Gigamon's CEO Presents at Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference (Transcript)

| About: Gigamon, Inc. (GIMO)

Gigamon Inc. (NYSE:GIMO)

Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference

February 11, 2014 12:40 PM ET


Paul Hooper - CEO

Duston Williams - CFO


Kent Schofield - Goldman Sachs

Kent Schofield - Goldman Sachs

Everyone my apologies, running back and forth. Kent Schofield, form the contact team cover long [ph] and small midcap including very happy to have Gigamon. There are Paul Hooper, CEO; Duston Williams, CFO; and little unusual but given that you guys are still relatively new to some of people in the room, I’d love to have you guys give us a little bit of level insight in terms of what the Gigamon do? Where are you guys seeing some opportunities right now? And then we can drive in for some questions.

Paul Hooper

Absolutely. Thanks for the interest. Gigamon is a company that was founded back in 2004 with -- the genesis, the idea was as the networks are becoming faster, as utilization of networks are growing and as the need to understand that information is increasing, there is this gap in the market. The gap was between the production network where all this information is moving and getting faster and faster and the tools, they want to look at information; they were struggling to maintain the right level of visibility, the right level of insight, the right level of understanding and being able to gain access to all this information.

So we created this market space, we call it traffic visibility and it’s a market that sits between the network level, out fabric and all of the tools, and those tools can be anything from the network performance market, the applications performance market, security market, analytics, recording devices, whatever needs to gain visibility to some portion or all of the traffic on the production network, we’ll make every single one of those tools better, extend the value of them and extend the reach and ultimately the ROI of past investments in tools and also future investments in tools. So whether it’s a physical network or a virtual network, or even if you’re looking at SDN, we have a solution to be able to provide visibility into all of those networks into whatever instrumentation that you want to attach, whatever tool you want to attach.

Question-And-Answer Session

Kent Schofield - Goldman Sachs

Right, thanks for that Paul. And thinking about that core kind of visibility fabric market, can you kind of help the audience understand how you think about the addressable market in terms of sizing some of the different parameters that you take a look at?

Paul Hooper

The market is not independently tracked unfortunately. So what we decided to do is to look at this market through two axis. We looked at it from the network, that’s on one side of this and we looked at it from the tools, the other side of this, to try and scope the size of the market. The market scopes out to be about somewhere between $2 billion and $3 billion. Candidly, I think that’s only the beginning. I think this market has a got a lot of upside and we’ve proven some of that upside and we may talk further on about one of our latest launches that in my opinions opened a whole new opportunity of an expansion of this market.

We launched the technology for NetFlow, which is not core to that market today, but we certainly made it core by launching a technology that generates NetFlow in a much more effective, a much more efficient and a much more reliable way than anybody else in the industry can do. So our core market is somewhere between $2 billion and $3 billion.

And we get to that through two approaches. One is to understand how much networking is out there? How many points of access are there inside of the network? But at the same time how many tools are out there? And we know that in the size of the NPM, the APM and the out of band [ph] security market, just taking those three and I’m excluding a lot of others, but just those three, we’ve got an $8 billion market, if you believe IDCs numbers.

What we know that from the transactions we’ve been involved in, we capture anywhere between about 20% of the deal size all the way through to some of the lager transaction, we captured up to 60% the value of that deal. If you take a conservative 25%, $8 billion market, 25% you get to approximately $2 billion time, but as I said this in my opinion is just the starting point for where this market is going to grow to.

Kent Schofield - Goldman Sachs

Great. So when you think about that $2 billion to $3 billion with potentially some upside, you’ve got 300 of the Fortune 1000 today. You’ve got many of the top service providers. When you did the road show last year you talked about top 25 customers and now they’re up to 47 times to purchase, initial purchase from their beginning there. Given these metrics, can you talk a little about how we should think about penetration from kind of a customer logo perspective as well as just the opportunity and size of each one of those customers?

