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Actifio plans wider data management portfolio

CEO Ashutosh says copy data is just the beginning

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Upstart storage startup Actifio has quickly made a splash with its “copy data” products, but the company has already set its sights on a more comprehensive suite of data management tools including business intelligence wares.

Speaking to The Reg in Sydney today, Actifio founder and CEO Ash Ashutosh said the company's eyeing off opportunities well beyond its current strength in reducing the amount of data organisations hold by consolidating copies into a single instance.

“The nirvana of every IT shop is to find more value from data,” he said. Some Actifio partners, he added, have started to do so by building apps on top of its software that make it easier to ingest data into their software. “We already have a life sciences partner building on top of Actifio,” he said. A SaaS player specialising in retail is also cooking up code based on the company's products.

Ashutosh is therefore starting to use the word “platform” to describe Actifio's products and said extending the product so it can be used in that role by ISVs and customers alike. A third phase of activity will target Actifio as an enabler of business intelligence applications.

The new products will appear over the next couple of years.

Ashutosh also said he expects Actifio will achieve around $US100m in bookings in the next twelve months.

A great many storage companies start to become acquisition targets once they reach that level of revenue, but the CEO said he hopes to keep Actifio independent for a long time. One reason for that is his belief that most storage companies are building defensive positions to preserve their hardware focus and data centre incumbency at a tIme cloud is making both less relevant. Becoming a part of a dinosaur's portfolio is not something he likes the sound of.

The second is he thinks the world is ready for a data management titan for the cloud era. “Actifio's only IT is a Cisco router,” Ashutosh said. Everything else is in the cloud. Building a company to help other such entitties manage their data is his ambition.

Reaching it has seen Actifio start sales and support operations in 20 nations, an unusual number for a young company and one Ashutosh admits means higher costs. But he also feels the scale of the copy data opportunity alone – Actifio mentions $44bn of potential sales – makes that investment wise and means it need not obsess about profits until it has captured a big slice of the market. ®

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