Case Study for Nexenta

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Background

Large, hardware-focused monopolies have historically controlled the storage industry, forcing enterprises into expensive contracts that require upgrades and vendor lock-in, diminish flexibility and strain IT budgets. Recognizing the rapid movement toward a virtualized world and the clear limitations of hardware-based storage environments, software-defined storage (SDS) vendors began disrupting the market. Their goal was to relieve companies of the stranglehold of legacy storage providers and deliver new levels of performance, flexibility and scalability. Nexenta® has led the SDS charge as the global leader of Open Source-driven Software-Defined Storage (SDS), providing 100 percent software, hardware-agnostic storage solutions.

Facing both established titans and a spate of startups claiming to have an SDS component or methodology, which was confusing enterprises, Nexenta approached Karbo Com in January 2015 to elevate their messages above market noise and to help drive sales. Karbo Communications identified Nexenta as a company with clear market leadership components—great products, a respected and dynamic team led by Tarkan Maner, and the determination to lead.

Today, Karbo Communications manages all of Nexenta’s U.S. media relations, including corporate and executive PR, technology and product initiatives, customer and partner efforts, and digital marketing initiatives.

Program Objectives

  • Drive increases in sales and market share;
  • Secure global company and brand leadership in the storage market;
  • Succeed in sales calls where Nexenta competes head-to-head against large corporate players such as EMC and NetApp;
  • Expand CEO Tarkan Maner’s visibility as a tech and business thought leader;
  • Effectively differentiate Nexenta in an increasingly competitive market where many claim to provide SDS; and
  • Increase visibility among key reporters and analysts to acquire more business, technology, vertical press and analyst report coverage.

Execution

Karbo Communications hit the ground running to increase Nexenta’s visibility and impact on the market by conducting outreach with strong product messaging and customer stories. Simultaneously, Karbo Communications and Nexenta developed and began executing an in-depth digital marketing and social media program that identified key market terms and leveraged employee engagement to increase corporate visibility.

The agency works closely with the Nexenta team to identify industry trends, pursue opportunistic press initiatives and position Nexenta executives as thought leaders.

As the partnership progresses, Karbo Communications continues to drive PR efforts by supporting product launches, vetting customers and partners as company references, and securing speaking and awards.

Results

Karbo Communications has secured briefings with top market analysts and reporters, strengthening Nexenta’s voice in the market and driving dialogue about the movement toward a software-defined data center (SDDC) and ultimately, a “software-defined everything” world. During the first month of working together, the agency secured top-tier coverage for announcements such as a former Dell CTO who joined the Nexenta Advisory Board.

Additionally, Karbo Communications’ aggressive outreach strategy has resulted in consistent coverage of Nexenta’s participation in and related announcements around the industry’s largest events, including Citrix Synergy, OpenStack Summit and VMworld, among others. Karbo Communications also played a hands-on role in preparing for and supporting Nexenta’s OpenSDx Summit 2015, which attracted more than 300 CEOs, CIOs, investors, government agencies and technology industry insiders.

OpenSDx

Karbo Communications and Nexenta have successfully leveraged partner relationships to produce coverage of product collaborations with SanDisk, Dell, Supermicro and ATTO Technology, among others. In March 2016, Karbo Com helped facilitate a joint campaign promoting a newly forged partnership between Nexenta and Lenovo, resulting in top-tier coverage in the business and tech press. In addition, the agency used a jointly sponsored industry luncheons at Micron and ScaleMatrix’s data center to showcase the companies’ performance benchmarks. In-depth customer screenings have produced more than 12 case studies during the agency-client partnership, netting corresponding coverage in the form of exclusive features.

Karbo Communications contributes to the successful positioning of important product announcements, including the general availability of NexentaEdge 1.1, the company’s Block and Object storage platform; the newly announced version of NexentaStor, the company’s flagship SDS platform; and the introduction of NexentaFusion, simplified storage management and analytics.

A sampling of media placements for Nexenta:

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Through the implementation of an aggressive social media program structured for an enterprise-focused audience, Karbo Com is helping Nexenta to achieve more than 40 percent growth in Twitter followers and 23 percent growth in LinkedIn followers. Much of this success has come as a result of taking a communicative, relationship-based approach to social, the refined use of social media tools such as hashtags and engaging Nexenta’s employees to cross-promote announcements and coverage, as well as to engage in industry dialogue via personal accounts.

To increase perception of Nexenta as a thought leader, Karbo Communications is successfully placing contributed articles and Op/Ed features, securing speaking opportunities for company executives, and strategically applying for and winning coveted industry awards.

A sampling of speaking and award placements:

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