Duston Williams

Level set again on the top 25 and a lot of you may be familiar with how we measure this again, but we keep those 25 customers, they were the biggest cumulative top 25 at our IPO time, so back in June. And today they have purchased roughly 47 times. So that quarter purchase for those top 25 is about $150 million. But if we do the math on that, each one of these top 25 a roughly worth $7 million cumulatively to us and currently they’re on a clip of buying roughly 2 million to 2.5 million per year for our 25 customers. So next time this year on average, if they continue those trends, those customers are worth roughly 9 million to 9.5 million to us.

And those top 25 have been 30% to 35% of revenue pretty consistently. So when you look at predictability of the revenue stream, that’s one aspect that we clearly look at there and then on the penetration which I let Paul talk about. The interesting thing, you always think that the older the customer is, the less that purchase that customer ends up buying overtime. It’s actually quite opposite. If you look at those the oldest top 10 that 25 list, they’re the actual biggest buyers in that list and they continue to buy and actually increasing their purchases overtime rather than decreasing.

Paul Hooper

And so onto the other part of the question. We have 287of the Fortune 1000, we have 66 of the Fortune 100, we have 50% of the largest mobile service providers on the planet. And you could argue, I'm sure you're sitting there thinking great, 66% of the Fortune 100, you've got 33% left, you're tapped out. Well that maybe that one full process but as Duston says, this company, in the buying characteristic we have for our infrastructure, the customers have of our technology is not typical of normal infrastructure vendor. A normal infrastructure vendor, you make it a spike of interest. You may buy a little bit more, then you decide to roll it out and then you have three to four years of complete silence and then you get another spike when it go through some refresh cycle, classic buying, infrastructure buying behavior.

If you look at it, Duston rightly articulates, it if you look on Europe [ph] plus , which we do, you pull up the buying behavior of our largest customers, how frequently every quarter they buy, don’t they buy, Black, 01, black or white whichever you want to look at it. The volume at which they buy and the frequency with which they buy is on a continuous basis. So some of our biggest customers buy the most on a continuous quarter-after-quarter basis, why? Because the technology is becoming more and more essential inside of the big data world, inside of the intense security world, inside of the world as we’re continuing to expand the networks, becoming the most important part of everything that serves this planet.

As you continue to scale that and you start to link things to some of the virtualization technology, you hear about NFS, you see all of the underlying characterization of how virtualization is going to abstract the physical layer and the physical layer is going to become the pluming only. Yes, that’s potentially the case. But somewhere in the middle of the equation there needs to be a technology that understands what the physical layer is doing relative to what the virtual layer is thinking is doing, relative to what the data plane is doing to what the control plane is doing in the world of STN, that’s what we do. And that’s why customers are coming back and helping and buying more and more technologies. They’re seeing greater and greater value from the technology.

Kent Schofield - Goldman Sachs

And you mentioned the NetFlow technology that just brought out. I think that’s really interesting, like you said in terms of looking at kind of more than network side of things. So, can you just talk about what that means for Gigamon, why that’s maybe a little bit of change from what we’ve seen in the past?

Paul Hooper

Absolutely. If I go back to the same model, network, our visibility fabric and the tools. A lot of what we’ve developed over the course of the last, you go back to the last few years here, has been in that interface between our fabric and the tool. So there is some things that exist inside of a tool that exist far better inside of our fabric and I’ll give one example; de-duplicate. So, if you think about a packet that’s moving across multiple points across the network, it may be moving around the network, a ingress points to an egress point or from a client to a server, whatever way you want to think about it, it’s going hop to hop to hop to hop. Well, do you want every single one of those packets to be fed all the way back to the tool that’s over-utilized, whose 10-gig link is already saturated, whose CPU is already bombarded by activities only to get all that traffic to go in for it to say I recognize the first packet and all these are the 15 are duplicates. So that first one I can drop 15, I’ll keep just the one.

What a complete waste of all of that transport, all of that ingress into the tool, all the compute inside of the tool before it’s dropped. Well, if you do dedupe inside of my fabric, probably do as soon as I say it. So you won’t have to move all that information back in that tool and you get one packet, it doesn’t get 15 packets. So, dedupe was one of the -- is the best-selling, at the moment, is the best-selling application we’ve got that you can put on top of our platform. And so we started that to continue to extend the value proposition of the interface between our fabric and the tools. You’ve seen dedupe. You’ve got slicing. You’ve got time stamping. You’ve got FlowVUE. You’ve got all of these things that do something much more compelling at that interface.

