Just as amazing is Pure Storage's huge funding round with the kind of investors who invest in IPO-bound companies, as well as its ability to recruit Slootman as a board member and its commitment to the channel, IAS' Woodall said.
"Pure Storage is saying it has a viable plan," he said. "They're selling products customers want. We're on the cusp of something we haven't seen for a very long time: An independent enterprise storage company starting up on its own and going public."
For the company, there are two reasons for the current round of funding, Pure Storage's Hatfield said.
The first is to send a clear message to its partners, customers and investors that the company is here for the long-term. The second is that, with investors like T. Rowe Price and Fidelity, Pure Storage is a potential pre-IPO company. "This shows we are not necessarily looking to be acquired," he said.
About 95 percent of Pure Storage's business is fulfilled through indirect sales channels, with the goal to eventually reach 100 percent, Hatfield said.
"The channel is the best and most efficient way for us to ramp our revenue, which has been growing 50 percent quarter over quarter," he said. "The only way we can keep up that pace is with a best-in-class partner community."
During the second quarter of 2013, over 50 percent of Pure Storage's bookings were channel led, an accomplishment Hatfield said is pretty amazing given that the company's Pure Storage Partner Program, or P3, was enhanced only in the last couple months with new tiers based on volume sales.
"We have about 100 channel partners now," he said. "About one-in-four are already tracking to do $1 million or more in sales for the year."
However, competitors also include well-established legacy storage vendors, which are moving quickly to develop an all-flash storage array business. These include EMC and its XtremIO acquisition and NetApp and its FlashRay plans, along with companies like Hitachi Data Systems and Hewlett-Packard, which have introduced all-flash versions of existing arrays.
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