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Isilon's Losses Roll On

Vendor struggles on, forcing execs to push back the target date for profitability

The vendor, which went public in a blaze of publicity late last year, also lost money in its first quarter, prompting analysts to urge the company to seek out larger deals. (See Isilon: The Honeymoon's Over, Isilon Announces Results, The Slings & Arrows of IPOs, and Isilon Bleeds, Vows Profits.)

Speaking on a conference call last night, Isilon CEO Steve Goodman explained that sales backlog affected the vendor's second quarter performance. "Back-end loaded sales bookings have been an ongoing challenge for Isilon," he said. "The slippage of a small number of deals can have a material impact on our results."

Ramping up sales efforts is also proving a challenge for the firm. "We have found that the time required to ramp up new sales personnel is taking longer than anticipated," said Goodman, explaining that process has been complicated by the number of new products introduced by Isilon in the past 12 months. (See Isilon Adds Thin Provisioning, Clusters, Isilon Releases New Systems, The Clustered Storage Revolution - by Isilon Systems, Isilon Releases SyncIQ 2.0, Isilon Launches MigrationIQ, and Netia, Isilon Team Up.)

The exec described these problems as par for the course for a firm like Isilon, which went public last December, and has just over 300 employees. (See Double-Take, Isilon Go Public.) "These are classic growing pain issues that are very much within our control," he said, adding that more than half of Isilon's 53 new hires are salespeople.

Isilon will also look to improve its bookings cycle, avoiding a second quarter deal slippage, by growing its sales channel and customer base, according to the Isilon CEO.

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