Jim Liddle, CEO of Storage Made Easy (SME), is a startup cognoscente with over 20 years’ experiences in working with startups and building out companies both in technical and sales roles. Jim is known for a rare combination of technical expertise and commercial sales acumen. He is a ‘hands on’ CEO equally comfortable in cutting code as he is defining business strategy.
Over the 20 year period, Jim had held executive roles in Product Management, Sales, in addition to being a CEO. He has led and built teams for both small and large startups in a variety of verticals. He was previously the General Manager EMEA for Versata, a middleware automation startup. He also built out GigaSpaces, an Israel big data startup, in Europe. Jim has worked in the Cloud Computing sector since it first came of age and has a lot of experience in helping to create cloud strategies to aid selling cloud products. Jim has worked with Big Data, OpenStack and Object Storage related technologies from a technical and sales perspective for several years, and Storage Made Easy is at the forefront of enabling end user access to Object Storage.
Waging the War of Talent
As a startup CEO, it is easy to get overwhelmed, and there are a lot of different decisions to be made every day in all areas of the company, from sales to product management and to end customers. If not managed correctly, they can become real roadblocks for the company. It is fundamental to prioritize and delegate and build this into your daily routine in a way that suits your style.
Jim asserts, “One has to have trust and confidence in the team that they will do the right things. Just because they do it different from you does not make their decision wrong it just makes them different, and if you are to scale the company and succeed you have to buy into this philosophy. You have to remember if you achieve anything it is not because you are a great CEO it is because you have a great team. You have to challenge yourself every day and ensure that your lifestyle works for you. It is no use working 100 hours a week every week. You will quickly become jaded, as will your team and that becomes reflected in the decisions made and the culture.”
It is not always easy to achieve these things but then anything worthwhile is never easy otherwise every startup would make it and we all know they do not.
Storage Made Easy: Providing a Unified Enterprise File Share and Sync Fabric
Storage Made Easy renders a cloud fabric software solution to unify, manage, secure and make private and public data storage compliant. The company is focused on the cloud security and compliance market for Service Providers and big business. For many businesses, file data exists in silos, behind the corporate firewall, and now also on cloud making it difficult to search, secure, track, and ensure compliance of files. SME offers a “blanket” that enterprises can privately apply to wrap around all their data: on premises, within a public cloud, or on third-party software vendors’ cloud (SharePoint or Salesforce for example).
The solution allows IT to regain control of “cloud sprawl,” unifying private and public file sharing into a single, converged storage infrastructure that can easily be managed and be used to set governance and audit controls for a single point control. This approach provides a solution to the “shadow IT” conundrum and makes it possible for companies to find a balance between the protection of corporate data and employee data by allowing businesses to monitor, secure and audit all data silos, be they private or cloud or company or employee, from a single access point.
Reasons behind Staggering Growth: Offbeat Strategies and Perfect Team
The SME’s stratagem is having their product fit around clients’ businesses. The enterprise is unique in that it bends, twists and shapes products to be used in ways that they were not necessarily intended. The company offers the flexibility of solution that can accommodate clients’ needs.
To date, SME has been growing 100%+ year on year for three straight years. The company wants to continue this growth but of course, it becomes harder each year as the year-on-year financial numbers become bigger. To facilitate growth, there are number of factors that are brought into play, one of which is team expansion, keeping the DNA of the existing team intact while adding new hires that can hit the ground running and add immediate value. Jim asserts, “We would always wait to hire the right person rather than hire any individual.”
Jim says, “I see the company size in terms of people and growth doubling over next two years, more strategic relationships with partners and the company operating on more of a ‘sell-through’ and ‘sell with’ capability rather than solely focusing on lots of direct salespeople. The relationship is symbiotic. We add value to our partners, often companies much larger than us, and they increase the value to us.”