In an interview with CIO Applications, Max Ekstrom, Co-founder and CTO of Quadric Software, shares his insights on the company’s journey to offer best-in-class Backup and Disaster Recovery solutions.
The Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) space is hypercompetitive. How has Quadric Software distinguished itself so successfully?
Over the years we’ve built our reputation as the grassroots BDR leader in the Xen community. The Citrix ecosystem favors our approach, where quality solutions derive directly from user collaboration.
In your interactions with CIOs of leading companies, what sense do you get of the challenges they face now in the Business Continuity space and how is Quadric Software effectively addressing these issues?
CIOs and IT leaders don’t want to be captive to their vendors, and they are increasingly turning to lower-friction solutions whose sales, support, and innovation model aligns better with an agile, cloud-centric vision. Other vendors don’t understand support since they use a legacy support model, while working with Quadric Software is more liberating.
“Legacy support model”—can you elaborate?
The primary challenge in this industry is that customers want to interact with the engineers directly, but vendors feel this is too great a cost unless it’s a big opportunity or a big risk. Software companies often view support as a necessary expense they wish they could reduce. But we view it more as a nerve-center rather than being a cost-center. Quadric Software integrates a service-driven model into every aspect of its business, where innovation starts with how we treat our customers and how we partner and collaborate with them—we understand the importance of interacting with our clients.
We have the fastest and most efficient software block storage platform, and we do it with a 512KB block size, which is more precise than our competitors
Beyond support, how do you innovate in the BDR space?
We focus on our customers. Very few companies are brave enough to put their best people on the front lines, and this limits their ability to make continuous improvement. To champion quality, an organization must expose itself to the relentless discernment of the customer.
Can you give us a concrete example from a case study that shows us this type of customer engagement?
Our work experience with the San Joaquin Superior Court in California is “Exhibit A” Before the customer tested Alike with our free trial, he had used a competitor’s solution, which ultimately failed and had to be replaced. Alike had a better performance against his 20 XenServer hosts. We also offered a support team that went “above and beyond”. San Joaquin Superior Court has been a loyal customer ever since—and a great collaborator.
It seems like you are suggesting Quadric Software is a different kind of business. Why do you believe this and why is this so important?
Quadric Software is a Vermont company headquartered in a state rooted in craftsmanship. There’s a tradition of taking pride in one’s work and deriving personal meaning from lasting customer value. Moreover, we have a strong sense of mission when the security of our customers is at stake.
How is all that reflected in the product? Walk us through your feature set.
Global data deduplication drives the Alike product. We have the fastest and most efficient software block storage platform, and we do it with a 512KB block size, which is more precise than our competitors. This enables us to offer incredible storage savings on both backups and offsite DR storage, both LAN and cloud. Customers report that they have greatly reduced infrastructure investment and cloud storage costs. We also power our network-efficient VM replication engine using the same technology.
Switching gears, can you let us in on Quadric’s roadmap for 2018?
I want to thank Quadric’s existing customers for all our success together in 2017. We are fortunate to work with such innovative and collaborative customers. Our users are excited about the all-new A2 product that’s in beta now. The A2 is a 100-percent virtual appliance with no Windows installer footprint. It’s very versatile and low-friction, and our users keep suggesting ways to make the A2 faster and better. My mission is to bring more folks considering investing in our solution to get on board with this process.
What would be your piece of advice to the budding entrepreneur, especially one looking at the BDR space?
If you have an innovative technology, be open to all potential applications. When Quadric Software was in the garage stage, we knew that we had something special in the storage space, but we stayed open as to how to bring it to market. In today’s competitive climate, it is difficult to get software installed at the local IT level, and you will need partners to get potential customers aware, engaged, and ultimately willing to put you in play.