U.S. Markets open in 6 hrs 48 mins

Edited Transcript of PSTG earnings conference call or presentation 19-Nov-18 10:00pm GMT

Q3 2019 Pure Storage Inc Earnings Call

Mountain View Nov 21, 2018 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Pure Storage Inc earnings conference call or presentation Monday, November 19, 2018 at 10:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

================================================================================

Corporate Participants

================================================================================

* Charles H. Giancarlo

Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman

* David M. Hatfield

Pure Storage, Inc. - President

* Matt Kixmoeller

Pure Storage, Inc. - VP of Product/Solution Marketing

* Matthew Daniel Danziger

Pure Storage, Inc. - Head of IR

* Timothy Riitters

Pure Storage, Inc. - CFO

================================================================================

Conference Call Participants

================================================================================

* Aaron Christopher Rakers

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - MD of IT Hardware & Networking Equipment and Senior Analyst

* Alexander Kurtz

KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Senior Research Analyst

* Andrew James Nowinski

Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division - Principal & Senior Research Analyst

* David Ryzhik

Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP, Research Division - Associate

* Eric Martinuzzi

Lake Street Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division - Director of Research & Senior Research Analyst

* Erik Loren Suppiger

JMP Securities LLC, Research Division - MD & Senior Research Analyst

* Jason Noah Ader

William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division - Partner & Co-Group Head of Technology, Media, and Communications

* Kathryn Lynn Huberty

Morgan Stanley, Research Division - MD and Research Analyst

* Mark Ronald Murphy

JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - MD

* Nehal Sushil Chokshi

Maxim Group LLC, Research Division - MD

* Roderick B. Hall

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division - MD

* Simon Matthew Leopold

Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division - Research Analyst

* Steven Bryant Fox

Cross Research LLC - MD

* Wamsi Mohan

BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director

================================================================================

Presentation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [1]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good afternoon. My name is Mike, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Pure Storage Third Quarter Fiscal 2019 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) I will now turn the call over to Matt Danziger, VP of Investor Relations. You may begin your conference.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew Daniel Danziger, Pure Storage, Inc. - Head of IR [2]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you and Good afternoon. Welcome to the Pure Storage Q3 Fiscal 2019 Earnings Conference Call. Joining me today are our CEO, Charlie Giancarlo; our CFO, Tim Riitters; our President, David Hatfield; and our VP of Products, Matt Kixmoeller. Before we begin, I would like to remind you that during this call, management will make forward-looking statements, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These include statements regarding: competitive, industry and technology trends; our strategy, positioning and opportunity; our current and future products; business and operations, including our operating model; growth prospects; and revenue and margin guidance for future periods.

Any forward-looking statements that we make are based on assumptions as of today, and we undertake no obligation to update them. Our actual results may differ materially from the results predicted and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. A discussion of risks and uncertainties relating to our business is contained in our filings with the SEC, and we refer you to these public filings.

During this call, we will discuss non-GAAP measures in talking about the company's performance and reconciliations to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are provided in our earnings press release and slides. Also beginning this year, we adopted the new revenue accounting standard ASC 606, and all the current quarter financial results as well as our financial outlook are stated in accordance with this new standard. Please see our earning slides for more information.

This call is being broadcast live on the Pure Storage Investor Relations website and is being recorded for playback purposes. An archive of the webcast will be available on the IR website for at least 45 days and is a property of Pure Storage.

With that, I'll turn the call over to our CEO, Charlie Giancarlo.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [3]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you, Matt, and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you very much for joining us on today's earnings call this Thanksgiving week. I'll begin the call with a summary of our Q3 results and the highlights of today's launch of our new cloud data services. Hat will provide a go-to-market update, and finally, Tim will give a detailed review of our financials and updated outlook.

