Recently, I wrote Cloud Stocks and PaaS: Which SaaS Players Will Win in
PaaS, articulating a vision for a large number of SaaS players evolving into PaaS ecosystems.
We’ve been talking to and covering many of the PaaS players and their efforts in this direction.
One issue I would like to highlight in this analysis is how developer ecosystem metrics are currently being reported.
For any equity analyst to factor a PaaS strategy into their commentary, metrics are essential.
Last month, I wrote Cloud Stocks and PaaS: Which SaaS Players Will Win in PaaS, articulating a vision for a large number of SaaS players evolving into PaaS ecosystems.
I’m going to double click down today on the trend and explore two aspects of the ecosystems we currently see: Platforms and APIs.
The Salesforce PaaS is a true platform ecosystem, and has produced a number of consequential companies. Other examples of platform ecosystems include Atlassian (25,000 developers) and Snowflake (45,000 developers).
On the other hand, several PaaS ecosystems have emerged through API integrations. Twilio, Shopify, Wix, Zendesk, Hubspot, Pagerduty and many others are following API strategies.
Sramana Mitra: What are the unsolved problems in the phishing and data protection domain? Where would you recommend new entrepreneurs to start new companies?
Gil Friedrich: In our area, we see a gap that we try to solve. I can talk about the gap that we saw and then the other gaps that are still there. We came to Avanan from what we now call our first baby. It was a company called Forescout.>>>
Sramana Mitra: I want to go down one level. Let’s take the phishing use case. Give me a little primer on what the approach has been in dealing with phishing so far and tell me what is differentiated in your approach. What are the benefits of your approach over others?
Gil Friedrich: That’s a great question because phishing is not a new problem. Phishing was present ever since email was present. However, one big change is the data and emails going to the cloud.>>>
Gil takes us through the earlier approaches to issues like Phishing and his innovation.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as Avanan.>>>
At the end of 2020, I wrote Big Idea 2021: SaaS Companies Will Create 10 Million Jobs with the central thesis that SaaS players would evolve into PaaS to create deeper moats around their core market positions and gain access to the related force multiplier.
To recap on the assumptions:
Sramana Mitra: Timing-wise, how fast can that revenue mix change? How fast does the consequent profitability impact going to reflect based on how many Pure Storage customers you can immediately sell the Portworx stuff to?
Murli Thirumale: Pure Storage has about 8,000 customers. A good majority of those is what I would call classic enterprise customers compared to the mid market. There is a high amount of leverage based on their customer base. Their customer base is consuming what Portworx has.>>>
Sramana Mitra: Now, I’m going to switch my question to Pure Storage and the strategy for a company like Pure Storage. They are trying to move up the stack. Based on what we have discussed for the last half hour, we understand why they acquired Portworx.
If you put the Chief Strategy Officer hat on for Pure Storage, what else should they be acquiring? You were talking about Elasticsearch in this context as an application that shows up in this process. What else should they be bringing in to climb up the stacks?>>>