And we said that better things to be done at the north of the southbound side as well. So where we bridge between the network and us, as a the function, many of you know NetFlow. Well, you could buy a NetFlow dedicated appliance or you can turn on NetFlow generation inside of your Ethernet switch and from Ethernet switches do an okay job of it, but its number nine on the priority list of an Ethernet switch. An Ethernet switch’s job is to move packets and then by the way give you some form of telemetry. So as the switch gets busier and busier and busier and busier, the slow path to the CPU, which is where all the NetFlow activity goes, gets more and more inundated and it gets more and more time to focus on just moving packets and less time instrumenting. And at a time when your network is on the micro burst [ph] activity, it’s under huge load, it’s 100% utilized, when you really want to see the greatest amount of information of your network is when you’re going to get the least.

So we set NetFlow, when we put it inside the fabric. So you can take any number of probe points, connection points, paths, spans whatever you want and feed it into me, and I will then allow you to say, I’m really interested in NetFlow off of this segment, particularly web traffic only, give me the NetFlow of that and that’s what I’ll give you. And I’ll give it to you reliably, predictably, because my CPU is sitting there doing NetFlow. My CPU is not sitting there trying to move packets and look up routing tables and look up boarding tables and trial ware -- my CPU is ready to do NetFlow.

So we generated this module called NetFlow. We announced this in earlier this quarter. We’re going to ship it soon. So, it’s not in our revenue numbers today. But it’s generated a lot of interest. And if I characterize multiple emails I’ve got from the sales team, it’s two things; one, is that open new lines of conversation with existing customers, in other words opened access to all the budget lines; and two is its given us a whole new level of conversation with prospects that we never were able to have to date. And NetFlow generation is an important aspect that many people are considering. We can do NetFlow generation, don’t have to worry about the aggregation, the traffic consolidate, any of the other stuff that we can do. If you just want NetFlow, I’ll do you just NetFlow. By the way, I’ll then cross sell and give you all of the other value propositions as well.

Kent Schofield - Goldman Sachs

Great, a lot of features there you have been talking about under GigaSMART and, so can you talk about the importance of, I think you said 40% of HD last quarter units, how GigaSMART is attached, talk about the importance of that number, what that’s been trending and that sort of thing.

Paul Hooper

Yes, so the applications if you think about the way we confine traffic, filter traffic, intelligently forward traffic, that’s a native function of any one of the nodes that you’ll buy from me. You put multiple of these nodes together, you create a fabric. The fabric will do everything I’ve just mentioned find, filtering or forwarding [ph]. As soon as you want to do some intelligent aspects of looking at the traffic, you want to apply what we call traffic intelligence, you need a GigaSMART component. That’s a compute platform. It’s an application platform that allows you to put multiple software modules and licenses on top of it. So one of the things we track is how many customers buy SMART, and the metric that Kent’s just referred to there is in Q4 we tracked the number of people that buy a high end chassis, we call it the HD, High Density, the High Density Chassis, how many people come back or at the time of purchase and purchase a SMART Blade to go in that chassis, because if they buy a SMART Blade, the SMART Blade does nothing apart from provide a platform to allow me to upsell software licenses, because I know as soon as they SMART I know they want to do DG, I know they want to do timestamp, I know they want to add one of these modules. And in Q4 it was actually 44% of our customers that purchased the chassis from us, an HD chassis, purchased the SMART at the same time.

Now recognize that SMART for that chassis was only launched in November 2012. So it’s only actually only actually been around since well, now 13-14 months I guess and we’re now at 45%-44% attach in the quarter and overall a 25% attach of the complete install base of HD. So that to me speaks about two things. One is, customers see higher value from what Gigamon can do and secondly customers need higher value. They need less of a traffic aggregation. The tap in aggression is important and interesting. But where more and more of our customers are driving towards is that we need this high level software intelligence and that’s why we have -- 85% of our engineering team is software team, 15% is the hardware team, because and more of the value of this company comes out of what we can do in the intelligent software as we apply that to the information as it moves.

