Along with having been part of a string of hits in the tech world -- an IPO, an acquisition and now running a well-funded storage startup -- Ellen Rubin has covered a lot of industry territory in her career. It might even seem like she's jumped around a bit. She's had her hand in personalization (Manna), analytics (Netezza, IPO), cloud migration (CloudSwitch, acquired by Verizon) and storage -- at her current company, ClearSky Data, where she's the co-founder and CEO.
But there is a common thread running between all of them -- data. Tons of it. Too much for the IT department to handle.
"The one thing that's always common is that [IT professionals] have more data to manage than they can possibly manage," Rubin said. And that's actually what she likes about working in the world of IT infrastructure. "What I like is there's a dynamic where you're dealing with IT guys who are always over-burdened, struggling with vendors they don't like, and told they have to do more with less. And if you can show them something that gets them excited, that's a really big deal," Rubin said.
Another element that many of Rubin's companies have shared in common is making the channel a crucial part of the equation. As vice president of marketing at Netezza -- which went public in 2007 and was acquired by IBM in 2010 for $1.78 billion -- Rubin says she saw firsthand how working with channel partners was able to accelerate the business.