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Flash firm Kaminario lays off half of UK team

EMEA boss called it a day, says CEO, amid 'changes' to Euro beachhead

By Chris Mellor, 17 Jul 2017

Kaminario has left UK sales in the hands of an sales engineer and a chief technology officer following the redundancy of more than half of the local staff, a number of sources have told The Register.

According to our insiders, two end user sales people and the channel boss Mark Walker were laid off at the end of last week - all had previously worked from home - and EMEA boss Mick Bradley also headed for the exit.

A bulky sales pipeline that promised greater riches hasn’t turned out quite as expected with fewer sales closures than had been forecast, and so a period of belt-tightening was entered into by the vendor.

A source said: “Kaminario has good technology but that whole solid state market is very congested, with upstarts and big vendors wanting a piece of that all-flash action. It has VC money and expectations for what would happen.”

The UK operation, as it is, will be staffed by Tom O’Neill, CTO and Chris Buckel, director of sales engineering for EMEA and APAC, “neither of whom [were on the] commercial side, so how will the sales void be filled?” a person in Kaminario’s channel questioned.

CEO and co-founder Dani Golan said of the job cuts, "We did make some recent changes to our UK team”, and he added that moves like this were “never easy but part of the business”.

Golan told us Bradley resigned for “personal reasons”, and claimed Kaminario “continue to aggressively grow in EMEA”. The only other physical office in the region is based in France.

“We recently appointed long-time Kaminario executive, Ron Davidi, VP of sales and business development for Kaminario International. We continue to sell in EMEA with strong commitment to 100 per cent channel model in the region,” the CEO added.

He confirmed O’Neill and Buckel will man the London office and “continue to do an amazing job”.

The EMEA all-flash array market is a hard one to crack, especially with resurgent entrenched vendors like Dell EMC, HPE, IBM and NetApp enjoying good sales into their installed customer bases, and Pure Storage growing its business after its IPO with lots of money to fund market share-buying activities in these bases.

+Comment

The company was founded in 2008 by Dani Golan with Moshe Selfin and Ofir Dubovi, who planned to make an all-DRAM grid-in-a-box array, which was later changed to an all-flash array. Selfin and Dubovi then left, with Golan becoming CEO. The firm took in five rounds of funding totalling $143m between 2009 and 2014 and then enjoyed an oversubscribed funding round of $75m this year. Kaminario is using the cash to develop its technology and go-to-market initiatives. But it likely can't outspend Pure; it's not that rich.

It's changing its European infrastructure in order to build sales better and, we think, with lower costs, as it tries to push its way into a market pretty much dominated by five bigger players, all fighting each other hard with rejuvenated products.

Kaminario needs to get a clear message through five walls of massive competitive marketing fog to reach potential customers. ®

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