Episode 44 of The Andy Show
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:00:23] Hello and welcome to Friday edition of The Andy Show, as I’m sure you’ve probably noticed. We have moved to slightly later times today. It’s Friday, we’re at the end of the week. And we’ve got a great guest here today who’s joining us all the way from Silicon Valley in California. Her name is Krishna and she is the COO at Komprise and I’d like to say hello to you now. Hi, Krishna.
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:00:50] Hi. Hi, Nikki. Hi everyone.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:00:53] Hi. How are you doing?
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:00:55] We’re staying safe.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:00:58] Good. Thank you for joining us today. We’ve obviously had a little chat about some of the bits you’ve been up to at Komprise. So I’m going to leap straight in. And could you introduce yourself and give us a little bit of background on your time in the tech industry?
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:01:16] Sure, Nicky. So I am a Co-Founder as you mentioned, of Komprise. Komprise is a data management software company. So it deals with data and storage in the Cloud and on premises. And I am one of the three Co-Founders of Komprise. And you know, myself and my other two Co-Founders. This is the third company we have created together. We actually all met over 25 years ago at the University of Illinois in our. And our background is in distributed computing. So it’s, you know, taking anything that you do and spreading it across many machines and making it run faster. And we all move to the Silicon Valley. And after working for bigger companies, we did our first start-up almost 18 years ago. And we love the experience. So after it got acquired, we did a second start-up, and that too got acquired. Our second start-up acquired and so we thought we’d do it again. And so that’s how we created Komprise and we built Komprise because many of our customers from our first two companies are…
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:03:11] Komprise essentially helps customers manage their unstructured data. Because a lot of companies today are literally drowning in data. And our software helps you to look at data across all the storage, whether it’s genomics data or data that your self-driving cars generate or data, video files, audio files, documents, any kind of unstructured data. You can point our software at all your storage and you can understand that data. And usually a lot of that data hasn’t been used in a long time and it’s cold. So our software finds all that cold data and moves it to something cheaper. It’s kind of like in your house you might organise your clothes and put some clothes in the attic or in the garage. You’re supposed to do that, but people rarely do, right? And that’s what people are doing with data. They don’t regularly manage it. So it all just piles up. And our software helps you to analyse and manage data and reduce its cost and index everything for A.I. and big data. Are you back, Nicky?
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:04:27] Hello. I can hear you, I’m not sure if everybody can hear me.
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:04:28] Yeah, we can hear you now.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:04:34] Great. Yes. Sorry about that, technical issues. And these things are happening at the moment. I’m just gonna pick up from where I can, I hope we haven’t covered it.
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:04:53] No problem, it’s just the background. That’s all I’ve done so far.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:05:01] Cool. So, I know you’ve recently had a couple of press releases come up today and so we had some new additions to your business. And I think we’ll cover at the latest news fast and some updates from your company.
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:05:19] It sounds great, Nicky. Yeah, we made two major announcements today. The first is we added a new Sales Leader to run our EMEA business. Her name is Claire Leverage and she’s based in the U.K. and she has a very strong experience in the storage and data market. She had worked at Nimble, a storage of data domain and other companies, other start-ups in the past. So we’re very excited to have her on board. And we’re also growing our sales presence in India, with more sales teams. So that’s the first announcement we made. The other thing we announced is a lot, you know, today a lot of customers have a lot of data in the public Clouds and managing the cost of the public Cloud is a big concern for them. And so our software now looks at all the data you have in a Cloud and shows you how we’re using the data and then manages it for you to save 40% or more of your Cloud costs.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:06:34] Yeah, that sounds great. Thank you Krishna for giving us a little bit of insight behind that. So obviously, times have completely changed for us at the moment. And we are having a little discussion about the tech industry and things like that just beforehand. Obviously with our finger and now we’ve got a worldwide pandemic and tech is probably one of the things that are facing changes. But also, it’s incredibly important right now. Specifically, the Cloud. How- why is that so important right now?
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:07:13] Yeah, you know, it’s interesting. As you said, Nikki, you know. You know, as companies moved to doing more work remotely, the first thing they had to do was get set up for remote work. And now that’s behind most of us. And now companies are realising that they need data outside their data centres. And they also need to protect that data so that if something happened to in one place, they still have it in another place. So we’re seeing a significant growth in our customers, putting data in the Cloud and also in creating a second copy on another Cloud. And so we’re seeing both a resiliency strategy and a data migration strategy into the Cloud. And that’s why we believe what we just launched is based timely. You know, we created this. We were already planning and building this but, you know, we accelerated getting it into market because many of our customers really needed this now.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:08:19] Absoultely. Do you think or have the challenges that your customers changed in any way since we’ve had this situation it was before? And what does it mean for them now?
