Feeds

Compellent - the billion-dollar storage company?

Screw the recession up

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Comment Holding up Compellent as an example - and with an emphatic sideswipe at some business ethics - Compellent CEO Phil Soran opened his company's CDrive conference today by saying: "Big business isn't going to pull us out of this recession. Nor big computer computers. It's the small and medium-sized businesses that are going to have to pull us out."

Soran lamented a decline in business ethics, mentioning - amongst other things - a survey finding that 45 per cent of law students had cheated in their studies. He encouraged people to be ethical, focussed on efficiency, enthusiastic and entrepreneurial, and declare: "Screw the recession up."

Compellent results backed up Soran's sentiments, with his company being the only publicly-owned storage company currently exhibiting growth in profits. For its first 2009 quarter (Q109), Compellent recorded revenues of $28.1m, up 53 per cent year-on-year and 4 per cent sequentially. Net income was $1.0m ($0.03/share) compared to Q108's net loss of $1.6m (-$0.05/share). It was Compellent's fourteenth quarter of record revenue numbers, and it was fueled by 98 new customers in the quarter. The company now boasts 1,376 customers.

Some 45 per cent of the quarter's revenues came from existing customers. Average customer spend peaked at $22,652 in Q308 and has fallen sequentially since to $20,422. The gross margin is 52.8 per cent, up from Q108's 52.2 per cent.

Operating expenses rose from Q108's $12.05m to $14.03m. But within that, both R &D and sales and marketing spend rose while general and administrative expense fell to $1.4m from the year-ago quarter's $1.7m. The company is being run very tight reins. Soran said Compellent hit the $100m/year run rate in Q408. With these results demonstrating an ability to almost scythe through recessionary constraints, are we looking at the next billion dollar a year storage company here?

Asked if people at Compellent were getting the scent of the possibility of it becoming a billion dollar company, Bob Fine, Compellent's director of product marketing, said: "Absolutely." Soran has also been musing about the need to keep the spirit of the founders alive. He knows that few founders are still at their companies when it becomes a billion dollar a year earner.

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Next page: Road map 2009

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.