Tidd's Atop TeraCloud

TeraCloud's VP of sales Gary Tidd has risen to the CEO spot

January 3, 2004

3 Min Read
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As part of an ongoing onslaught on the storage resource management (SRM) market, TeraCloud Corp. has promoted the VP of sales it hired in October 2003 to the post of CEO (see TeraCloud Hires Tidd as CEO).Figure 1: Gary S. Tidd, CEO, TeraCloud

Gary S. Tidd, whose resum includes several years as a regional sales manager at Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), replaces Douglass Ebstyne, whose departure was "a mutual decision" between Ebstyne and TeraCloud's board, according to Robert Bingham, TeraCloud's VP of marketing, who responded to a call to Tidd.

Tidd's experience with indirect sales channels was key to the move, Bingham says. Up to now, TeraCloud's sold its products directly to enterprise data-center customers, but the growth of outsourcing has made third-party channels compelling. Tidd's job will be to forge relationships with VARs and systems integrators to advance revenues. "The value Gary brings is a lot of channel experience," Bingham says. "He doubled the channel business for Oracle in the Northwest."

TeraCloud's primary focus remains the mainframe SRM market, where it competes mainly with Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) (NYSE: CA), selling software that manages disk and tape storage on IBM mainframes."The mainframe business continues to grow," Bingham asserts. "Fifty percent of SRM revenue is from mainframe software." Distributed SRM "remains fragmented," he says, with customers looking for end-to-end solutions that just don't exist.

This view matches findings of Heavy Reading's Fall 2003 Storage Networking Market Perception Study, which reports that the SRM market's still in the formative stage. Just five of 17 companies listed were recognized as market leaders by more than 50 percent of survey respondents. (TeraCloud wasn't one of them, though it was recognized by 11.3 percent of respondents.)

This isn't to say TeraCloud's given up on open systems SRM. TeraCloud continues to push SpaceNet, its product for distributed, Unix-based storage networks, which it released over two years ago (see TeraCloud Launches SpaceNet and TeraCloud Floats Into the Open). SpaceNet's grown from five to 20 customers since its release, Bingham maintains.

Traction may be growing, but so is competition: SpaceNet vies for customers against EMC, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), IBM Tivoli, and Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS), to name a few. According to Bingham, TeraCloud's bid for differentiation is support of file-level management across multiple operating systems.

Tidd's appointment is the latest in a series of directional moves for TeraCloud, which was founded in 1991 but sought fresh funding in May 2002. The goal was to expand sales and take advantage of trends in storage networking (see TeraCloud Seeded With $5.5M). The company now has about 50 employees and will stay that way for the time being, Bingham says. TeraCloud, he says, has "reached cash flow breakeven."Tidd started with TeraCloud back in October, when he replaced VP of sales Thomas Phillips, who'd been with the company since June 2002 (see TeraCloud Hires Sales VP). Prior to joining TeraCloud, he worked at a range of software companies in addition to Oracle, including ones focused on health care management.

Two other execs besides Phillips who were hired in 2002, including a VP of engineering and a VP of product management, also have departed (see TeraCloud Hires Product Manager and TeraCloud Hires VP Engineering). But Bingham says there's no revolving door. The execs spent significant chunks of time at TeraCloud and moved on for personal reasons, he says.

There's no denying the SRM market is in flux, however. In Heavy Reading's survey, respondents alluded to a lack of SRM products that cover all the bases required. Until it becomes clear what those bases are and products start appearing to fill the need, vendors like TeraCloud are likely to specialize where sales are strongest, while hedging their bets in the open-systems arena.

— Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

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