CEO Reflections - Scaling Challenges
The last three months have been stressful. We hit scaling issues across multiple disciplines - whether it was in back-end operations, core engineering or in marketing/sales. What works when you go from an average of 8 concurrent power users per business account does not work well for an account with 200 power users. Similarly, marketing/sales demand generation, capture and conversion run into similar challenges.
The last 90 days I have been dealing with a "good" problem because demand is increasing. But on the other hand, the conversion has dropped. It is expected that conversion (from trial to paid) slows down as the top of the funnel expands, but the organization should be ready to scale as the average deal size gets bigger. Last month, we had the best month in terms of "corporate" deals, yet I am not so sanguine. Large companies bring a large number of users. The data sets are larger and the SLA expectation is more exacting - whether their users work from home or from corporate offices. As an example, the latency experience needs to be uniform whether the person is accessing their Egnyte account from a cable connection at home or from a fiber connection in the office.Also, three key engineering projects were delayed, and they are finally being rolled out. One of them is related to the storage layer. Imagine project haystack (built by Facebook for primarily storing photos), but more difficult since files, not photos, are being stored. Files mutate, photos don't. This project was done in record time with a very small team of senior engineers. Last weekend, it went live but the magnitude of this is such, that we are gradually migrating all existing storage to this new architecture in a phased approach across all three existing data centers.You will be hearing about a series of product news come out of Egnyte in the next 60 days, one of which is related to using that old warhorse "FTP" - still the best way for uploading mountains of data. Our engineers have done extreme innovation in taking a single IP based protocol and morphed it for a multi-tenanted solution.
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