Pivot3 creates new U.S. sales head position to expand leadership team

While undergoing the hiring process for a new head of sales that landed Rance Poehler, Pivot3 found they also liked the skillset of Dan Flood, so they made an additional hire, and created the position of VP of U.S. sales for him, as part of a more aggressive strategy to expand in the enterprise.

Dan Flood, Vice President of U.S. Sales, Pivot3

Hyperconverged infrastructure [HCI] solutions vendor Pivot3, which just hired Rance Poehler as its vice president of global sales and Chief Revenue Officer, has expanded its sales team further with the appointment of Dan Flood as Vice President of U.S. Sales. It’s a net-new position, and part of Pivot3’s building out of their sales leadership team as they aim to expand their presence in the enterprise space.

Flood, like Poehler, joins Pivot3 from the Dell Technologies stable of companies, although there’s no connection from there between the two men. Poehler came to the Dell VDI business after spending the bulk of his career in senior roles at Panasonic. Flood worked his way up the ranks at EMC, and then did a sidestep to VCE in its joint venture days between EMC, Cisco and VMware, where he was regional sales director for the Great Plains region. When VCE was absorbed into Dell EMC following that merger, Flood became VP of Sales at the Dell EMC Converged Platforms and Solutions Division, where he sold their HCI offerings. Finally, he was VP of Sales, Americas Global Accounts, Modern Data Center Division.

Flood was considered for the CRO position that went to Poehler, and while he did not get that one, Pivot3 created the U.S. Sales VP position for him.

“They reached out to interview me for the CRO role, and as we went forward, they really liked Rance’s background, which has the one thing that is missing in mine, taking a company from the small stage to larger,” Flood said. “I have done that in a business unit, but not a company. At the same time, while they really liked what Rance offered from a strategy perspective, they really like what I do from a sales execution position. So Ron Nash [Pivot3’s CEO] asked me to visit him in Dallas and to consider this role that they would create.  They hired me for this new position, and the Board agreed to approve an additional hire that they weren’t expecting.”

The expanded sales structure now has four segments: U.S. sales, which Flood leads; federal government, where Pivot3 has always done well; International, which includes Canada; and a new named account division. Unlike most such organizations, the named accounts are not large enterprises, but are bellwethers of Pivot3’s video surveillance solutions, and includes entities like airports and Smart City organizations.

Flood’s sales organization will have two area VPs, one in the east and one in the west.

“Right now, our current business plan is to have 14 of our own sellers in the field, based in places that are typically major NFL cities,” he said. “My team’s job is to create and drive demand for the channel, because we can only cover a small part of the market ourselves. We are uncompromisingly 100 per cent channel-driven. Even if we uncover the deal, we will fulfill it through a partner. It benefits customers as well, with additional support at hand, including the benefits of additional engineering talent.”

The bringing together of Pivot3 and NexGen in 2016, followed by the integration of their technology the next year into the Acuity software platform, positioned the company well for the enterprise, but enterprise sales haven’t been as strong as had been anticipated.

“It looked to me like the perfect marriage of two techs,” Flood said. “With HCI, every engineering decision you make has a trade-off on performance for expenses. Pivot3 originally had amazing erasure coding, but lacked data services. NexGen had those services, with the ability to do snapshots and asynchronous replication. I think the issue so far has been a sales execution issue. It has been a matter of getting the right infrastructure in place, and hiring the right people, who are comfortable having data centre conversations and taking a world class solution set to market.”

Flood will lead emphasize this push into the enterprise and commercial data centre markets.

“Video surveillance and the Internet of Things have been the focus, and we really haven’t aggressively gone after the hybrid cloud, VDI, server and storage refreshes that are the core HCI market,” Flood said. “Acuity is purpose-built for that. My team will be focused on competing for those workloads.”

Having sold such solutions for Pivot3’s largest competitor, Flood sees the advantages that a smaller company can bring to the table in the space.

“Pivot3 is a single solution company focused on HCI and collapsing those three-tier architectures,” he said. “We are small, lean and nimble, and focused on allowing software to do what software was built to do. We don’t have the innovators’ dilemma of having to worry about cannibalizing large installed storage systems, and having others from the same company confusing the market about this.”