3 Questions with DataGravity co-founder John Joseph

What kinds of questions do you see IT and business users eager to ask of their stored data?

When we talk to early-access customers and partners, they raise data-driven questions related to every aspect of their businesses. IT users discover things about the data they manage, and business users get to see their data in the context of others and over time. It’s really fascinating to see what each uncovers and how it positively surprises them.

For IT, maintaining integrity of the data is job No. 1. It must be protected and meet compliance and governance standards. IT professionals are dealing with so much data under so many different circumstances that they sometimes lose track. The Discovery Series doesn’t. It will maintain both protection and user activity in a very fine grain timeline. It’s able to dial back and forth across the history of a file. It’s able to dial back and forth across the history of a file. This storage visualization capability changes the game for IT in a few ways:

  1. It replaces the myriad expensive tools required to protect and see the value of data. Most of these tools are outside the reach of midsized companies.
  2. It shortens the time to resolution by allowing the administrator to discover something fast and take immediate action. All this happens in near real-time. Wait ‘til you see what we can do in virtual machines.
  3. IT users for the first time will have 360-degree views of their data assets, and they will be able to make more intelligent decisions about what to keep and what can be deleted or moved to a lower tier of storage.
  4. For security and compliance administrators, the ability to look inside the data and pinpoint PII issues and data leakage is critical.  With DataGravity, this is no longer a huge project; the information is available.

For business users, their experiences will continue to evolve over time. Knowledge workers are always in search of answers. DataGravity will shortcut the time to answer, with unique perspectives and visualizations that inform. First, business users will be able to see their data in the context of time, contributors and keyword searches. This shortens the time to discovery. Over the long term, we will see the business user immersed in DataGravity tools and even reshaping their workflow throughout the organization to take advantage of this new power in information. Quickly answering questions about customers, products and services domain expertise will be commonplace with the Discovery Series.

How critical have those customer conversations been at this stage in DataGravity’s development?

Paula and I took tremendous pride in our customer relationships when we were at EqualLogic, and we knew from the start of DataGravity that the customer had to be at the core of what we’re building. Our early users have been supremely important in helping us hone in on the pain points the pre-DataGravity market failed to address, and in informing our product development processes. I often pick up the phone and talk directly to our early-access customers and partners to learn first hand what they have to say about the product and how we can make them more successful at solving difficult data storage and intelligence problems.

Since April of 2012, our channel partners have also been an amazing source of insight, helping  us keep current on how business consumes IT and where the Discovery Series will fit in that plan. Their feedback has been a vital part of our planning and specification vetting processes. Those same partners are now engaging to take this product to their most important customers that are in search of technology that solves a growing data management and governance issue. We’re getting signed up fast for CIO roundtables and new technology showcases. The uptake has been excellent.

What challenges are most pressing in the data storage market today?

People are using one-off solutions to attack point problems, and all of those independent tools are creating complexity and escalating costs. There are so many silos for IT admins to navigate that they run out of resources before they can ever get close to leveraging their data in a way that’s meaningful for the business – especially at the midmarket level. Large enterprises might be able to work around these challenges somewhat by hiring data scientists; midmarket companies can’t afford those hires. Just as EqualLogic made automated storage and SANs for the masses a reality in the last decade, DataGravity is going to deliver a layer of insight and intelligence to storage that will change what people expect from storage in the next decade.  IT teams in midmarket companies shouldn’t have to wait that long to catch up when it comes to dipping into the well of intelligence in their stored data.

Do you have other questions for John? Share them with us on the DataGravity Facebook page.

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Jeff Boehm

Jeff Boehm

Jeff Boehm was the vice president of marketing at DataGravity for 2 years. Jeff brought more than 20 years of experience with a rare combination of marketing skills, organizational leadership and technical background to DataGravity, having shaped the BI and search markets working for industry pioneers and disrupters.