Comtrade Software Relaunches as HYCU, Nutanix’s Data Protector

HYCU’s top priority is to protect Nutanix’s Acropolis hypervisor-powered virtual machines and to provide surrounding functionality. It does this so well that the company has decided to go all in and name itself after the software.

HYCU.Comtrade.logos

It wasn’t specifically because the company’s name sounded misleadingly like a Wall Street fintech app, but as of March 28 Comtrade Software has changed its name to match its frontline product: HYCU.

The Boston-based software maker, which provides data backup, recovery and monitoring for hyperconverged IT infrastructures, last June launched HYCU (pronounced haiku and stands for HYperConverged Uptime), the first purpose-built data protection package for Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud Platform.

HYCU’s top priority is to protect Nutanix’s Acropolis hypervisor-powered virtual machines and to provide surrounding functionality. It does this so well that the company has decided to go all in and name itself after the software.

Nutanix, the fastest-growing HCI company on the planet, has pulled into a dead heat for market share with a much more established competitor, Cisco Systems, and may pass it by. Each vendor owns 37 percent of the market; each company is shipping about 1,500 units per quarter--phenomenal growth for any enterprise IT vendor.

Changing a Company’s Brand Not Easy to Do

Rebranding a company with an entirely different name, logo and image isn’t an easy thing to do well. Lots of companies have tried to do it, and not all of them succeeded.

“We just felt it was the right way to go,” Comtrade Software President and now HYCU CEO Simon Taylor told eWEEK. “Comtrade Software originally was a division of a larger company (Comtrade Group), doing outsourcing in Europe, doing a lot of data protection and other things. I spent the last 10 years evolving that piece of the company into a pure-play software business.

“What we’ve realized now is that HYCU has gained so much revenue with the Nutanix community quickly—in just the last nine months, we’re now in 20 countries, which I’m astounded by. Wherever we go, people seem to know the name HYCU. They believe in the product, they know what it does, they understand the value it brings to them as Nutanix customers.”

Because the HYCU name was taking off, and that Comtrade meant a lot of different things to different people, “we really felt that we should just take the leap, make the change and make ourselves HYCU Inc.,” Taylor said.

“Our name change reflects the operational independence we enjoy as we begin to operate autonomously of Comtrade Group, expand our software offerings and grow our business worldwide,” Taylor said.

Comtrade Software/HYCU Has Been CEO’s Baby for More Than a Decade

Taylor has more than 18 years of industry experience. He developed and launched Comtrade Software, the software division within Comtrade Group, and led Comtrade's branded data protection and software solutions. In 2016, he architected and led the sale of Comtrade’s virtualization monitoring business to Citrix.

Comtrade Group, an IT company with more than $400 million in annual revenue, will continue to be the primary shareholder in HYCU. Comtrade Group’s CEO Alexis Lope-Bello will join HYCU’s Board of Advisors to support the growth of HYCU and its flagship HYCU backup product for Nutanix.

According to the first Gartner Magic Quadrant for Hyperconverged Infrastructure published last month: “By 2020, 20 percent of business-critical applications currently deployed on three-tier IT infrastructure will transition to hyperconverged infrastructure.”

If this turns out to be true, then both Nutanix and HYCU are in good position to reap a lot more of that market.

Two New Executives Also Come Aboard

The newly named company also announced the hiring of two key executives. Scott Henderson, former Vice-President and Head of Sales at Egnyte, will serve as the new vice-president of sales in the Americas to oversee sales management and execution and lead the company’s growth strategy.

Junelle Swan, formerly a channel executive at Quest Software (Dell Software) and Citrix, has joined to promote key channel, partner and strategic distribution relationships as vice-president of channels. HYCU is a 100 percent channel-driven business, Taylor said.

The company does have a connection with the idea of the Japanese haiku poem.

“What a haiku does is take a longer poem and condense it down into a smaller (six lines)  elegant package,” Taylor said. “It makes it more digestable and easy to access. We thought there was a real crossover there as far as what a haiku poem meant. We do the same thing with data; we make it more digestable and easier to access in a Nutanix system.”

HYCU has about 100 customers and utilizes 25 years of IT outsourcing and insights from more than 1 million users to create its products.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...