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Tim Leisman, President & CEO, Storability

"Most people thought this place was going to shut down, you know."

When Tim Leisman joined Storability Inc. in February 2002, the company, like virtually every other storage service provider out there, was suffering from what appeared to be a lethal identity crisis (see our report on SSPs: RIP).

Before the bubble burst, analysts had expected an ever-growing number of dotcoms with little technical expertise to shove the storage service provider (SSP) market into the $10 billion-range by 2005. When the dotcoms shriveled and died, so did the SSP business model. The companies that had subscribed to the model were forced to change their ways, or were forced out of business altogether.

That's where Leisman came in. He had barely gotten his jacket off before announcing that the startup had to sell off both its professional services unit and its managed services business, and that it would be a pure software company (see Storability Gets 'Compaqted'). Storability, which at the time was burning about $2 million per quarter and bringing in almost no revenue, also dramatically cut its headcount, letting go 100 of its 120 employees. (The company is now back up to a headcount of about 50.)

While a number of Storability's competitors like StorageNetworks and StorageWay, which had also been attempting an identity change – fell by the wayside, Leisman's company managed to remain standing (see StorageNetworks Succumbs and C&W Buys StorageWay for $2M). Even better, Leisman claims, the company is growing strong in its new capacity as a storage resource management software vendor.

"If there's one thing that has worked to our advantage here, it's that we focused on perhaps the least sexy part of this issue," Leisman says. "This isn't the sexiest thing, and these companies used to like to spend money on sexy ideas. But we're helping them solve their problems, and they are real problems."

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