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InMage changes CEO, cultivates partner-friendly image

InMage Systems has a new boss. He’s the same as its first boss.

InMage founder Kumar Malavalli moved back into the CEO role today, replacing John Ferraro at the helm of the disaster recovery software vendor. Malavalli, who also founded switch maker Brocade, served as InMage CEO from its start in 2002 to when Ferraro took over in 2006. As chairman during Ferraro’s term as CEO, Malavalli remained active in InMage’s setting business strategy along with fellow founder and current InMage CTO Rajeev Atluri.

“I’m excited to come back as CEO,” Malavalli said. “As chairman of the board and one of the chief investors, I have my own skin in the game.”

InMage’s products are Scout and vContinuum. Scout is a CDP-based backup and remote DR product and vContinuum provides backup and DR for VMware environments. InMage also packages its technology into a ScoutCloud platform for service providers to offer DR in the cloud.

Malavalli said the biggest change in InMage’s direction will be to seek more and deeper industry partnerships. Hitachi Data Systems sells InMage’s Scout product as HDS Dynamic Replicator, powered by InMage. But the model for InMage going forward is its relationship with SunGard. SunGard last month said it would embed InMage’s ScoutCloud platform in SunGard’s Server Replication services.

Malavalli said InMage will soon announce another partnership similar to the one with SunGard.

“We’re looking for OEMs but not your conventional OEM deal where they’re just reselling your product,” he said. “We want stronger partnerships, where they embed our products. The other partner we’re working with will also embed our technology.”

Malavalli said InMage’s customers today are mostly large enterprises with some growth in the midrange, and he is seeking to accelerate sales to cloud service providers offering recovery as a service.

The company last received funding in 2008, and Malavalli said InMage is close to profitability. He also expects to have two product upgrades by the end of the year.

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