"When customers are making million-dollar-plus storage decisions, they want to know the vendor will grow, will support its solutions, and will not go away like other startups," Wysocki told CRN. "Panzura already has great products. The funding helps customers make the decision to buy, which helps us as well."
Mike Wilson, director of engineering at Datatility, an Ashburn, Va.-based MSP which built its own cloud using IBM's Cleversafe Object Storage, with Panzura as the gateway, said the investment will help the vendor expand its channels.
"It should help provide the dollars to meet customer demand as cloud storage matures and customers continue to embrace object storage," Wilson told CRN.
As a partner, Panzura has been fantastic, Wilson said. "We have a 100-percent close rate on proofs-of-concept to date with Panzura," he said. "Once customers get their hands on the products, they like it. And Panzura's sales reps and sales engineers are very competent."
Panzura is not yet a profitable company, but is close, Harr said. Instead, the company is still investing for growth. "We expect this new money to take us to profitability," he said. "But there could be an opportunity to take additional money for future expansion."
Harr said Panzura's primary competition is the status quo, which is how he termed the traditional on-premises storage model.
"We are in the cloud-first model," he said. "Our competitors are holding on to on-premises infrastructures, because any data going to the cloud is not on their infrastructures. Once data moves off-premises, they lose control of the customer."
Panzura also competes heavily with Natick, Mass.-based cloud storage gateway vendor Nasuni, Harr said.