Startup SimpliVity Hires Two Ex-Cisco Sales Vets, Gears Up For Future Hyper-Convergence Battles

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Hyper-convergence startup SimpliVity is facing increased competition with Cisco Systems and Hewlett Packard Enterprise moving into its turf, but it's still managing to attract experienced sales talent. 
SimpliVity recently hired two former longtime Cisco sales executives to fill key posts at the Westborough, Mass.-based startup, which is widely seen as the No. 2 player in the market after Nutanix.  
Gary DePreta, director of Cisco's national security agencies business and a 10-year company veteran, has joined SimpliVity as head of U.S. federal sales, a source told CRN.  
Geoff Fancher, a 17-year Cisco veteran who's been leading the U.S. business at Comstor, the Cisco distribution business of Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Westcon-Comstor, for the past three-plus years, is joining SimpliVity on March 21, according to the source, who didn't want to be named.
Fancher will be vice president of Americas channel sales, reporting to George Hope, vice president of global channels at SimpliVity, said the source. 
A SimpliVity spokeswoman confirmed both hires to CRN on Monday but declined comment. A Cisco spokesman declined comment, and Westcon-Comstor wasn’t immediately available for comment.  
SimpliVity's new hires come amid a flurry of activity in the market for hyper-converged infrastructure, which typically refers to the combination of compute and storage running virtually on x86 server hardware. 
Cisco unveiled a new hyper-convergence product line last week called HyperFlex Systems, which combines its Unified Computing System (UCS) servers with software-defined storage from startup Springpath.  
HPE is also getting into the game with a new "market-changing" hyper-convergence offering that's based on its ProLiant servers, CEO Meg Whitman said on the vendor's earnings call last week.  
SimpliVity partners told CRN they're not concerned about the impact of Cisco's and HPE's arrival to the hyper-convergence market.
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