print edition of Providence Business News
Stephen O’Donnell is the chairman and CEO of desktop virtualization services provider GreenBytes Inc. O’Donnell, named chairman of the board in July 2012, took over GreenBytes’ corner office at the end of last November.
He sees the Providence-based company on the verge of a major expansion this year.
Moving to the capital city last month brought the company closer to Boston and its surrounding technology belt. “We can create good, high-wage, sustainable jobs,” in Providence and overseas, he said.
O’DONNELL: Up until now we’ve been predominately focusing on engineering and quietly getting on with building a product. We’ve now reached the point where we’ve got an extremely mature product. We have a whole set of patents that we’ve been awarded. … Now we’re working on exploiting that technology and shipping the technology around the world.
The move to Providence was about getting more space … being closer to a data center that’s got protection … [and] Providence is much closer to Boston and the technology belt that surrounds Boston. We’re able to attract a wider group of marketers, engineers and sales. … We’re looking to expand very substantially in 2013.
PBN: What do you mean by “substantially”?
O’DONNELL: By the end of 2013 we’re hoping to be 1.5 times the size we are today. Right now we are close to 40. We should be getting to the 60 to 80 range by the end of 2013. … We’ll be expanding our Providence operation, but we’ll also be expanding overseas, predominately in sales.
PBN: GreenBytes recently shifted focus from inline deduplication data storage to desktop virtualization services. How do you plan to help the company to continue to grow on that track?
O’DONNELL: In the past, we’ve had a very wide spectrum of customer problems that we were addressing. … We were taking large sets of data and were able to reduce the amount of data.
Desktop virtualization is the biggest pain point that customers have to solve around the world and that’s what we’re offering now. Our inline deduplication data-storage patents are the integral component of what we’re still doing.
It’s a bit of a perfect storm. In the general business market, we’re finding that many companies are implementing policies around “bring your own device.” … The problem with that is there are all kinds of controls and security interests around bringing your own device, like loss of data and loss of personal identity data. What we do in desktop virtualization is we keep the corporate data in the data center. Employers can enable BYOD without covering the security and risk issues that come with that ability.
PBN: Can you explain GreenBytes technology in simple terms?
O’DONNELL: I’m going to use a simile to explain. Many things used to be really complicated. To go on holiday, you used to have to book a flight, taxi, hotel, all the excursions that you wanted separately. Nowadays, you get a package and the whole thing is organized for you. It’s really simple.
That’s what we do. What we do is you plug the system in and you don’t have to change anything else. All of the performance problems and cost problems that you’ve had in the past just disappear.
PBN: How do you think your professional experience will help you lead GreenBytes?
O’DONNELL: I’ve been in the IT business for a long time. And my initial background is in operating. I ran operating globally for British Telecom. I have experience in real enterprise IT environments. I know what’s really going to make a difference and what are just gadgets.
I’m able to go off with CIOs and CTOs and get them see how that technology is going to help them. That’s a great strength, being able to talk about the technology at peer levels.
PBN: What long-terms goals do you have in mind for the company?
O’DONNELL: We have established ourselves in the virtual desktop space and I want to lead market economics. I want to take all of the market share. I want to really serve customers and make sure that we truly understand their problems and really solve those problems. There are no reasons we can’t do this.
You’re going to see, over the course of 2013, a whole series of announcements about new and enhanced products. … You’ll see some pretty smart tech development.