magcom - Fotolia

CAE and i-Storage have something to market

A couple of British firms caught the eye of Nick Booth with both deserving recognition

Two of Britain’s top channel players, one a vendor and one a reseller, briefly appeared briefly on the news radar last week. But these were no phantoms.

In fact, on further investigation, they are two of our fastest growing technology companies. They’re called CAE and I-Storage.

Both companies have impressive track records. CAE Technology Services is Britain’s top Cisco reseller and now has an annual turnover of £96m. It has won bags of awards and last year it was Cisco’s Partner of the Year in five different categories.

In the cause of communicating  more openly and effectively, CAE has just created a crack team of what’s known as ‘c-suite executives’. In other words, it has a sort of top level plateau structure of chiefs, with the CEO at the summit. This was done in order to devolve executive power to the chiefs and ‘drive momentum for long term success’.

The senior leadership team of CAE Technology Services is headed by CEO Justin Harling and now they have six other executive chiefs. There is now a chief operating officer (Richard Behan), a CFO in Neeta Gadhia and the office labelled CSO belongs to Simon Moyes. If you ran into the data centre and shouted “where’s the CTO?” the man who turned around would be Lee Gatland.

Meanwhile, if you saw two people who looked like the chief commercial officer and the chief experience officer collaborating over coffee, that would probably be Umesh Chauhan and Aggrey Lutta.

At the most senior level CAE puts customer and partner experience first, explains the CEO Justin Harling.

If I had a criticism of them, it’s that they aren’t mentioned on Wikipedia and all the household names of IT are described in detail there. Neither is there a mention of iStorage, one of very few British manufacturers of hardware and a particularly impressive one at that.

iStorage recently won NATO approval for its hardware encrypted hard drives and solid state drives. You don’t get much better security endorsements than being judged safe enough for the Nato Information Assurance Product Catalogue.

The firm is a VMware partner and winner of multiple awards for security. You’d think the CEO of i-Storage would be a household name, constantly on the telly being asked for his or her opinions on everything from cyber security to GDPR. But no.

In a simpler age, when reporting on the IT industry was all conducted through the medium of print, there were some brilliant raconteurs who added a fortune to the value of the company brand because they were always ready to give their perspective on the IT industry.

John Chambers of Cisco was a brilliant public speaker. I remember being at a reseller conference in Las Vegas. Chambers whipped up the mass audience like Billy Graham addressing a rally. “Who here likes change?” Chambers asked. A keen salesman behind me leapt out of his chair. “I do!” he testified.

But it was a rhetorical question. So Chambers paused a little longer than he would have done, then answered himself. “That’s right, nobody does.”

The believer sat down rapidly, clunking the back of my head with whatever it was in his lanyard.

Let’s hope CAE and i-Storage like change.

Read more on Storage Virtualisation Solutions and Services