Kent Schofield - Goldman Sachs

[indiscernible] from the software, Duston, I think you talked about a little bit of a tick Q-on-Q down in terms of gross margin. So can you talk about just what’s driving that and how we think about it in longer terms?

Duston Williams

Sure. We did 81. That was the percent last quarter. There was one little boost there. So, roughly 80% gross margins and we guided to 78% to 79% this quarter and more of that is just to give us flexibility quite honestly. There’s one little thing – I’ll explain in Q1, but more to give us flexibility to run the business, how we would need to run the business and if there’s an occasionally big deal that pops up that may have lower margins associated with it, but we know that this customer may have a very good chance of maybe being chance of maybe being on that top 25 list and being a very, very long term customer with a lot of revenue. It gives us flexibility to go start some of those deals. And then in Q1 specifically we talked a lot about – our revenues always come down. Historically they’ve come down. If you look at the analyst estimates out there, it’s roughly 20%, the sequential decline. The product revenue is even higher and internally we have some fixed manufacturing cost and whether the revenue goes up 20% or down 20% those costs are relatively fixed. So for instance in Q1, that cost is, call it $800,000 or so and it just lets revenue to absorb those costs. So if you look at the product margins, maybe a 1.5 ish of those product margins are just on that fixed absorption. But really when you look at it, and again we’ve been fortunate to outperform on our margin guidance. That’s not going to last forever, and when we guide like this, it’s to give us flexibility to do what we need for the best of the business.

Kent Schofield - Goldman Sachs

Right, and maybe on that point Paul, in terms of the competition out there; obviously there’s been a lot of change in the marketplace, in terms of acquisitions, new products. Can you help us [indiscernible] in terms of who do you compete with, who do you expect to be competing with going forward.

Paul Hooper

I think the number one thing we compete with is awareness in the market, I’ll be perfectly honest with you. People still are coming to terms with this new technology and still looking to understand this new technology. So I think the number one thing is awareness. But be more specific, if you go to the next level of competitors, there’s been a set of changes inside of the market around us. If you look back two years ago, there was a group of competitors that we had in the space that I would call organic. In other words we’re very similar in the space and the focus they had around us, I think we were better than all of them, but we certainly had a group of reasonably organic competitors. Over the course of this last 18 month period or so there’s been some various moves that some tool vendors have acquired into this market space.

And I firmly believe in the position that we hold being the most powerful. We are agnostic. So when my sales guy comes in to you Mr. Customer, he’s going to sell you the best fabric for any tool. He’s not going to sell you the best fabric for this tool and he’s certainly not going to try and sell you a tool -- oh and by the way, I’ve got a fabric. He’s going to always sell you the best fabric to be able to serve you at the best value, to serve any tool that you want to plug into it. So I think independence and being agnostic in this market space is the highest value.

So we certainly do have some competitors in the space that came out of the tool market and acquired into our market. We’ve had some that have grown kind of in house space and just grown through merger and acquisition in our space and we’ve had some Ethernet switch vendors that have started speaking about this market. I can look at every single one of them and I can talk about transactions where we compete against them and we win against them, but I’m not going to go head-to-head with every single competitor around this conversation.

I am going to say that I think it demonstrates how appealing this market is, it demonstrates how interesting this market is. More and more people are coming into this market. More and more people are looking to get into this market. More and more people continue to talk about this market. But it’s a measurement of our 45% year-over-year growth which we firmly believe is industry leading, is how our customers are also continuing to buy into this market space.

So the competitive landscape will evolve. I have no doubt it will be different and this time next year when you and I talking at the same meeting, we never know, and I think it will be different again. But I see our position as been agnostic and heterogeneous as being the path of -- one of the most valuable for investors, for the company for our partners and for our customers.

Kent Schofield - Goldman Sachs

Great. I certainly want to leave some time for some questions for the investors in the room, but I do have one more. One, last two quarters, one of the topics that have come up is just kind of hiring, in terms net head [ph] adds and everything. So can you talk about the last couple of quarters, kind of the plans going forward in terms of hiring and building out that opportunity?