First, our results. Q3 was another strong quarter of execution for Pure. Revenue for the quarter was $373 million, growing 34% year-over-year. Gross margins were 68.1%, remaining at our highest level. Operating margins were 9.1%, all of which exceeded the upper end of our guided ranges. These strong results are indicative of the forward traction we're seeing for our data-centric architecture strategy outlined earlier this year. Customers are increasingly voicing a clear demand for hybrid cloud, but the reality today is that there is a cloud divide. And nowhere is that more evident than at the storage layer. On-prem and cloud storage services vary widely, making it difficult to build applications that can be run everywhere, requiring that our customers make a technology choice between on-prem and the cloud.

We believe it shouldn't have to be that way. Customers should be able to make infrastructure choices based on what's best for them, their businesses and their bottom line, not based on what the technology can do or where it lives. In this hybrid-cloud world, applications should be developed once and deployed seamlessly across private and public clouds, giving customers increased flexibility. This is the insight behind the launch of Pure's Cloud Data Services. Today, we announced a new set of products that run natively in the public cloud, delivering a unique hybrid cloud storage solution that gives our customers the flexibility they need to turn their data into value regardless of where it lives. These new products will enable customers to build hybrid applications that run seamlessly across clouds, leveraging consistent storage APIs and services everywhere. This will benefit both cloud-native and enterprise customers alike.

We announced a significant number of important new capabilities with Pure's Cloud Data Services. I'd like to focus on a few of these now.

First, we announced the beta availability of Cloud Block store, which is based on Purity software, running natively on AWS. Cloud Block store is an industrial-strength block storage offering, enabling mission-critical enterprise applications to run in the cloud with all of the capabilities that they expect from high-end storage arrays. Cloud Block store also brings new storage capabilities like snapshots, replication and deduplication to born-in-the-cloud web scale apps. Secondly, we announced the availability of CloudSnap, which delivers cloud-based data protection built right into our flagship FlashArray. CloudSnap makes it easy to copy snapshots directly to the public cloud for both data protection and application migration use cases. Third, we announced the beta availability of StorReduce, a cloud-first deduplication engine for modern backup. This software is designed to enable simple backup, rapid recovery and cost-effective data retention in public cloud object storage. When combined with the FlashBlade on-prem, the solution provides a new architecture we call flash-to-flash-to-cloud, enabling both Rapid Restore and low-cost long-term cloud retention.

Lastly, all of our cloud data services will be managed by Pure1, our cloud data management solution. In fact, Pure1 is one of our key assets in our expansion to the cloud because Pure has always managed our products from the cloud from Day 1. Already, the one place to manage all Pure products on-prem, Pure1 is now being extended to seamlessly manage all Pure products in the cloud, enabling end-to-end control of hybrid cloud mobility and protection. Pure now delivers a comprehensive cloud data solution. With our cloud data infrastructure we have long provided storage for our customers to build and automate their private data clouds.

Our new cloud data services enable our customers to build more powerful hybrid cloud solutions and Pure enables comprehensive cloud data management, allowing customers to manage data wherever it sits. We are very excited about the early response to Pure's Cloud Data Services from partners, customers and analysts. We look forward to working with our customers to better deliver their hybrid clouds.

And now, Hat will provide this quarter's go-to-market update. Hat, take it away.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David M. Hatfield, Pure Storage, Inc. - President [4]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks, Charlie. Q3 was indeed a strong quarter for Pure. We not only continue to execute well, extend our partner ecosystem and capitalize on our innovation cycle, but as Charlie noted, today we announced Pure's unifying cloud vision and suite of new cloud data services.

First, our execution in the quarter was strong. We exited the quarter with more than 5,450 customers, representing more than 300 new customer additions. Our focus on the enterprise, cloud and public sector also yielded results. We improved our traction in the Fortune 500 with almost 40% now Pure customers, our cloud segment significantly outpaced our overall company growth, and we saw progress in our U.S. federal and public sector business.

Our go-to-market teams continue to perform well. We were pleased with the contribution from new customers, repeat purchases and win rates held nicely and the overall productivity of the sales teams continue to trend positively. This showcases how we have reached scale across our technology portfolio, shifting from a best-of-breed single-product company to a multidimensional portfolio for on-prem infrastructure, cloud management and now, Cloud Data Services.

