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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Actifio CEO Ash Ashutosh (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Feb 6th 2020

Sramana Mitra: Dell’s an OEM relationship?

Ash Ashutosh: It’s a reseller/selling partner relationship. Their sellers can sell it and they get paid for it. They don’t rebrand the Actifio software. They rebrand the whole product.

The last partnership is on the systems integrator side with TCS. Because it’s all about data and transformation, we needed to find a partner who spends an enormous amount of time with the kinds of customers we deal with. It has contributed to about 20% of our revenue.

Sramana Mitra: What is your plan? Are you planning to go public soon?

Ash Ashutosh: It’s a question we ask ourselves often. It’s a challenge between going public and being a successful public company, which is why getting two things right was important for us. One is getting a leveraged go-to-market model that not only allowed us to grow, but also be profitable.

Second was to make sure that the solutions were competitive and solving strategic problems for our customers. We did the second part with the recent announcement. We announced our 9.0. It’s a series multi-cloud data management solution that has shifted how people consume to drive more strategic stuff.

Now we have to go back to the first part which is to make sure there is a go-to-market model that not only is growing consistently but is also able to get the earnings.

Sramana Mitra: If I’m reading this right, you’re saying that you want to execute on the partnerships that you have done and start having them produce before you want to go public.

Ash Ashutosh: That’s a very big milestone for us.

Sramana Mitra: Where do you see open problems and gaps in your space where you might advice new entrepreneurs to go look at solving those problems and start new companies?

Ash Ashutosh: If you look at data, or even the consumption and delivery of data, there is so much happening in the consumer part of the market, which is very interesting. Our customer’s customers are enormously consumer-focused.

I can give you this example of an airline company that came to us because they were spectacularly down for four days. Not only were they able to come back, but they also developed new applications that helped their consumers leverage the data that is actually within the organization itself. It wasn’t like it wasn’t there. It just never had a single source of truth available that could be consumed.

It’s the same thing with a large bank. It’s one of the largest banks in the world. In the 2009 crisis, they were close to being shut down. Today, they are rated the number one stock in the financial services in the last decade. These are organizations that have transformed not just the operations part of the business but also how they touch their consumers. They now have the ability to help take the data they have and produce companies that allow them to reach their consumers better.

There’s too much hype around AI and machine learning without solving a very verticalized problem. A lot of people are going very broad, but I don’t know what to do with it. I’ve got a machine learning tool, but I don’t know what question to ask. I have the data. I have the tool. I just don’t know what the problem is.

There is a tremendous opportunity to take the next step of, “I am an organization. For the first time, I have access to all of the data inside this organization. Can I do something about it?” I’m seeing a lot of that happen in New York for very strange reasons. That’s on the B2C side of the customers who are now doing the data transformation.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Actifio CEO Ash Ashutosh
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