Cloud data management vendor Rubrik looks to accelerate strong growth with new sales hire

New Rubrik VP of Sales Mark Smith wants to get a lot more partners bringing in over a million dollars in sales, to help push the company’s already strong sales to new heights.

Mark Smith, newly-minted Rubrik Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Business Development

Palo Alto-based Rubrik has announced that Mark Smith, formerly of Arista Networks, has joined the company as Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Business Development.

Rubrik came out of stealth in 2015 and launched its product that year. They make a data management solution that simplifies backup and data protection while allowing enterprises to manage their data in the hybrid cloud. While their original messaging was designed to turn heads by comparing the product to an enterprise version of Apple’s Time Machine, they are now emphasizing the simple backup within the broader data management context,

“Our vision is to be a data management product, and our current messaging is cloud data management,” said John Koo, head of corporate marketing at Rubrik. “Data protection is a fundamental building block of that vision. It’s what gets us into the enterprise. But our story is really about simplicity – simplifying the complexities of data protection while also providing a data management solution for the hybrid cloud.”

The message is clearly having success in the market. Rubrik just announced a global annual run rate that is close to $USD 100 million, in just six quarters of selling. The intention is to go much higher than that in short order, however. Smith, who took Arista’s revenues from $200 million to over a billion in four years, thinks Rubrik can do the same.

“Bringing me in is part of a strategy to expand our international footprint and grow the company to a billion dollars over the coming years,” Smith said. “I’ve been at four successful IPOs, Arista being the most recent. At Arista, we were the arms dealer to the large cloud providers, taking advantage of the incredible migration to cloud. The space Rubrik is in has a market potential of billions – a huge addressable market. There also hasn’t been much innovation in this field in 30 years, so having a really innovative solution that leverages the hybrid cloud is very attractive.”

While Rubrik has been a 100 per cent channel company out of the gate, Smith emphasized that there is a lot more that the company can do here.

“The channel is near and dear to my heart,” he said. “We built out a channel at NetScreen where the loyalty both ways was incredible. The channel is the best way to grow fast, and I think my channel expertise will be invaluable here.

Smith indicated that while they are still adding quality partners, he sees the big opportunity for growth in getting more of their existing partners to sell a lot more.

“Just this morning, two really significant national storage resellers contacted us and wanted to talk to us about getting our solution,” he indicated. “We are always interested in strong new partners, and we want deeper relationships with the type of partners who want to bring new technology to their partners. We aren’t building a volume channel, however. We have 220 partners globally. We already have 10 plus partners doing a million plus sales a year. What I really want to do is get our top 100 partners doing that kind of business over the next couple years.”

When Rubrik launched, they thought that their sweet spot would be the midmarket, trending down towards the SMB. Once the product hit the market, they found demand came from places that had not been anticipated.

“We’ve been surprised at how quickly large enterprise has jumped on this solution because they see a great TCO versus what they had been using,” Smith said. “We have dozens of Fortune 500 customers and large governments, and some of the largest banks and insurance companies in the world. So we are really more about the midmarket and enterprise than the midmarket and SMB. Demand is very strong. We have leads we can’t follow up on fast enough, so we will be automating the channel leads through Salesforce.”

Smith said that the sales cycle for Rubrik tends to be short.

“We have partners that are bringing in their first deals, that are six figures and greater, and in an average of 90 days,” he said. “The channel just loves the short sales cycle.”

Smith also emphasized that they have better margins than legacy vendors in the space because they are not overdistributed.

“Having REST API and the ability to customize solutions for customers also creates a great services opportunity for partners,” he added. There is significant margin here on top of the actual product sale.”

This week, Rubrik also announced the release of version 3.1 of their Cloud Data Management platform. It expands platform support to include Physical Windows Server, adds software-based encryption for Rubrik appliances, and brings the ability to leverage visual analytics in customizable reports.

“The visual analytics that we added have been a common request of enterprises, who want more visibility as they go to a more multi-cloud approach,” Smith said. “The extension of the APIs to different platforms also expands our reach.”