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Deep Dive: Michael Welts, CMO, Wasabi Technologies

Deep Dive: Michael Welts, CMO, Wasabi Technologies

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Wasabi Technologies is a hot cloud storage company that delivers reliable and efficient cloud storage solutions. Michael Welts, CMO, Wasabi Technologies tells Intelligent Data Centres what first made him consider a career in technology and how he unwinds outside the office.

What would you describe as your most memorable achievement in the data centre industry?

I’ve been doing this for 30 years so there’s been many. I would say the two that stand out most are way back in 1990 when I introduced the 10BASE-T standard for the industry at Cabletron Systems. That standard revolutionised data centre architectures and really unlocked Local Area Networking (LANs) for the masses, enabling widespread adoption of enterprise computing. The other is what we’re currently doing at Wasabi with hot cloud storage. We’ve reinvented cloud storage and made it simple to use, predictable in cost and a reliable extension of traditional data centre architecture designs.

What first made you think of a career in technology/data centres?

In a word, ‘innovation’. I’m passionate about disruptive change and constantly moving things forward. When I entered into tech, we were just rolling our PCs and you could see how they would transform businesses, consumer behaviour and so much more. Then along came the Internet followed by the web, wireless, cellular, etc. Moore’s Law provides for constant innovation that enables the betterment of everything we do in life. And the hits keep on coming.

What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?

I challenge myself and my team to always be thinking six to 12 months ahead of the market. What is the agenda we want to set in the industry? How will it change the world as we know it? How do we make it become a reality? How can we continue to innovate on that agenda so that we lead the market, instead of follow?

What do you think is the current hot talking point within the data centre space?

Data explosion and Cost Optimisation. Data has become the lifeblood of every organisation. That is why there are more career opportunities for data scientists than any other IT role out there. At the same time, the cost of storing all that data has become overwhelming as data doubles every two years. Organisations are making difficult decisions about what data is important and what data to keep. We’re solving that problem with our strategy of a ‘bottomless’ cloud.

How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office?

I’m addicted to my Peloton and ride every single day (#WasabiMike). Beyond that, it’s doing activities with my wife and children. Having recently become an empty nester, I’m looking forward to doing more travelling, hiking and of course, outdoor cycling.

What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?

I think we are at the very beginning of a monumental shift to the cloud. Compute and workloads dominated the first 15 years of the cloud. I think data and storage will become the next big chapter to be written. Beyond that, I think AI will become the root of so much of our decision making and again, the more data you store, the more intelligent your decision making can become because it works from a larger set of data points.

What are the region-specific challenges you encounter in your role?

Wasabi is in a hypergrowth mode. We’re expanding our business very fast and for us, it really comes down to trying to meet demand. Alongside our US-based data centres, we’ve opened data centres in Amsterdam and Japan in the past 18 months and will likely open another half dozen around the world in the next 12 months. In Europe specifically, it’s important for us to be local to meet data sovereignty requirements.

What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the coming months?

Think harder. Run faster. Repeat. As a hypergrowth company and one that is experiencing incredible growth (over 18,000 customers and 3,500 partners in first three years), the bar gets raised to meet customer demand, grow our distribution channels and lead the industry agenda. For me, and for us as a company in general, it’s a resource limitation. As serial entrepreneurs, we know what we have to do. Now it’s a matter of execution. We need to hire fast so we can respond and meet the requirements of our growing customer and partner base. We’re in a great spot to become the next large cloud services company and we’re on a mission to store the world’s data. What a great time to be in tech!

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