Operating systems are platforms, appliances are purpose-built boxes. Platforms are (a) ubiquitous, (b) extensible and programmable, with a rich API-driven partner ecosystem, (c) widely applicable to a large swathe of application workloads, geographies, people, and verticals, and (d) consumable in multiple form factors.
In the early days, we took our data- and control-plane infrastructure software and wrapped it around off-the-shelf hardware. We grew the market by building platform capabilities that spanned compute, storage, networking, hypervisor (virtualization), datacenter management, and security. To broaden our platform’s reach, we opened our operating system software to OEM partners such as Dell and Lenovo, Cisco channel partners, ruggedized OEM hardware partners such as Crystal and Klas, and also end-users who wanted to buy pure software in bulk.
Ubiquity… and Empathy
Operating systems become ubiquitous because companies relax their early design decisions and bend over backwards to understand the local taste and preferences of the market. That empathy for end users is what drives porting of software to diverse hardware configurations, international locales, and multiple languages.
Going beyond English as the language of choice is a giant step for the product, and its support and engineering teams. As of January 31, 2017, we’ve more than 5,300 customers in over 100 countries. Our support teams in Beijing, Tokyo, Sydney, Bangalore, and Amsterdam are serving customers outside of North America, many of whom do not use English as the primary language to conduct business.
Consumer-grade Design: Beyond English-speaking Consumers
Many of you might have heard of Nutanix Prism as our machine-learning-driven pane of glass to manage an enterprise cloud infrastructure. In 2016, we took some meaningful strides to internationalize and localize Prism. Early last year with Prism version 4.7, we introduced UTF-8 encoding support, which enabled our customers to use native characters of their preferred language to name and search virtual machines and other Prism objects.
Then with Prism version 5.0 late last year, we pushed hard to localize our consumer-grade interface, thereby “humanizing” our product by reducing the friction between the man and the machine. Our customers can now choose between English, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese as their preferred language to communicate with the Nutanix operating system.
That one powerful selection humanizes our technology to reach a bunch of tier-2 cities in Japan and China where English is not so common.
Ditto with Prism Pro for workflows such as Just-in-Time Forecasting!
The Asia-Pacific (APAC) market, including Japan and China, has helped us persevere to become a better company in the last three-and-a-half years of our presence there. We’ve improved tremendously in product and documentation quality, disaster recovery capabilities, and now in localizing our interface. We look forward to that continuous feedback from our end users in Japan and China to have us continuously innovate.
And we hope to localize our presence in other non-English speaking countries in the near future too!
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