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Pure Storage CEO On Why The Firm Was ‘Well Positioned’ Before COVID-19 Hit And What’s Next

Charles Giancarlo told CRN the company is doing well financially in large part to its focus on software and on its Pure-as-a-Service subscription service, and said Dell's new PowerStore means big opportunities for Pure Storage to get into Dell accounts.

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How important is hardware for Pure Storage in an age where people are looking to do more with software and with operating expenses instead of capital expenses?

Let me start from a customer point of view first. Eventually, everything boils down to hardware. What I mean by that, even our Cloud Block Store [which lets the company's storage operating system run natively in AWS], which is 100-percent software, sits on Amazon hardware. What we think is important is the customer experience. And the customer wants a cloud-like experience, meaning they don't want to worry about upgrades, they don't have to worry about hardware, but they want all the services and they want those services to be highly automated and able to be done just with resource calls.

What our strategy has been, and it's proven to be very successful, is, we're able to provide that to our customers whether it's on their own premises or in the cloud on one of the hyperscalers. If it's on their own premises, yes, we ship hardware, but that hardware now is fully automated and operates in many ways a cloud-orchestrated services. And we do it in the cloud as well.

Hardware is important because somewhere the software operates on hardware, but we make it invisible to the customer. And that's what they care about.

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