Paul Hooper

It’s a great question Kent. Q3, we were – our operating profit of 24% was far ahead of our plan, far head of our plan. And the reason for that was we didn’t hire as many people as you wanted to hire. So we have continued to hire and I think that was really due to a few reasons, but not in particular order, one was, I specifically instituted a new hiring process, such that we have much more diligence regarding individuals that we’re hiring and we’re bringing in. So I became much more anal, if you want to use to that word but definitely much more focused regarding the caliber of the individuals that were coming into the organization, which did delayed [ph] some hiring activity.

We’ve just also been through a private-public transition that changes the type of people you hire sometimes. I’ve got to be honest with you, people looking at you through a different lens, oh, you are an IPO, you are not an IPO kind of conversation. That changed a little bit there. And I also think that summer month is always a bit of lull. So we did hire as many of you wanted. We kind of got hiring back up ramp and we continue to hire. We have, as a repeating characteristic of the company, this year is no exception. Between kind of middle December and middle January, we intentionally ramp our sales team very aggressively. So most of sales hiring, 60% to 70% of our sales hiring?

Duston Williams

Yes, at least, yes.

Paul Hooper

Plays out in those four weeks, the intention being I want to get to move along as quick as I can so we can get them all out to sales, kick off this kind of middle to latish January. Everyone gets assimilated into the company at the same time, they hear the same message, they all embrace the sales plan for the year together, rather than having one-two, one-two kind of add on a continuous week by week basis. We intentionally add them so that the spike in Q1 of hiring -- we’re going to continue to add over the year but definitely a spike in sales hiring. Engineering hiring, we’re going to continue to add. We operate out of Silicon Valley, just down the road here and National [ph] Bank, just moving to a bigger premise because we run out of the real estate where we are and we’re continuing to add engineers.

I will not deny that it’s getting aggressive. Hiring Silicon Valley engineers is increasingly aggressive right now. Everyone seems to be getting more intense and we’re going back to some of the historic hiring times. But we continue to add and we add from some great companies. We have added some employees from Google. We have some employees from there. So we had add some great employees because we are known as one of great places to work in Silicon Valley and I want to maintain that and keep that focus.

So we will continue to add. The only other one thing I will add and then just go back to you, Kent was in the sales adds this year, we created a brand new function inside of sales. We call it the regional sales manager. It’s a very important function. It is a function whose focus is to do nothing other than bring new logos in. What we were noticing, as some of that deals were getting bigger and bigger and bigger, the average construct -- that first time construct is adding lots of zeros. We’re now getting six and seven digits first time transactions with customers. When you’re a sales guy and you’re looking down the barrel of a $2 billion transaction, there’s your quota for the quarter. There could be a good percentage if you could quote it for a half year. So I want to go off of that.

So you get focused on that transaction and all the other ones and twos in the small accounts, the new guys don’t get the nurturing intention that you can devote because you rightly trying to close a big transaction. So we created a team whose focus is to find and bring in new logos, new accounts. They’re compensated on the first transaction of a new logo. They hand the account onto the regional sales team, they move on to find the next new logo. We see that has being a good opportunity. There’s a noticeable incremental high we added in sales this last hiring time.

Kent Schofield - Goldman Sachs

Great. Thank you. Are there any questions? I think we have the mic going around? So, we’ll wait there for a second maybe on the product side of things, the HB1, you talked about that being kind of the fastest ramp in the Company’s history. Can you talk about what you’re trying to address there and what’s different about that opportunity?

Paul Hooper

Absolutely. The HB1, H -- B stands for Branch, H family. We have a H family and G family. And so the HB1, that’s the Branch one is a one [indiscernible] box, fixed form factor, fixed configuration, and it comes with the SMART. If you recall I mentioned the SMART is this compute platform. It comes with SMART built in. And so the objective is to get a device that allows people to experience all the value -- we call it fabric in box, because it does everything the bigger boxes, do just at a smaller scale. And we saw this need to develop this box because trying to get the channel to pick up a chassis is a hard thing. This is a new market. This is the new sale. And you’ve got an HD Chassis and you’ve got multiple line cards, different control cards, different pair of cards but of the channel one wont glom [ph] on to that.

