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DataDirect Networks CEO Alex Bouzari Sounds Off

Last week, SearchStorage.com posted an interview with the DataDirect Networks CEO Alex Bouzari.  Many of you may not immediately know Bouzari as I’ve found him to keep somewhat of a low profile when it comes to corporate CEOs.  Either way, he’s helped build DDN into an HPC and streaming media storage powerhouse.

Dave Raffo of SearchStorage interviewed Bouzari on the current and future business plans for DataDirect.  Specifically, rumors have been floating around that several large IT vendors are lurking in the shadows in order to gobble up DDN and their coveted S2A technology.  Rumors of Dell, IBM, HP and EMC have all flown across the news desk at insideHPC.  Where’s all the speculation coming from?

Alex Bouzari: That started very recently, I’m not sure what’s driving it. We have absolutely no intention of getting acquired. I think it comes in part because we’ve been successful in addressing needs of scalable unstructured data environments, and there are more and more applications like that out there. We have the IBMs and Dells and HPs of the world reselling our products, and that in turn is getting people to think, ‘Hey if these guys are doing so well and big companies are reselling their products, it means somebody must be thinking of buying them or they must be thinking of getting acquired.’ But I really think it’s the fact that our revenue is scaling and more of the big guys are coming to the conclusion that they can’t do it themselves. They need DDN to get to these emerging markets where you have to store lots of data and there’s a bunch of attributes around it that you need to have, and DDN is the only one who has these things.

So if you’re not getting bought, you’re going public, right?

SearchStorage.com: In 2008 you talked about going public, but the IPO market disappeared. Are you thinking of an IPO again?

Bouzari: We got things ready, and in early 2008 the market started wavering and we didn’t like that. We’ve always taken a long-term view of things and been customer-centric. Taking the company public in an environment where you have lots of volatility means the company’s management team has to spend a lot of time with financial analysts and investors, and explain and do a lot of work that is not conducive to serving the needs of customers.

The company is now profitable, we’re generating cash and have all the financial resources we need to expand our product, so taking it public really wouldn’t add anything at this point and it would be a distraction. The markets today are probably as jittery and voluble as in early 2008. So we’re in no hurry to do anything to take our focus from customers.

I don’t want to steal too much of Dave Raffo’s thunder.  The interview and subsequent summary is done very well, so kudos to him.  However, if it wasn’t crystal clear before, it should be obvious that DDN is a force to be reckoned with.  They’ve taken HPC and streaming media by storm.  Lets see if they have any other cool tricks up their sleeve.

To read the source interview in its entirety, check it out here.

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