Second, our overall partner ecosystem continues to expand and deliver positive results. During the quarter, we had excellent momentum across our technology alliances, national channel partners and global and federal systems integrators known as GSI and FSIs. Our alliances with Cisco and NVIDIA continue to thrive with leading converged infrastructure solutions, and we announced deeper integrations with both Splunk and Veritas. Our progress with the largest national resellers was strong with 2 notable partner CEOs, specifically highlighting all-flash and NVMe as key growth drivers for their storage businesses.

As part of our focus on the large enterprise and federal markets, we made solid progress with several GSIs, including Accenture and FSIs this quarter.

Finally, we entered into a strategic partnership with IBM to deliver as-a-service solutions with the Pure portfolio. We will continue to invest in the partner ecosystem and fundamentally believe that these additional routes to market will contribute meaningfully to our growth in the years to come.

Third, our product portfolio continues to delight our customers. It's highly differentiated when compared to our competition and is now operating at significant scale. Specifically, FlashBlade had one of the strongest growth quarters since its debut. In Q3, traction in the electronic design automation, EDA, a traditional file market stronghold was particularly notable with Pure now counting 3 of the top 5 players in this industry as customers, including both Synopsys and Mentor, a Siemens business. We also saw growing participation across our global sales teams for both our Rapid Restore and artificial intelligence use cases, including key wins in Top 25 cloud companies this quarter.

FlashArray continues to lead the market transition to NVMe. NVMe represented more than 2/3 of all shipments this quarter, and we added a significant number of multimillion-dollar deals across several industries. We're also seeing nice early momentum in key market segments for our subscription-based pricing model, the Evergreen Storage Service. Just like the cloud, ES2 enables customers to consume on-prem solutions on a flexible usage basis.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, today marks a key milestone at Pure with the launch of our Cloud Data Services. Today's customers demand a unified cloud architecture that brings agility to the modern enterprise. But up until now, organizations have been forced to make tradeoffs between on-premises and the public cloud. We are bridging that gap by enabling hybrid cloud environments with the same, simple and automated experience our customers love about Pure while delivering our leading data services and open APIs in the public cloud.

Essentially, we are bringing all the innovation we delivered on-prem to the public cloud and making it easy for our customers to use both at the same time. Causeway Capital and IDT are 2 Pure customers that agree. They are both at the leading edge of their industries, building hybrid applications and revolutionizing data protection in the cloud. We are thankful to work with leading customers like these and for the industry-leading Net Promoter Score of 86.6 that they have given us. And now, we're very excited to expand our relationship to help them with their data protection and hybrid cloud strategies as well.

In summary, this is an exciting time at Pure. We are unifying enterprise and cloud architectures. We are in a great innovation cycle with our portfolio, and our global partner ecosystem and sales momentum have never been stronger.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Tim. Tim?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Timothy Riitters, Pure Storage, Inc. - CFO [5]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks, Hat. Q3 was another strong quarter for Pure, as we surpassed the upper end of all of our guided measures; revenue, gross margin and operating margin. Before I dive into specifics, I'll make my usual note that the gross margin, operating margin, OpEx, net income, EPS and free cash flow numbers, I will use, are non-GAAP, unless otherwise noted.

A reconciliation of these non-GAAP metrics to their GAAP comparables as well as our full Q3 results and presentation are available on our Investor Relations website at investor.purestorage.com. Total revenue for the quarter was $372.8 million or 34% growth year-over-year, exceeding the upper end of our guided range. Product revenue was $298.9 million or growth of 31% year-over-year. Support subscription revenue was $73.9 million or growth of 48% year-over-year. Revenue performance was driven by strong FlashBlade execution in the quarter as well as continued adoption of our X series products. Geographically, 71% of our revenue came from the United States and 29% came from international markets.

Total gross margin in Q3 was 68.1%, up 0.1 point from the previous quarter. Our ability to deliver consistent industry-leading gross margins highlights the value we deliver to our customer base and validates our technological differentiation.

