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MarTech Edge Interview with Darren Cunningham, VP Marketing, Komprise

MarTech Edge Interview with Darren Cunningham, VP Marketing, Komprise

data management 28 Sep 2023

You have been a successful marketer before joining Komprise as the VP Marketing. What three key takeaways from your marketing journey still influence your current role?

1. Mentorship. I was fortunate early in my career to work in a marketing organization run by a leader who was passionate about the art and science of B2B marketing, the importance of aligning closely with sales, and the need to build strong relationships. (In fact, I would encourage other marketers to subscribe to Dave Kellogg’s blog: Be open to being mentored and look for ways to mentor others along the way.

2. Know where you’re best. For most, the career path is not a straight line to the top. Early in your career, there are benefits to working at a bigger company. You may have a narrower focus, but you’ll get more training and meet a lot of people. If you’re okay with less process, lower budgets, and higher risk, find a start-up that may need you to wear more hats and broaden your skillset. Don’t be afraid to try new things and move around until you’ve figured out where you do your best work and can have the most impact.

3. Network well. Very much related to points one and two, I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of great people in my career and have tried to stay in touch on the professional and personal level with many. Take the time to go for coffee, have lunch with people on other teams, participate in social events, and build real relationships.

How does Komprise Hypertransfer facilitate a seamless and swift data transfer while ensuring data quality stays intact?

Komprise Hypertransfer for Elastic Data Migration allows 25x faster cloud data migrations across high latency WAN connections compared with common industry tools. Large-scale data migrations to the cloud, especially concerning small files, can take weeks, if not months. Hypertransfer achieves these performance gains by minimizing the frequent WAN roundtrips that occur with small files, using dedicated channels to send data. The technology also leverages the capabilities of the Komprise Elastic Data Migration solution to minimize data loss and conduct automatic retries if a network connection goes down. Komprise Hypertransfer also strengthens security and defense against ransomware by not accessing cloud file storage over the network during data migrations since data transfers from source to target over private channels. So our customers get much faster migrations, with lower risk overall, and that’s a great proposition for large enterprises that want to accelerate their cloud journeys.

How do you adapt your global campaigns to the specific needs and interests of different segments of your audience?

When I worked in larger marketing organizations, there would be centralized marketing campaigns that different countries, regions, industries, or overlay teams could choose to run and customize. The model that works best is when these teams have the autonomy to make the changes they need to be relevant to their audience without changing the overall brand message. This ensures a level of consistency across segments. When you’re working at a smaller company, it’s all about regional sales and experimentation until you find the right messages that work with different segments. Smaller companies with a single product may only have one or two segments, so the challenge is ensuring that your message is spot-on for users and decision-makers and that your differentiation is clear. I’ve found that regardless of company size and stage, the key is to have open communication with frontline sales teams and transparent strategies to measure effectiveness across segments.

How does Komprise help marketers access and use their unstructured data to their full potential without relying on IT support?

Self-service data management is the hot trend these days, as IT is overburdened with high-priority cloud, AI, and revenue-generating projects to support the larger organization. Ensuring that data owners can see their files and understand their data usage, always easily access their data even after it has been migrated to new storage or archived, and use data easily in the cloud are priorities of our company. Komprise allows IT to grant read-only access to departmental users so that they can search for files, tag data for research purposes, and identify data that should be moved to a new location (such as a cloud data lake) or deleted altogether to save money and space. Komprise ensures that IT has full control so that business users don’t have the ability to execute actions that could inadvertently delete the wrong data or move data to a non-compliant location. User input allows IT to set up automated workflows for data management to save time and meet departmental needs.

What pivotal shifts did you bring about that led to elevated brand awareness, better leads, and increased revenue for Komprise?

When you join any company, you first need to assess what’s working and what’s not and how the team is functioning. At Komprise, we already had some great customers and a fully developed product when I joined. We had strong alliance partnerships with major tech vendors in place. The new CRO, whom I had worked with at a previous company, was in the midst of making changes to the sales, channel, and outbound business development teams. My background is in product marketing, so the first thing we worked on was to ensure our sales team had a clear value proposition. Tightening this up (with lots of cross-team collaboration) led to a messaging framework that we applied to our website and campaigns. It was clear early on that it wasn’t just the company that needed more awareness but the problem we were solving: the cost and complexity of managing massive unstructured data growth and the growing need to harness this data for new business value. We brought on a communications leader, whom I had also worked with in the past, who could help us tell that story and drive the creation of the category of unstructured data management. Focusing on the problem and clarifying our differentiated approach to helping customers address has been essential to our success.

How is Komprise working on the next big thing in data management, and what kind of breakthroughs can we expect from it?

It’s a fascinating time in this growing market. Three trends are really driving innovation in unstructured data management and are a focus of the company today and moving forward: 

1. AI is powered by unstructured data, so finding ways to harness your growing volumes of data and feed only the right data to AI engines and new analytics initiatives is essential. 

2. Empowering departmental users to access and manage their data with the required level of enterprise IT governance saves valuable time for IT while ensuring that teams can move fast and get what they need when they need it. 

3. Hybrid cloud and edge computing are changing how data is stored and managed. Unstructured data management solutions need to work effectively across silos and deliver great user experiences, better cost economics, and the means to generate new value from hidden and underutilized data assets. Komprise is a fundamentally new approach for managing data in today’s age of hybrid cloud storage.

What key marketing goals do you want to achieve for Komprise in the next two years that would take the company to a whole new level?

Of course, we always have to hit our pipeline goals. As we build out our sales teams and scale out, we need to ensure we have the right strategies in place to ensure they can hit their numbers. This will take a combination of hiring at the right time and expanding our product line to address new use cases as the category of unstructured data management matures. On that point, it would be great to see more industry analysts recognize the category and develop magic quadrants and waves to help customers understand the different solutions available, and it would be great to see Komprise way out in front. We have specific goals around customer adoption and measurable impact. I’d love to see a Komprise global user conference, regional user groups, and other community initiatives where our customers are able to share their results and be at the forefront of our marketing strategy. I’ve always admired companies like Salesforce that do an excellent job of marketing the art of the possible and establishing forums for their customers to network and share.


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