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Nutanix Takes on Microsoft, VMware in Cloud

Dheeraj Pandey, CEO and chairman of Nutanix, always wanted to build a big company. That’s why he turned down acquisition offers from Cisco Systems and the former Hewlett-Packard in the years prior to Nutanix’s initial public offering 12 months ago.

It isn’t known how much Cisco and H-P offered, and while Mr. Pandey wouldn’t comment on the approaches, he said in an interview that he has always been focused on building his startup into a data center powerhouse as opposed to selling it to the highest bidder. “Honestly, and this might sound glib, it was really easy.” Mr. Pandey said of Nutanix’s decision to remain independent. “I think the fact that we had happy customers, a great Net Promoter score, and good growth was telling us that the best was ahead. We thought, 'Why not try to build a larger company?'”

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Mr. Pandey said this is one reason why Nutanix is promoting use of its software unbundled from hardware. “Our cost of sales will decrease considerably as we increasingly shift away from appliance-based sales and toward software-only sales,” Mr. Pandey said.

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