Product gross margins increased 0.2 points sequentially to 68.1%, driven largely by strong performance across both of our FlashBlade and FlashArray product lines. Support subscription gross margin decreased slightly, 0.3 points quarter-on-quarter, to 68.1%. We continue to invest in our support teams as they drive industry-leading customer satisfaction.

Turning to operating margin. We delivered another quarter of profitability with Q3 operating margin at 9.1%, representing a 5.4 point improvement over the same period a year ago, and a 3.1 point improvement over the midpoint of our guidance. Revenue and gross margin outperformance were key contributors to our operating margin beat. And we plan to continue to invest aggressively to capture the opportunity in front of us, given the momentum we are seeing in our business.

Net income in the quarter was positive $35.4 million or positive $0.13 per share, based on a weighted average share count of 267 million shares. This compares to a net income of $10.4 million or positive $0.04 per share, based on a weighted average share count of 243 million shares in Q3 of last year. Total headcount at the end of the period was over 2,650 employees, which represents an increase of approximately 200 employees during the quarter.

Turning to the balance sheet and our cash flows. We ended Q3 with cash and investments of $1.1 billion, which was up slightly from the previous quarter. Free cash flow was positive $28.5 million in the quarter, including a negative $2.1 million impact from our employee stock purchase plan. This compares to free cash flow of positive $14 million during the year-ago quarter, which included a negative $2.5 million impact from our employee stock purchase plan. With that, we'll now turn to our guidance.

As we enter Q4, we are excited about the opportunities ahead of us and as such, we are raising all 3 of our guided measures for the full year. For the full year, we expect revenues in the range of between $1.376 billion and $1.384 billion, a midpoint of $1.380 billion, which represents an increase of $15 million from our previously guided midpoint. Gross margin in the range of between 66.6% and 67.6% or 67.1% at the midpoint, a 0.6 point increase from our previous guidance. And operating margins in the range of between 3.9% and 5.3% or 4.6% at the midpoint, a 1.1 point increase from our previous guidance. Based on our yearly guidance, the implied fourth quarter guidance levels we expect are, revenues in the range of between $438 million and $446 million or $442 million at the midpoint. Gross margin in the range of between 64.5% and 67.5% or 66% at the midpoint. And finally, operating margins in the range of between positive 8% and positive 12% or positive 10% at the midpoint.

In summary, Q3 was a strong quarter and we are excited about the momentum we are seeing, the innovation we are driving and the launch of our new hybrid cloud offerings.

With that, we'll now open the call to questions. Operator?

