2016 was a remarkable year for Big Switch. It was a year of growth, many new customer logos, an expanding geographical footprint, many new faces at the company and exciting industry accolades. The team worked tirelessly to put the customer first and pushed the boundaries of innovation further than we have before. Most importantly, we continued to foster a culture and workplace built on a foundation of our customer success, respect, kindness and awesomeness.
Just as it was when the company was founded by Guido and Kyle back in 2010, Big Switch is about bold ideas and disrupting the status quo. We believe that a Next-Generation Network is required for data center transformation -- to be able to fully unlock the power and promise of the Software Defined Data Center. We believe the complexity of today’s box-by-box network is the major barrier to rapid application deployment and dynamic cyber-security delivery, and that it hampers business velocity and drives up operational costs. A Next-Generation Data Center Network is intelligent, agile, flexible and secure and we build them every day for our customers around the world.
This was a special year for Big Switch as the company continued to navigate, and in many respects, lead a metamorphosis that is redefining networking. It is clear that the Data Centers of today and during the next five years will look very different than those built during the last decade. With the massive shift to the cloud, OpenStack, Containerization, AI, and IoT, the world is dramatically different than when the Cat6Ks came off the line in the 1990s. Additionally, security and the changing threat landscape is top of mind for every CIO and CEO.
Some notable highlights this year:
We started the year off with a bang, announcing our Series C funding of $48.5MM (Investor's shower another $48.5M on Big Switch as SDN adoption takes off), bringing the company’s total raised to $94M.
We also said goodbye to a few folks who helped us build Big Switch into what it is today. We wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what we have thus far, without their tireless efforts and exceptional work on behalf of Big Switch. One very noticeable exit (and some big shoes to fill) was Rob Sherwood, CTO of Big Switch.
We opened an office in Sydney (Hyperscale networking vendor Big Switch Networks launches Aussie assault) and appointed Mario Vecchio as Managing Director for the APAC region. We opened an office in London (SDN Trailblazer Big Switch Networks Launches in UK) and appointed Julian Demurjian as Head of Sales for the EMEA region.
We continued to Land and Expand customer logos around the world with our partner, Dell EMC Networking, including American Fidelity and National Instruments.
We shared the work we did for Verizon, in partnership with Dell and Red Hat, building a massive NFV Cloud (Verizon goes big on OpenStack NFV deployment).
We worked with mobile gaming development company, DeNA, to ensure its IT infrastructure was able handle expected and unexpected changes in business demand ahead of the release of Super Mario Run, so that end-user experience was nothing short of delightful.
We introduced BigSecure Architecture™ (Big Mon Inline, BigSecure Architecture & Re-Thinking Your DMZ) for Dynamic Cyber-defense at Terabit Performance and Community Edition (Big Switch Offers Free SDN Community Edition), an industry-first freemium model for hands-on use in lab and development environments.
Network Computing named Big Switch a Hot Vendor to Watch in Infrastructure, Wealthfront named Big Switch a Career Launching Company, and ACG Research named Big Cloud Fabric the Breakthrough Innovation Product of the Year.
And we have an active community of more than 4,500 members on BSN Labs, our hands-on demo environment in the cloud that enables those interested with the opportunity to experience the technical differentiation, management CLI and intuitive GUI of Big Switch solutions: Big Cloud Fabric™ and Big Monitoring Fabric™.
From Big Switch’s inception, innovation velocity has been a core principle. We strive to deliver differentiated solutions and features to meet the requirements of our customers around the world. I say unequivocally that this is the most talented group of people that I have ever worked with. In 2016, our amazing team delivered more than 125 new features across 9 releases -- on average one feature-pack release per product line, per quarter. Network automation, zero-touch operations, deep telemetry, scale-out deployments and proven TCO have won many “ahas” and “wows” with our customers.
It is clear that we have reached another milestone on our journey. Our business more than doubled YoY in 2016 and our software subscriptions grew by almost 300%, with more than a dozen customers now at $1MM+ in cumulative bookings - which is remarkable for a software only start-up. I am so grateful to the customers who put their trust in us. I proudly refer to our customer logo slide as the ‘NASCAR slide’ as there are so many impressive logos from leading companies around the world.
Now it's on to the NEXT PLAY: 2017. In the new year we expect to continue to rapidly grow customer count, expand into new geos, grow headcount, advance our thought leadership, and deliver remarkable innovations. Just wait ‘till you see what we have up our sleeves...
Thank you for the continued trust and support. On to 2017!
Douglas Murray, CEO