WANdisco hits record sales with 21pc surge

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Big data provider WANdisco saw record sales in its third quarter, further building on its positive performance since going public in 2012.

The firm’s subscription bookings surged 21 per cent to $5.3m (£3.3m) compared to the same period in 2013.

Its flagship Application Lifestyle Management (ALM) products made up $4.9m of the bookings, up 15 per cent from $4.3m last year.

New customers signed this quarter include Tesco, data storage company Seagate, US network Cablevision, business outsourcer ADP, Nippon Steel and Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia.

Existing clients McGraw Hill, SanDisk and Western Digital also extended use of WANdisco’s services through their organisations.

The Sheffield-based company’s Big Data business grew to £400,000 in bookings, from just £100,000 in Q3 2013.

David Richards, chief executive officer at WANdisco, said Q3 brought “increased momentum” across both its flagship Application Lifestyle Management (ALM) and developing big data businesses.

He said: “The big data business added a significant new customer in global technology, while our production trials with prospective customers progressed successfully towards potential subscription contract signings.

“The ALM business continues to attract a number of large and high quality new customers.”

Development in big data, which enable analysis of vast complex data sets in areas from banking to public health, contributed to a doubling of pre-tax losses in WANdisco’s 2014 interim results.

The company recorded adjusted losses of $9.5m in September. Despite this, analysts remained positive about the company’s outlook on the back of its bookings success.

Investment in big data production trials has paid off, with WANdisco reporting further progress in the projects, which are anticipated to lead to “significant proportion” of trials with large global corporations converting to subscription bookings.

Among its new business is a subscription from a Fortune 100 technology vendor, WANdisco said. The firm has also become certified partners with Oracle and IBM’s big data hardware divisions, as well as strengthening distribution relationships Cloudera and Hortonworks, in an effort to widen its product channels.

Mr Richards said: “As this year progresses we are positioned increasingly favourably in a big data marketplace that is attracting unprecedented levels of interest from global corporations.”

WANdisco’s Sheffield office is at the centre of its big data push. This year, 70 of its 124 staff were retrained in the technology.

The company plans to expand its Yorkshire workforce to 145, including offering apprenticeships in big data, to complement its team at its dual headquarters in San Ramon, California.

Analysts at Investec maintained their buy position for WANdisco, noting its ALM business is “back on the growth trail”.

“With a long list of new customer wins, as well as current customers extending usage, this should drive confidence in the continued growth prospects of this division,” the bank said.

“We expect today’s big data client win to be the start of a number of high profile win announcements. This should drive positive investor sentiment,” it added.