================================================================================

Questions and Answers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [1]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Operator Instructions) Your first question comes from Mark Murphy from JPMorgan.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mark Ronald Murphy, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - MD [2]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tim, the deferred revenue growth on the balance sheet looks quite robust in Q3. And I'm just curious, if there's anything unusual in that performance? In other words, is it more of a correlation with your mainstream new bookings? Or is there timing of renewables in there? Or is it possibly something else like the early traction of some of your subscription offerings like the Evergreen Storage Service?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Timothy Riitters, Pure Storage, Inc. - CFO [3]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, Mark. Thanks for the question. On deferred revenue, a couple of things happening there. So more of a longer-term trend. We're seeing really a renewals base starting to build, and so obviously, we've been at this for several years now. And when these folks are on their 3-year renewal cycles, we're starting to see nice healthy robust renewal business for us, so that's obviously building the deferred revenue number faster than overall revenue growth. And then this quarter, which was a unique quarter for us, we saw a little bit more of an elongation in support contracts, so what that means is people are buying a little bit more longer support contracts, which is great for us as well. They're making a longer-term bet for Pure, and so both of those built the deferred revenue balance nicely, over 40% year-on-year. So it's a really healthy indicator of the long-term potential in the business.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mark Ronald Murphy, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - MD [4]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And as a follow-up, Charlie, the acquisition of StorReduce looks like it has the potential to kind of evolve your cloud strategy. Wondering if you could maybe walk us through how StorReduce might accelerate or change any of your relationships with Amazon, Microsoft, Google, et cetera? And just how it's going to fit overall into your products roadmap?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [5]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, as we had mentioned last quarter, StorReduce had already built separate from us a really great relationship with AWS because of their ability to upload effectively highly deduplicated data into an Amazon environment. So Amazon, it was very excited about that as we were, not just for that use case but also for the ability to back up data directly onto a FlashBlade platform. So we think, as we go forward, with AWS as well as with some of the other hyperscalers that this gives our customers real flexibility in terms of where they place their backup data and we have innovated a very new model here, which we call flash-to-flash-to-cloud, which allows both rapid recovery from an event as well as low-cost long-term storage.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [6]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your next question comes from Alex Kurtz from KeyBanc Capital Markets.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alexander Kurtz, KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [7]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lots to unbundle here. Congrats on a great quarter and this big product launch today. Hat, our channel work indicated also strong momentum in U.S. Fed and cloud AI, so hoping you could provide any additional color on that order flow in these 2 verticals during the quarter and what it meant for the business? And for Tim, how should we think about operating leverage as we go into 2020? Your operating margin profile, obviously some strong contribution margin in the quarter, just as we start to look out into next year.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David M. Hatfield, Pure Storage, Inc. - President [8]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alex, it's Hat. Yes -- no, we were pleased with the progress in our Fed and public sector business. We've been working on that. We've been talking about that for several quarters and we saw a nice uptick and some strategic wins in both the intelligence community and civilian. So we're going to continue to focus there. One quarter doesn't make a trend, so we're going to keep focusing and building that, but we feel confident that -- nice traction there. And then, as we mentioned, FlashBlade had a terrific quarter for us and it was really driven by the Rapid Restore and AI use cases, and we did have some significant wins in large cloud providers. So that's a combination of AI and backup.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Timothy Riitters, Pure Storage, Inc. - CFO [9]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And Alex, this is Tim. On your second part of the question. Obviously, pleased with Q3 in terms of the over performance on the bottom line but, as you know, thinking going into next year, obviously, we're not guiding today on the call. But I think, your question is a good one. Really the last couple of quarters have seen a lot of over performance on the bottom line. And I think about that as almost a multiplier of both revenue over performance as well as very, very strong gross margin performance, industry-leading and certainly at a high point even for us here at Pure. And so those 2 numbers multiply and typically drop right to the bottom line in any given quarter. And so I wouldn't read that over performance that you saw here in Q2 or Q3 as something that continues to go on into the next year. Really, as we said in our prepared remarks, we are investing aggressively. Looking at what we launched today and the innovation pipeline, we're really excited about the lead we have in the business and we will invest aggressively against that. So that's how I think about next year.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [10]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your next question comes from Katy Huberty from Morgan Stanley.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kathryn Lynn Huberty, Morgan Stanley, Research Division - MD and Research Analyst [11]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A couple of questions from me. The conversation around hybrid multi-cloud offerings is picking up momentum, particularly with the traditional data center infrastructure player. So it'd be helpful if you can summarize how Pure's offering announced today is really differentiated versus what others are talking about? And then I have a follow-up.