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:08:36] Yeah. You know, what we’re seeing in a lot of companies is I.T. is busier than ever because, you know, there’s all this new stuff that they have to deal with that they didn’t hadn’t really planned for. But there’s also a lot of uncertainty in terms of budgets and things like that. So a lot of our customers are looking at how they can cut costs and simplify what they’re doing. So they’re looking for the products to make it easier for them so that they don’t have to do all the heavy lifting because they’re really drowning in terms of capacity. Right. And and so, you know, our product, for example, is purely software. There’s no hardware. And that’s a huge benefit because, you know, when you have hardware like storage hardware. If you can’t get into your data centre, then what do you do? So things are really moving to be more digital and simpler to use and more focussed on being agile in reducing costs. That’s what we’re seeing.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:09:55] That’s great. So, obviously you had these updates that you’ve announced today. And from the questions I have here’s how is that particularly benefiting AWS users?
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:10:09] It’s a great question. So there’s a couple of things. So first of all, I should say we are a partner with AWS. We’re an advance deal partner with them. And, you know, so there’s a couple of benefits for AWS users. The first benefit is you can’t manage what you don’t know. And what’s happened to a lot of companies is that the many users in their organisation have set up Cloud accounts for their own testing or development purposes. And now these companies are seeing that they have hundreds to thousands of Cloud accounts and each account has all these buckets. And, you know, they don’t have a good idea of what data they have in the Coud and how it’s being used. So the first thing we provide is visibility into all of that. So you can just give us your master Cloud account and we find all your other accounts, all your buckets. And we show you all the data. You know, what kind of data is it? Who’s using it, how it’s growing, what’s not being used? All of that. So the first thing is visibility into your data so that you can manage it better. The second thing we do for AWS is help them optimise their Cloud cost because AWS is pretty advanced and it has a lot of capabilities. So in storage itself, it has many levels of storage like S3 storage, glace your storage within S3, there’s three classes, S3 history and frequent access. One to one. And you know, all that mean is great because it gives you a lot of choice. But it also means that the I.T. person has to manage all of that and it’s not easy. So we simplify that management. We help the customers leverage all the capabilities of AWS to cut down 40% or more of their costs. So that’s the second benefit. And the third benefit is if they’re looking to migrate data into AWS or the copy data across Cloud. Our software helps with that as well. So it helps activate migrations.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:12:31] So I’m sure many businesses have had to possibly look at the way that store and they try to make people working from home. To change very quickly. What advice would you give to those people who are possibly looking up that migration and how they’re managing that data?
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:12:52] Yeah, so I think Cloud migrations have historically been very complex and costly. And, you know, a lot of companies may think the biggest part of migrating an application is the application itself, but actually that’s not true. The application is a small part of the overall footprint. The data is the larger part. So my advice would be, when you’re looking at the Cloud, think about the data, because the bulk of an application is not the compute, it’s the data. So make sure you know what your data profile looks like and how it’s going to be stored in the Cloud and what it’s going to cost you and how it’s going to get used because you’re plain paying for that storage all the time. And because data usually accumulates you. You don’t- it always gets bigger. It rarely gets smaller. So you have to think about the data angle of things.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:14:01] Thanks for that, Krishna, that’s helpful for some of our audience we’ve got who were listening right now. So looking back round to Komprise a little bit more and what you guys are up to. Obviously, I’m sure the current circumstances have maybe changed your path and a bit and sort of for now. And what are your plans for the future, both with your recent announcement today and also more broadly for the business?
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:14:34] Yeah. So we, our vision from when we started the company was to give a single easy way for a customer to know what data they have, no matter where it lives, to manage it. But also to get more value out of it. And that’s really where we’re going. Right, Nicky. As an overall industry, you know, there’s a lot of talk about Artificial Intelligence and big data. And we’re really at the beginning. You know, infant stages of what’s possible because, you know, we have a lot of information, but we’re not really using that information yet. And so that’s really where we are headed. How do we make it easier for our customers to be more intelligent based on their data? You know, that’s why we call our product intelligent data management, you know. It’s all around building that intelligence. And I think it’s fascinating where the tech industry is headed, you know, in terms of the potential of turning technology to becoming something more intelligent.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:15:49] Is there anything that you’re sort of personally looking forward to in Komprise and also wider in the tech industry? Is there anything so far on your radar that’s really picking your interest at the moment?
