growth in storage is more associated with how HPE sells and markets than what products they care, at least in some areas.  If you want to compete with younger more agile firms, then try being more agile.  Agility in sales process is something other large companies lack.

Moving forward, I hope HPE  doesn’t take too long to integrate Nimble and adopt some of Nimble’s strategies.

I have been meeting with a variety of organizations and what is a reality marketers and product managers often forget is that everyone buys something different even if on surface it seems like they are buying the same thing.  For example, an organization announced that it is looking for 75TB of storage to support their db environment.  It seems pretty straight forward, they need storage.  Then, when you get a little closer, you discover that what they are really buying has little to do with storage at its foundation.

So what was this organization buying?

– the database application required some level of performance and so the storage system had to deliver the best possible performance per GB at the lowest possible  price.  At some point, if all available options were offering the same performance at a similar price point, then the conversation became more based on perception of performance and how much is good enough.

– the last system deployed ran without any issues so we are buying reliability of the brand we have had rather than the unknown of the brand we don’t have any exposure to.

– Operational efficiency and effectiveness – we have been using system A for the past two years and even though the application we will be deploying is very different, there is a perceived notion that we can easily architect the known platform for this use case better than something else

– Support is critical – even though I supposedly have had no issues with the system I have, I want to make sure that I have best support in my neighborhood just in case.

– My friend in company B just deployed a new environment and it includes product A, which means it is good and I too should buy it

– Company X is taking my hardware back and giving me credit, making the purchase less expensive.  I am not sure that it will deliver what I need or want or will be less expensive over time, but it looks good right now.

– I like the new product but I don’t have the resources to evaluate it and it is too much work to do other background checks, I will just buy a product from company I know even if it is doesn’t offer what I really need or want.

– I don’t know what I need but Vendor C just told me something interesting and I want it so I will buy it.

– I don’t like the sales rep from company B so I will buy from company X because their rep is nice.

There are many reasons why purchase decisions don’t seem rational or logical.  Anyone selling in this industry must be aware of who is buying, what they are buying, and why.  The best technology doesn’t always win, but a good enough product with a strong sales and marketing force can become a billion dollar enterprise.