Not too long ago, Kelly Olivier created a blog post for the Nutanix web site about his experience first as a customer, Nutanix’s FIRST customer in fact, and then as an employee of the company. Kelly and I started around the same time and we were at new hire training together, so that’s when I got to know him. While I was never a direct Nutanix customer before coming to work for them, I still share many of his experiences and opinions.
It was January 2011 in Palo Alto, CA, and I was helping host a training-type event for VMware SEs. I was still fairly new as a VMware employee respectively, so “helping” may be a bit of a stretch. At any rate, Nutanix was one of the, very select, vendors that we brought in to present to everyone. Since my group was completely focused on VMware View (now VMware Horizon View), otherwise known as VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure), and because Nutanix was causing some disruption in the traditional 3-tier infrastructure market particularly around solving VDI workloads, it made sense that they made the short list.
I had not been introduced to them before this, so the presentation by Dheeraj Pandey and Mohit Aron was my first glimpse at their solution. I have to admit, when they talked about the type of resiliency they had even though they were using local storage, I called bullshit (to one of my co-workers anyway). My co-worker actually had a Nutanix “block” in his home lab and confirmed that their claims were true. I had (and still have) loads of respect for this co-worker and so my interest was piqued and I started to not only pay more attention during that specific presentation, but also past that day.
Fast forward to January 2013 when things at VMware got a little sketchy from an employment perspective. My great friend and previous co-worker (not the same person already mentioned) had already left VMware and started working for Nutanix. When I told him I was starting to look around, he let me know that there was an opening for the Philadelphia area (where I live), and this also meant I wouldn’t have to travel all around the globe like my job required at VMware. So, long story short, I interviewed and was offered a job at Nutanix in March of 2013 and I couldn’t possibly be happier ever since that day.
The Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform stands up to not only its claims, but also the competition. And things are starting to really heat up in the competition space as Nutanix is no longer that small startup ankle-biter that the big companies used to think we were. They are starting to feel the pain in their pocketbook as they lose business to us and can’t wrangle it back from us. You see, almost 100% of the time a Nutanix first time customer will buy more and more Nutanix as they realize the “sales pitch” is not just smoke and mirrors and they really can trust it to run their Tier 1 applications, etc.
It is wonderful to be back in sales again, but better yet is not ever having to lie about capabilities and how I feel about the product. Nutanix is not a silver-bullet that is the perfect solution for every need, and thankfully the executives of the company KNOW that! They don’t ever expect their employees to lie or make false statements to try and win business. I have always taken this approach in sales roles I have held in my working career, but my “conscience” was not always well received by all employers, and in some cases I had to find an exit because I was being asked to do things I didn’t agree with (none of my more recent companies, thank goodness).
Nutanix is having explosive growth not only in sales/revenue, but also in company size! I believe I was employee #163 or somewhere around that when I was hired, and we just went over 500 current employees! So Nutanix has more than doubled in size in just 1 year.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds!!