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:16:00] Yeah, you know, there’s a few trends that I think are very interesting. You know, there’s really a technology is sort of an enabler, is how I see it. You know, it should really enable a better life for us as people, as humanity. And if you really look at the world at a more global scale, you know, we’re at a point where we have to create a more sustainable future for the world. And, you know, technology consumes a lot of resources. And so, you know, I’m really keen to see how we can make lighter weight technology that is really doesn’t consume so much power, doesn’t consume so much resources, and instead helps us get to a more sustainable future. A more, a smarter, more sustainable future. I think it’s just way exciting just to even think about the potential of all of that. Personally, that’s what I’m interested in.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:17:04] Yeah. That’s great. I think, like, that is probably on the forefront of a lot of people’s minds, especially with things like climate and being set up. Yeah, that’s really interesting to hear. I really like that and hopefully we’ll be able to move that along somehow.
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:17:32] Sorry Nicky, I was just gonna add. Think about the climate and you think about the impact of data centres on the climate. It’s significant because there’s a lot of power being consumed by data centres. And so what if we could make that easier? What if we could store less and still get more intelligence out of it? How can you know there are ways to do be more sustainable? And I think it’s in- for technology. People don’t often think what sustainability when it comes to technology. I did something I believe that is necessary for us, and it’s something we are looking at.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:18:13] Yeah, absolutely. I think, I don’t know if fearful is the right word but some people who may use more like on premise solutions and things like that may not… They may not be scared of the Cloud, but they may not quite understand it. And it might be quite a big change for them. But obviously, and that’s a kind of sustainability side of things, is obviously a lot better or nothing. We will probably see that move going forward, especially now that we are doing all this remote working and things like that so that’s really interesting. On another of your updates, we obviously spoke a little bit about your new VP over me earlier. What are the plans now you’ve appointed that position for your continuing your EMEA momentum?
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:19:06] Yeah. So we already have a presence in several of the European country, regions, particularly U.K., Ireland and, you know, the dock region in Germany. And we have customers in Europe and we’re really seeing that many of our customers are starting to expand their use of Komprise. And so that’s why we’re very excited to have Claire on board. Because her whole sole focus is to grow the team to higher more regions and to build up the business in Europe. And so we today are in Europe is really less than 20% of our overall business. And I think it can get to being a taste of “total overall” business and that’s where we’re headed.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:20:02] Sounds great. Thank you. And so more… And just to sort of sum up on the passenger side of things. What’s really changed for you in… like over the last few months? How do you think it’s affected you much, both personally and obviously business wise? Or have you seen things as normal?
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:20:22] You know, it’s interesting, it’s definitely it has affected me. And I think it is actually in some ways, we are probably more fortunate in the tech industry, because while it has been a change for us, it is not as significant as some other industries which have literally seen their business entirely changed overnight. So personally, it’s given more time to reflect, I think, and it’s made us busier than ever. Now all you need to do is sit in the front of computer all the time. So you lose track of time. But, you know, on a larger scale, I do believe we will find a vaccine and we’ll move past this. This is a probably a little blip. And, you know, so the bigger impact for us is, you know, how this things changes long term? What did we learn from this that we could apply forever? And for me, I think it is really about making technology simpler, more agile, more efficient and just continuing to innovate on that.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:21:38] Yeah, absolutely, I think… like going forward, yes. This is perhaps a more negative situation, but the things we’re going to take from it are going to be hopefully incredible, particularly from a tech perspective as well. So I think it’s probably made people re-evaluate very quickly. And also sounds like there’s a lot of exciting things and also expansion in your EMEA side of things, for Komprise as well.
KRISHNA SUBRAMANIAN [00:22:04] Yeah.
NICKY PENNYCOOK [00:22:06] Great. Well, thank you, Krishna. Well, thank you so much for joining us today. And it’s been great to hear from you. And you’ve had some very exciting announcements. And that’s it for The Andy Show this week. We’ve had some really great guests on this week and talking about their different sides of tech. We will be back on Monday. I hope you have a lovely weekend and we’ll see very soon.