Datos IO: How Cisco Helps Us Think Bigger

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A few years ago, Tarun Thakur and Prasenjit Sarkar noticed a transformative shift changing the face of the IT industry.

They saw the way applications were influencing the IT stack, realizing that next-generation applications – like analytics, IoT and ecommerce – were being born directly in the cloud. And they discovered that the majority of organizations they met with were interested in migrating their traditional, classically structured applications over to the cloud, too.

“We realized that the nature of applications were defining the choice of database, that the choice of database was defining the choice of storage, and that the choice of storage was defining the choice of data management tools,” said Tarun.

With their combined experience in building systems and meeting with customers across different markets, Tarun and Prasenjit realized they had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build the next Big Cloud Data Management company. They founded Datos IO in 2014 and have been guiding customers in their journey towards cloud adoption ever since, helping enterprises protect, manage, and recover their data at scale.

“It’s heartening to take a step back and think about where we started, where we are now, and what the journey has been to this point,” said Tarun.

With seed funding in 2014, their two-person team began growing in size. They set out to take their idea from paper to practice and created a working prototype. In 2015, Datos IO raised $12.5 million in their Series A round of funding, scaled the engineering team and in June of 2016 they launched RecoverX, the industry’s first cloud-scale, application-centric, data management platform.

Enterprise customers immediately saw value in an application-centric model that could help them protect, mobilize, and monetize their application data across different cloud environments. In less than a year after launching RecoverX, more than half of Datos IO’s customers were made up of Fortune 500 companies.

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The Cisco Investments team took notice of the disruptive cloud-first approach Datos IO was taking to address this gap in the market, and quickly reached out for a meeting. The Datos IO team met with Michael Porat, who oversees Cisco’s investment and acquisition efforts in the Data Center and Storage areas. Before they knew it, they had found a new partner.

Cisco Investments introduced Datos IO to relevant groups internally, including the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and Cisco Hyperflex business units. They work with the Datos team to raise visibility (Datos IO will be present at this year’s Cisco Live event, the country’s leading education and training event for IT, networking, and communications professionals), and even weigh in on internal discussions about product and strategy.

In May 2017, Datos IO reached another major milestone with the launch of RecoverX 2.0 which adds enhanced cloud data protection and new cloud data mobility capabilities, greatly expanding Datos IO’s market opportunity.

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According to Peter Smails, vice president of marketing and business development for Datos IO, Cisco has been instrumental in creating routes to market and adding credibility and scale that Datos IO would not have been able to do on its own.

“The go-to-market opportunities have been incredibly beneficial to us,” Peter said. “Cisco has really doubled-down to help us. It’s been a very fulfilling relationship.”

Tarun agreed, and offered the following advice to entrepreneurs who might be considering exploring partnerships with corporate investors like Cisco in the future.

“The Cisco family and their understanding of the market was a huge reason for us to work together,” he said. “They have been actively involved in helping as much as they can. Don’t shy away from corporate investors. Getting money is not the hard part – it’s finding the right people to work with.  Cisco has helped us learn to think in bigger and better ways.”

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