Going after big markets with disruptive solutions proves to be a winning strategy. It’s only possible when there is a discontinuity in the sector. Incumbents cannot react to the lack of coherence fast enough and that gives a newer company an opening to come in and take advantage.
The below framework from Mike Speiser, a venture capitalist with one of the best investment track records in the current times, is a great way to describe some of the underpinnings of successful B2B companies. The top left quadrant is where Clumio belongs and we’ll talk more about it in my post below.
The Why of Clumio is rooted on a secular shift in the enterprise industry that we all are witnessing today. The shift of computing from an on-premises world to a public cloud/SaaS first world. This shift is creating a new generation of enterprise companies that will have 4 things in common:
- Big Opportunity: As depicted in the 4×4 quadrant above, in the B2B world, many (there are exceptions) enterprise companies go after a well-defined and big market, but with a solution that is disruptive and that has a high technical risk. Examples include Nutanix, Snowflake Computing, Pure Storage and many others.
- Cloud-Native Architecture: In the current day and age, any enterprise company building for the future is going to be born in the public cloud, taking advantage of the public cloud the “right” way. And only if you do this, are you going to be able to build a solution that will scale to meet customer requirements and that will be delivered to the customer at the right economics. It has already been proven that lift-n-shift from an on-premises architecture to the public cloud is not going to work, outside of “marketecture.”
- SaaS: Gone are the days where you deliver a piece of software or hardware to a customer. It’s a SaaS first world for the customer. And SaaS doesn’t just mean a subscription model that is recurring/pay as you go. It’s simple, the service is delivered and the customer just consumes the service.
- Cloud-Agnostic: And last but not the least, the architecture has to be extensible so that the end customer can consume the service on any public cloud, as they look to use any public cloud to build/deploy their next-generation applications.
The above is the framework that was the driving force behind the Why of Clumio.
Now the What! The framework above was the guiding light for Clumio. And we were not the only one. If you look at what Snowflake does for data warehousing or what Sumologic does for log management/analytics and many such examples, we wanted to find our ‘big opportunity’. And the secular shift to the cloud made it very obvious. Data was no longer just on-premises. For a typical customer out there, depending on where they are in the journey to the cloud, data resided in on-premises, in the cloud in the form of apps that were built to leveraging IaaS and PaaS, and in other SaaS solutions. As the data got fragmented, they needed a single pane of glass to protect it and back it up! And the traditional players who were infrastructure-centric and on-premises centric were caught off guard with the data moving out of on-premises and the need for an easy-to-consume service to protect data everywhere; that this became our What! And it was a big opportunity, and an opportunity to go and disrupt incumbents.
The How is the secret sauce and we had to keep #2, #3 and #4 in the framework above as an invariant. This wasn’t easy. Doing this required starting with an architecture that is born in the cloud and that combines multiple disciplines in a single platform:
- The functionality of the particular use case (backup in our context with Google-like search)
- Building a metadata filesystem with dedupe, compression and encryption on top of an object storage in the public cloud
- Delivering everything with multi-tenancy and a microservices based architecture that can scale up and down
- Building a CI/CD pipeline that allows code to go from a developer laptop to a service in the cloud, something that historically was the prowess of consumer companies like Google, Facebook & Netflix
The only reason we had a shot to do all this and assemble a team to do it is because we had a clean slate and no legacy to deal with.
Clumio delivers business and operational value. By offering straightforward pricing based upon the number of VMs you’re protecting, you don’t have to estimate the cost of design, upgrades, and maintenance, because we’ve already done that for you. There are no cloud bills or egress charges to worry about. With Clumio, backup no longer has to be an inhibitor to cloud initiatives.
Our mission is to empower the IT team to focus on strategic business priorities. This is just our opening move as we have barely scratched the surface of the total data platform that we set out to build. The Clumio journey of innovation and disruption has begun and we want to build an ecosystem that paves the way for the B2B cloud data platform of the future.
We will be exhibiting at VMWorld 2019 Booth #233, please reach out to set up a meeting and or a demo to take a deeper dive into Clumio.
By Poojan Kumar
Clumio Co-Founder and CEO