In my last post, I wrote about why we focus on midsize companies. I reminisced the Saturday mornings in the server room of the construction company where my dad worked, where I’d play with the data-entry station while my dad worked on whatever was the IT problem du jour.
If you missed that post, you might check out this video of our CTO, Jason Collier, and me talking about our midmarket focus, where we share a couple of stories about the roots of our market focus.
An interesting thing about the midmarket is this: It is the most often overlooked segment of the market by large vendors and startups alike. It’s a difficult market to reach, with layers of consultants and resellers, tight budgets, and small IT staffs. But, there are hundreds of thousands of companies in the US alone that fit this profile. Continue reading →
In my last post, we talked about the difference between evangelists and missionaries, and how the more innovative your product or solution, the more you need missionaries. The idea here is that missionaries do their job not for glory or riches, or even notoriety, but for the belief in the value of the mission itself to those being “converted.” As I said before, the missionary is fearless – he burns with “missionary zeal”. To bring something to market that potential customers (the unconverted) don’t even know can help them, takes that kind of fearlessness – and not just from the sales team, but from everyone in the company. In Startupland, everyone is in sales, every day.
One major challenge young companies have is how to get your channel partners to buy-in to the mission. After all, your resellers are going to represent you to the customer and if they don’t believe, you may never even have a chance to convert that prospect. Continue reading →
The Holy Grail of IT, especially SMB IT, is to have a datacenter that’s simple and easy to use. Preferably, as easy as an iPhone or Android phone with enterprise software that is as easy to access and run as Angry Birds is from an app store.
This blog continues where Part 1 left off and describes how KVM is implemented within Scale’s HC3.
Strategic for the Customer and Scale Computing
Both commercial developers and consumers need to worry about the EMC trap. The company owns VMware and is well-known in the industry for its aggressive business moves. VMware storage partners who are developing converged solutions based on VMware are tying their company’s future to their competition. It’s quite probable that EMC could create a hyperconverged version of VMware that only runs on EMC storage gear. All other vendors could be locked out, severely limiting choices for vendors, resellers and especially users. Continue reading →
The Holy Grail of IT, especially SMB IT, is to have a datacenter that’s simple and easy to use. Preferably, as easy as an iPhone or an Android with enterprise software just as easy to get and run as Angry Birds is from an app store.
In August 2012, Scale Computing launched the first and only hyperconverged infrastructure based on KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) into the marketplace. Called HC3, the multi-award winning solution integrates servers, storage and networking into a clustered appliance with a single operating system called ICOS® (Intelligent Clustered Operating System). Continue reading →
In my last blog post, I mused on why we don’t drink bourbon in the office anymore – like JR Ewing of Dallas used to – and why his habits and business dealings made him such a compelling (if sometimes evil) character, and even a guide for certain positive business behaviors.
Today, I want to talk about Technical Evangelists and Missionaries. “Technical Evangelist” is a role aspired to by a lot of people in Startupland, or in the IT industry at large. Guy Kawasaki from Apple made this into a glamor position in the industry a few years ago. After all, it’s fun to get out there and talk about the cool new stuff we are creating in this tech world and how customers should want to hear about it – and, of course, how great and smart we all are.
Really, what does the Evangelist (any kind, technical or religious) actually do? The Evangelist says he is going to speak on a subject and people will go to where he will be, because they want to hear what he has to say. They may agree with him, they may disagree with him. They may love him or hate him, or what he says and stands for. They may give him their money, or snap the TV off. (Check out any number of religious televangelists and see if you don’t agree.) But the point is, people will go and listen to the Evangelist because they are interested in hearing what he has to say, period. Continue reading →
I heard a sad, but true story recently from one of our reseller partners. It’s one that has been told thousands of times over the last few years, but one that is also being relegated to the antiquities of IT lore. The partner told of a $160,000 virtualization deal that went sour because the end customer decided virtualization was simply too complex to learn and implement in his limited time frame. Continue reading →
Virtualization, cloud, SaaS, IaaS, software-defined datacenter, follow-the-sun computing, big data, VDI, etc. As a 15+ years industry veteran of startups and small and medium-sized companies (I know, I know, I’m a young pup to some of you), I must admit that I have used these buzzwords.
As a Sales and Systems Engineer and Manager, and Director of Sales/Systems Engineers, I know these topics have defined conversations at customers in the Fortune 1000 – and beyond. Companies such as Salesforce, Facebook, Sony, and Texas Instruments have leveraged myself or my peers at previous companies that I have worked for (such as VMware) to explain how they will affect internal processes. These concepts are transforming IT as we know it and their discussions dramatically impact a mature business.
In this “Under the Hood” series of posts, I will walk through some of the key aspects of how HC³ works and how it uniquely addresses unmet needs in the market. But before we roll up our sleeves, let’s begin by defining what we set out to achieve.
Our HC³ products were specifically designed to lower cost and complexity for IT administrators within small- to medium-sized organizations who need to run their applications in a highly available manner. Continue reading →
I can remember spending time as a kid with my dad at work. He was the “Manager of Information Systems” (what we now call an IT guy) for an industrial construction company. The server room was loud, had a raised floor, a towering multi-head line printer that shook the room, and a massive IBM mainframe. There were dumb terminals built into the tabletops that ran the perimeter of the room and a punch card machine in a small separate room that overlooked the whole thing.
And there were people. Quite a few people doing data entry and managing the system and changing the reel-to-reel tapes. It definitely had the look of a pretty significant operation.
Over time, I saw that mainframe supplemented and then replaced by PC servers. The data entry people were replaced with software and automation. Before you knew it, remote construction sites needed modem-based access into the systems at the headquarters.
But this was a midsize company, and then, budgets were limited – just as they are now. Remote access was provided via programs like PC Anywhere coupled with consumer-type BBS software. Integration and migration of data between systems was done with homespun scripts backed by hours of me watching dad on the couch, debugging source code printed on green-lined paper. Continue reading →
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