Bull's Eye Award: Innovator of the Year
2009 has been a good year for Scale Computing – the company released two major products, signed up over 50 resellers, scored big-name customers like Motorola, forged relationships with two distributors and is on track to take its revenue from $35,000 in 2008 to $2 million by the end of 2009. The company’s product is innovative, for sure, and allows SMBs to take advantage of enterprise-grade storage systems for cheap. But Scale’s success can also be attributed to the company’s innovative and smart market approach that produced rapid growth and an expanded channel through 2009.
Scale offers what it calls an Intelligent Clustered Storage (ICS) product that combines software and commodity hardware to SMBs (the company also offers an IBM version through distributor Avnet). The product is available in 1-terabyte nodes, so customers can purchase individual nodes and grow their storage capacity over time. Scale said the product is designed to make deployment and node installation easy and fast, while allowing administrators to easily manage and maintain the system without additional training.
There are other vendors who offer similar products, but Scale Computing is differentiating itself by forging strong channel relationships and marketing itself well. Its executive management and sales teams know the storage market and the key players inside and out – the team comprises veterans from storage giants like EqualLogic (purchased by Dell), Sun and EMC. Scale’s ability to bring together a team of major players gives the company a substantial edge in rapidly forging profitable distributor and reseller relationships.
The company sells exclusively through the channel and provides its 50-plus reseller community with a 40 percent margin. Today, the majority of Scale customers are SMBs or lines of businesses in large enterprises like customer Motorola. According to CEO and founder Jeff Ready, Scale plans on entering the enterprise market over time but, for now, is focusing on delivering enterprise-grade storage systems to the SMB marketplace.