Tech industry veteran Ron Nash has been named the new CEO of Pivot3.
Photo credit: (Photo courtesy Pivot3)
Video surveillance storage solutions provider Pivot3 announced on Thursday that company investor and board chairman Ron Nash will become its new CEO. Nash, who has an extensive background as a technology industry executive, succeeds Richard Bravman who unexpectedly left the company earlier this spring.
Nash has experience leading small companies such as ExoLink, Advanced Telemarketing and Rubicon, as well as large IT firms like Perot Systems (now Dell Services) and EDS (now HP Enterprise Services).
“I’ve taken companies from five (employees) and no revenue up to over a billion. It’s an appreciation of knowing what you do at what particular size, but how much process to put in without choking the company.” said Nash. “You want people to have freedom and creativity so they can jump out there and be aggressive, but you’ve got to have more and more process and apply it appropriately as the company is growing.”
Additionally, Nash believes that the company is at an inflection point for higher growth, the majority of which will come from the video surveillance market in terms of revenue generation over the next several years. Although the core of Pivot3’s business remains developing products for video surveillance storage, Nash said that the company’s foray into virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), which is expected to outperform video on a percentage growth basis, has added some increased “complexity” into the business.
“I just saw that the company was going to increase the amount of complexity that they were going to have to deal with by having multiple products and multiple markets even though the underlying technology is exactly the same,” Nash explained. “We want to be hitting on two cylinders for growing really, not only the surveillance growth but also this virtual desktop product that we have.”
In an interview with SIW in September at the ASIS 2013 conference, Pivot3 Chief Marketing Officer Olivier Thierry said that the company has had plans all along to be in multiple vertical market segments.
“Software-defined storage, which is what we do, allows us to custom build appliances for the workloads that we’re interested in storing,” Thierry said. “We lay our vSTAC OS software down across a bunch of servers and the servers are configured differently for different markets. In video surveillance, it’s much more capacity-centric. We flash cache to H.264 workloads, we then put that out on big SATA drives, we make it cost-effective and we make it simple. We could have chosen to use software-defined storage and say, ‘ta-da, we’re a general purpose storage company.’ We didn’t do that because that’s too broad a front for us to take on and that was originally the idea back in 2003. We picked our vertical market segments based on the traits the best suit our storage.”
Thierry said that Pivot3 will continue to add more vertical markets as the company continues to grow. “At one point in time, when you add enough of them, people go, ‘oh yeah, I know Pivot3; I’ve got it here in my company, I’ve got it here in my company,’” Thierry said.
Nash said that while the Pivot3 has done a tremendous job in terms of product development, he feels that company needs some help when it comes to managing growth.
“I can remember one time that we had one technical problem where a unit in the field had a problem and we had to go back in and lay down some software. One time in eight years; the (product) has worked. It’s just a very dependable platform, it’s very sturdy, easy to use for people and that’s just a fantastic advantage,” Nash added. “What (Pivot3) hasn’t done better is manage its growth appropriately. When you are a fast growing company, you are juggling a bunch of actors. Some of them are technology, some of them are business relationships with your suppliers that sell you hardware, some of them organizational like how soon do you hire all of the people what kind of people do you need to hire next to keep up with growth, and some of them are financial – how much money do you spend on sales to tune up the growth rate versus spending on the backend of the company? The company has done an ok job of balancing those factors, but not a superb job.”
Last week, Pivot3 announced that it recently raised $14 million in a new round of financing from investors, which according to Nash, will give the company working capital and help it add resources as needed.
“A fast growing company typically uses cash as it grows,” he said. “Even though you’re growing and the revenue is going up and you make nice margins and the books look good, a lot of times the faster you grow the more cash you use. A part of this raise was for investment in new people and new capabilities and part of it was working capital just to allow us to grow fast.”
Despite the fact that the surveillance industry continues to evolve and some video storage companies have fallen by the wayside in the process, Bill Galloway, founder and chief technology officer of Pivot3, said that the continued transition from analog to IP technology bodes well for the company.
“We’re very IT-centric, so we think that the market is transitioning towards the solution that we have and it’s one of those cases where market transition is good for us because it’s going the direction that we’re strong in,” Galloway said.
“We’re here and we’re going to be here,” Nash added. “If you look at the storage players in the surveillance industry, unfortunately some of them have come and gone and we haven’t and we’re not planning on going anywhere.”