The Top 25 Innovators Of 201211:00 AM EST Fri. Nov. 16, 2012
CRN’s Top 25 Innovators of the year are knocking down walls that stand between partners and the hottest new technology and services opportunities. Here’s a look at who made the cut in Part 4 of our look at the Top 100 Executives of 2012.
Chen has Trend Micro firing on all fronts with the company offering next-generation cloud and client content security infrastructure developed to protect customers from email, Web, email, and file threats. Trend Micro continues to lead security technology innovation, in August releasing enhancements to its server security platform and a cloud services program.
Blackmore is driving ShoreTel to new heights, guiding the UC vendor as it snapped up M5 Networks in May to comprise its Cloud Division. Blackmore says he plans to triple investment in mobility and will grow out ShoreTel's partner program as the company continues to gain traction.
Lo said in October that Ruckus Wireless will seek to raise up to $100 million in an initial public stock offering. The move makes sense because under Lo's leadership, Ruckus has pursued an aggressive growth track in the enterprise and carrier markets and doubled the size of its global channel program to more than 4,500 partners and more than 13,000 customers.
Engates has been an aggressive advocate and leader for Rackspace while it has advanced a series of initiatives in the super-competitive cloud infrastructure space. From its creation of OpenStack, an open-source standard for cloud infrastructure interoperability, to the rollout of its cloud platform for public and private clouds along with related services, Rackspace is staying ahead of the competition as cloud computing takes shape.
Palo Alto Networks
Zuk was ready in 2005 to help found and lead Palo Alto Networks, with experience at Juniper Networks, NetScreen Technologies, OnesSecure and Check Point Software Technologies. The security company has developed what it calls "Next Generation Firewalls" that give IT managers a more granular look at and control of the traffic entering and leaving corporate networks.
Huang has been the driving force at Nvidia since 1993, evolving its graphics processing units for seemingly never-ending innovations in visual computing. Nvidia's interactive graphics now power devices from smartphones and tablets to notebooks and workstations.
Storage technology is rapidly evolving and Aron is helping lead Nutanix to the forefront of the changes with its appliance to virtualize storage networks. The company is developing technology that combines storage and virtual servers into data center components that can replace networked storage. Nutanix has raised $71 million in venture funding.
Biswas is leading Meraki to explosive growth offering wireless networks controlled in the cloud, and allowing customers to use the same hosted management software, setup and controls for all of its products. Meraki has received about $80 million in venture funding.
The larger-than-life Russian CEO has built his security company into an antivirus, Internet security and mobile security powerhouse that has been a favorite of channel partners. Kaspersky's recent announcement that he is developing a bulletproof operating system to stop all threats has some experts raising their eyebrows. But his vision and creativity is well documented.
General Manager, Global Business Partners, Midmarket
Hennessy took over as IBM's channel chief in January and is looking to the cloud. A 30-year IBM veteran, he was the former head of strategy and transformation for IBM sales and distribution and also was IBM’s CIO. Among his new initiatives, Hennessy is creating programs to help MSPs build solutions and services on IBM's advanced technologies such as SmartCloud, PureSystems and analytics.
Flynn heads a company that makes data delivery faster. Its Fusion-io Memory platform and software-defined storage solutions accelerate virtualization, databases, cloud computing, big data and performance applications. Flynn believes Fusion-io is at the forefront of software-defined software solutions replacing specialized hardware in the data center.
In more than a decade as F5 Networks' CEO, McAdam has driven the company as it surpassed $1 billion in revenue in 2011 and has led F5 to increase its core application delivery controller market share to almost 50 percent. With Cisco exiting the application delivery networking space, F5 expanded its trade-in program in October.
Since joining Extreme Networks in August 2010, Rodriguez has shored up the company's finances and bolstered its channel programs. In July 2011, he cut about 110 jobs, or 16 percent of its global workforce, to save operating costs. Extreme has rebounded with new programs, including a global partner advisory council with 14 members, and has pushed into the data center, BYOD and the education spaces.
President, General Manager
Cunningham has shepherded Evault to reach more than 35,000 SMB customers using its cloud-based backup and recovery services. He also made sure that EVault, a Seagate company, continued to grow its partner channel, counting more than 450 North American partners in 2012.
Maritz handed the CEO reins at VMware over to EMC’s COO Pat Gelsinger on Sept. 1, ending a run during which he oversaw the groundbreaking rollout of VMware's virtualization software for desktops, servers and, increasingly, for cloud management.
Olson leads one of the hottest young companies focusing on Hadoop, the open-source software framework that supports the data-intensive distributed applications becoming essential for cloud-based computing. Cloudera sells a commercial distribution of the Apache Hadoop software, along with Cloudera Enterprise, a subscription service offering support, and Cloudera Management Suite.
Vice President, Global Channels, Strategic Alliance
In June Williams moved to network infrastructure specialist Ciena to leverage his years of experience in the networking channel to push the company to new heights. He joined Ciena from Level 3 Communications, where he was senior vice president of enterprise sales and strategic alliances, and also worked at Cisco, where he was vice president of worldwide channels for Linksys.
Senior Vice President, General Manager, Data Management
Crest is playing a key role at CA, leading the team that develops, sells and supports the company’s core ARCserve data recovery software and ERwin data modeling product lines. And as a longtime friend of the channel, Crest is making sure partners are on board.
No one has done a better job managing hyper-innovation than Costolo. In mid-2011, users of the micro-blogging service were sending 200 million tweets per day. Today that number is about 500 million. Given Twitter’s growing smartphone connection, there is no end in sight.
Co-Founder, President, Product and Sales
Big Switch Networks
The new era of intelligent networks is here, and Foster is leading his company to support the OpenFlow intelligent networking traffic management standard with its Big Switch Networks Controller software platform for virtualizing enterprise data center networks.
Politis believes so strongly in the management and security tools his startup offers for Google Apps users that he invested his own money as part of the $2.2 million raised in venture funding for the company. BetterCloud has released DomainWatch, a Google Apps security tool for domain administration management, and has a beta version of FlashPanel, its Google Apps management tool.
Lynch embodies the serial entrepreneur. He joined investment firm Atlas Venture in May, the latest move in a brilliant career building tech companies. Lynch mostly recently was CEO of Vertica Systems, creating its big data systems before it was bought by HP. Previously, Lynch held leading positions at F5 Networks where he led the data management business, Acopia Networks, Arrowpoint Communications and Cisco.
Gupta envisioned a cloud-based WAN optimization-as-a-service platform built for fast cloud computing environments and that's what he achieved -- a service that radically reduces data transfer speeds and increases bandwidth. The venture capital community recognized the achievement and invested $15 million in the startup.
McChord has led Datto, with its virtualization approach to backup and recovery, to three consecutive years of 300 percent growth. Datto has increased its staff by more than five times and more than doubled its partner base. He's making sure the channel-only company stays ahead by helping partners deliver cutting-edge business continuity solutions.
He made it sound so simple. Casado had a vision of software-defined networking, where administrators can program their networks to act as they want them to act. The result of this vision was Nicira, a startup founded by Casado, Stanford University professor Nick McKeown and Scott Shenker, a University of California at Berkeley professor. And in July 2012, VMware plunked down $1.25 billion for the company, with plans to use its software in its virtualized networks.
"Five years ago we started Nicira to transform networking," Casado wrote on a Nicira blog. "It was clear that networking’s traditional operational model was not suitable for cloud data centers so we set out to increase flexibility, reduce operational complexity, and provide full automation through software."
Now, Casado's vision of SDN is overturning traditional thinking about the data center and transforming the way we look at networking. The impact will be felt for years to come.