So we decided to come out with a technology that the channel can embrace. This HB1 has two configurations, its one power supply or two power supplies, that’s it. Goes for less than 20,000 list. It can go from box to in the rack and fully functional in less than three minutes. It’s configured by a UI. So your average sales guy, your average sales guy in a channel can get this thing out of a box, can turn it on and within a couple of minutes can be dragging and dropping and seeing what a fabric can do. And our objective is to open three markets with this box. One is to say I want to open the channel up. I want the channel to be able to go out there and tap this under their arm. We’re confident to be able to sell it and say it’s not complex to sell and I can start tucking it into the transactions and then when the customer likes that, I can go on and upsell the bigger products. And we’ve seen that. We’ve seen some customers that buy the HB1 in his first quarter in Q3 come back and buy a set of HD chassis. One customer purchased a couple of HBs in Q3 and then came back with a six figure order in Q4 and came back with another six figure order in this quarter. So that’s opened the door.

So that’s the second thing I wanted it to do. I wanted it to break into accounts, where I can’t get into these big accounts because I haven’t got time for proof concept, I’ve got other things going on, it’s too difficult to rack and stack and chassis put this thing. In three minutes this thing could be demonstrating its value to you. And it’s the second thing I want to do.

Now the third thing I wanted it to do is to open a market that at the moment we haven’t even scratched, which is managed service providers. If you are a managed service provider looking to provide control inside of your enterprises, your customer, in other words their enterprise environment; small enterprise customer comes in and says I want to outsource my network management and monitoring and network services to you Mr. managed service provider. Well you can take one of these boxes, you can put it in that customer premise, it will have 20 points of connection that you can remotely control. It will pull the traffic back to your central network operations team. So your network operation team can be sitting there and any time the customer comes out and say my third building has gone offline or I’m seeing too much traffic or an email service gone slow or whatever conservation the customer. You can remotely connect to my HB1. You’ll be able to then feed that information to your central network operations team. Then on the screen you can see what the customer’s traffic profile looks like there and then.

We’re not going to get into the game of providing that as a service but we’re certainly going to enable people that want to get into that game and the customers that’s the managed services, the third element of where we see this kind of HB1 opening up opportunities first. And it’s the best selling products after this ramping product. It’s launched in Q3 and Q4, which is its first two full quarters, over 70% of those sold outside of the Fortune list, which is perfect. It’s opening up that midsize enterprise market. Customers that could not afford our technology or couldn’t afford tooling, I can now make tooling and make instrumentation and security affordable to them through the HB1.

Kent Schofield - Goldman Sachs

Now we’ve time for one more if there is any question. As the contact analyst [indiscernible] heart service provider vertical, where -- you’ve obviously had some great success there. As we look into 2014, ’15 what are some of the opportunities for Gigamon?

Paul Hooper

Over the course of the last 18 months here, we’ve done two things inside of our business to really access that market. If you look back two years ago, our business was very horizontal. The platform was very horizontal, the sales was completely horizontal. Meaning, I didn’t have a service provider portfolio, I didn’t have the service provider sales team. So 18 months back here we created a service provider sales team, quite intentionally to go up to this market space. And over the course of the last 60 days here, we’ve announced two purposeful products for the service provider, GTP correlation and FlowVue both of which are service provider focused. So it allows us to access both of those markets in a way that we haven’t been able to do up until now. But don’t hear from me we’re not successful. 24% of our revenues last year was service provider. We’ve got 50% of the largest service providers in the planet, our customers and all ongoing customers. So it’s a good market, we’re going to continue to focus on it and with the 3G, 4G, LTE and [indiscernible] kind of transitions they’re facing, our technology has never been more relevant.

Kent Schofield - Goldman Sachs

Well, Paul, Duston thank you so much for the time. Thank you everybody in the room.

Paul Hooper

Thank you.

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