Hyped about HyperCloud HyperGrid sheds execs

Hyper-V-focused HCIA products pushed out by cloud services takeover

+Comment A raft of sales execs, marketeers, architects and two co-founders have exited HyperGrid, the hyperconverged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) startup formerly known as GridStore, over the past nine months.

The one-time seller of Hyper-V-based appliances, which jumped with both feet into tech services – selling an infrastructure cloud, VDI, SQL Server and Container-as-a-service – has seen a startling number of exec leavers of late.

We were told the list of departed employees includes co-founder and chief architect Antoni Sawicki; Tomasz Novak, co-founder and principal engineer; CTO James Thomason; Americas sales lead Ken Horner; SVP of business development and Americas Sales Mike O'Neill; and veep of marketing Douglas Gruehl.

The list doesn't end there and also includes Zach Edwards, director of channels, who left in May; Carina Humpry, a fellow channel director; VP Eastern Sales Rocco Lavista; Chris Hitchcock, the Western Region sales director; and Bob Garrity, senior operations manager.

Solutions architect Michael Baiano has also left the building.

Jim Ensell became CMO in January this year, coming from failed Coho Data, but there is no current worldwide or Americas sales leader listed on HyperGrid's website. Ex-Tintri guy Doug Rich runs EMEA.

We asked HyperGrid about these departures and the company sent us a statement (getting Full House in the game of Buzzword Bingo):

As the business has evolved from being just a hardware vendor into a true cloud solutions provider, our employee profile has by necessity changed. The result: a need to realign personnel and skill sets to address the strategic needs of the business as we moved forward with our new vision and product offering. We would be remiss in not making these changes. Market requirements evolve, so to do the companies, which deliver innovative solutions.

We've asked whether any of the staffers have been or will be replaced and the firm said it was "not going to go through a like for like listing on personnel issues" with us.

It did say it was about to announce the new CFO - Bob Taccini - whose bio is up on the website. The previous CFO, Kevin Rains, who joined in May 2016, is still listed as CFO on his LinkedIn entry.

Funding

The founding and funding history looks like this:

  • 2009 – founded
  • 2010 – $1.15m seed
  • 2012 – $12.5m A-round
  • 2013 – $11m B-round
  • 2016 – $19m B-round part 2

HyperGrid said: "The company is well funded and we have received additional funding that has not yet been announced. We intend to make an announcement about the latest investments in the company very shortly."

+Comment

The firm, once known as Gridstore, shifted from the HyperGrid HCI Hyper-V-based product business. There was then a move towards the HyperCloud HCI-as-a-service portfolio in 2016 financed by new funding, and enabled through the DCHQ acquisition, and staff hires to drive the sales and marketing.

The company appears to be moving full tilt into the HyperCloud area and away from the old GridStore/HCIA focus. The firm trumpets: "HyperCloud is the industry's first on-premises cloud as a service delivered with subscription economics. Demand is high and we have already announced that we achieved exceptional sales growth in FY16 and even more accelerated growth so far in FY17.

"Bookings have grown 104 per cent over Q2. Our Q3 2017 ARR has grown by 148 per cent over Q2. These show very strong demand and growth in our business."

The painful personnel changes appear to be being made en route to a growing HyperCloud-focused business future.

HyperGrid told us: "Our strategic vision for the future is to continue to grow the capabilities that HyperCloud provides and simplifying how it is delivered."

And what about the HyperCloud counter-proposition, Microsoft's Azure Stack?

Does Azure Stack represent a threat?

No, claimed HyperGrid. "In Q3 we won a $4m large enterprise deal against Azure Stack. The customer determined that neither the Azure on-prem or in the cloud had the economics, security and most of all the performance that they needed. This is a massive win for a company that was launched just over a year ago.

"The strength of HyperCloud can also complement Azure. HyperCloud supports workloads in Azure as well as VMware or KVM-based products whether on-prem or on a public cloud. No other vendors can claim such capability and certainly not any HW-based HCI Vendor. In fact, we have significant partnership with IBM and it has led to several large enterprise deals. The strength of our product is the main reason for IBM to continue to position HyperCloud as a unique solution." ®


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