Infinidat has hired one of the most recognisable and prominent marketeers in the storage industry as its Chief Marketing Officer — Eric Herzog.
This is the second formal CMO in Infinidat’s history and marks a change in emphasis by CEO Phil Bullinger. He told us that Infinidat is experiencing record growth and it needs to focus on raising brand awareness and increasing its channel partnerships to scale its business even more.
Update; Infinidat CMO history footnote added, 21 October 2021.
Bullinger’s formal statement said: “Eric’s broad product and market knowledge and deep relationships in the enterprise storage industry make him a great asset for the Infinidat team as our CMO. … Eric will play a key role in further accelerating our global momentum at an exciting time of tremendous growth at the company.”
Eric Herzog is — was — IBM’s divisional CMO for Storage and VP of Global Storage Channels, and has been in the position since February 2015. His CV includes a three and a half year stint at EMC as SVP for product management and marketing, looking after VNX, VNXe and VAMAX arrays, time at Violin, and also Maxtor which was acquired by Seagate.
He told us it’s not just large companies in his CV: “I’ve worked at eight startups, five of which had been acquired.”
How did Bullinger select Eric? He said: “It was a very thoughtful process” and involved a shortlist of the preferred candidates. He and Bullinger came into contact at EMC, where Bullinger was SVP and GM of the Isilon business unit.
Why did Eric decide to leave Big Blue and join yet another startup — albeit one that is late-stage and profitable? He said: “I’m an adrenalin junkie. I like innovation and Infinidat is innovating faster than others. Infinidat Is the ultimate adrenaline junkie challenge … It’s a David and Goliath thing” — with Goliath being, amongst others IBM.
Herzog has won awards for his CMO work at IBM. He has been recognized as “Marketer/CMO of the Year” (Jan 2021), “Top 100 Hybrid Cloud Influencers” (March 2021), and “Top 100 AI and Big Data Influencers” (March 2020).
His formal statement said: ”Infinidat is the most innovative enterprise storage company at scale in the world today, delivering an AI-driven set-it-and-forget-it approach with unprecedented 100 per cent availability, superior performance that is faster than all-flash alternatives, an extensive storage software defined portfolio, and lower total cost of ownership.”
This, to our mind, sets the scene for Herzog’s Infinidat marketing pitch. He will be able to raise awareness of Infinidat’s technology uniqueness, such as its memory caching, and its reputation for white glove, concierge-class service, as evidenced by Gartner Peer Insights reports. He’ll also push its profitability, as a pure differentiator against other storage startups.
He said: “I’m excited about the opportunity to reach every enterprise and service provider that will benefit from the power and flexibility of Infinidat solutions. With best-in-class solutions, exceptional support, motivated channel partners, and an exciting vision for the future, we will expand the Infinidat brand to a leadership position in enterprise storage.”
ESG founder and Senior Analyst Steve Duplessis provided a supportive quote: “Eric Herzog is one of the most high-energy and dynamic marketing professionals in the industry that I’ve ever known, and I’ve known everyone. Infinidat has been a ‘best kept secret’ for far too long. That is about to change! Great for the both of them.”
His departure from IBM leaves a marketing vacancy there. His arrival at Infinidat is a trumpet blast to the rest of the storage industry that they will need to raise their marketing game — and volume — if they compete with Infinidat.
Infinidat’s first CMO was Randy Arseneau, who was in post from 2015 to 2018 when he left to join IBM and its Cloud Object Storage team. Infinidat then had an acting CMO with Matthew (Doc) D’Errico a VP in the office of the CTO from January 2018. He, unfortunately, passed away in July this year.