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [12]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Right. Well, we think we are differentiated in a number of ways. One is, we really focused on Tier 1 use cases, really some of the most challenging and most performance demanding of enterprise use cases and we've created an environment where they can do that now both on-prem and in the cloud. Second is, we bring all of the Pure advantages. Everything from resiliency, availability to high deduplication and data reduction ratios as well as Pure1 cloud analytics and management to the entire spectrum of our product. And then third is, this was purpose-built for the cloud from Day 1. I mean, this was in terms of the cloud block storage, that's our software running natively on AWS infrastructure. And this was something we're able to bring to market quite quickly. And then finally, flash-to-flash-to-cloud, as I mentioned in an earlier comment, I mean, that's a unique offering, first of its kind, where customers can get the best of both -- of what they're looking for, which is low-cost, long-term storage plus very high and rapid recovery from events that occur on-site for them. And we think it's -- that's a first example of anything like that, so we think we are highly differentiated.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kathryn Lynn Huberty, Morgan Stanley, Research Division - MD and Research Analyst [13]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's helpful. What's the penetration of Evergreen flexible usage model today? And where do you think that might go over a 3-year time period?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [14]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Katy, I'm sorry, but you were garbled, as you came in. Could you repeat the question?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kathryn Lynn Huberty, Morgan Stanley, Research Division - MD and Research Analyst [15]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was just asking about the Evergreen flexible usage model. Where is penetration today? And where might that go in 3 years?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [16]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Perfect. I'm going to give that to Hat.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David M. Hatfield, Pure Storage, Inc. - President [17]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, Katy. So really nice early success there. We were focusing on markets where they really had a propensity to buy in that fashion that were incremental to the markets that we've been serving. So we saw a nice uptick in GSI. We saw some nice multimillion-dollar wins within health care as well. So we see it as being incremental to the overall mix and saw some nice traction. It's still early days and as we build that in, we'll provide -- it's embedded into our guidance for Q4 and as we talk about next year, we'll embed it then as well.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [18]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your next question comes from Jason Ader from William Blair.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jason Noah Ader, William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division - Partner & Co-Group Head of Technology, Media, and Communications [19]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just a housekeeping one for Tim on the accounts receivable. Looks like it's been trending up on the DSO -- sorry. And, I guess -- why is that happening? And what's the right level to think about going forward?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Timothy Riitters, Pure Storage, Inc. - CFO [20]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, Jason, a couple of things. So on DSO this quarter, I mentioned in the earlier question from Mark on deferred revenue, our support contracts did elongate a little bit this quarter, and that's a very good thing for the company. It basically gets money in quicker and it has people locked in longer, but that's going to boost your AR balance, all else being equal versus product revenue or overall revenue, so that's one of the dynamics you're seeing there. And then, we'll be selective with some of our enterprise customers. They tend to be a little bit more hard negotiators in terms of a little bit more extended terms in some of our more commercial business. And so that's why you saw some of the terms rise a little bit as well, but that's -- given our balance sheet, that's an easy tradeoff as we continue to grow the business.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jason Noah Ader, William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division - Partner & Co-Group Head of Technology, Media, and Communications [21]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Was there any particular back-end loading or linearity skewed to the end of the quarter that drove that up?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Timothy Riitters, Pure Storage, Inc. - CFO [22]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No. Really, extended terms in some of the enterprise business as well as that elongation of overall support contracts, which again, I said, is a really nice thing that we're happy to see.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jason Noah Ader, William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division - Partner & Co-Group Head of Technology, Media, and Communications [23]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay, great. And then just, I guess, for Charlie, a lot of skittishness in the market today, obviously. What are you seeing from a demand perspective? Have you seen any noticeable changes in terms of customer behavior at this point?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [24]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, no, I think to some extent, our -- the results, Jason, speak for themselves. We -- it was a good quarter for us. Overall, the tenor of the quarter was pretty similar to every other quarter. If I had to really push and look at certainly a very small minority of our deals, we did sense maybe an extra look on the finance side of the house. And of course, I keep my eyes open, and I'm very attuned to this -- to the jitteriness of the market, and so was possibly expecting something, but we really didn't see it. So I think, yes, as I said, I think the result speaks for themselves. We executed well and didn't see a lot of macro yet.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [25]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your next question comes from Aaron Rakers from Wells Fargo.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aaron Christopher Rakers, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - MD of IT Hardware & Networking Equipment and Senior Analyst [26]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've got 2, if I can. When we think about the cloud services opportunity for you guys, I'm just curious if you can, at a high level, help us appreciate how we expect to see the monetization of this start to play out across your existing customer base? And then, I believe, in that you've launched today with AWS, I'm just curious how should we think about the relationships with Microsoft Azure as well as Google Cloud platform? And I have a follow-up.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David M. Hatfield, Pure Storage, Inc. - President [27]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aaron, this is Hat. I'll take the first part and then hand it over to Kix. I think a lot of our customers were looking for our view on multi-cloud and hybrid cloud search strategy. And so I think what mostly what it does, to start is, just increase its relevancy. It expands our strategic conversation with senior executives in the organization, so we think that's positive for our overall portfolio, number one. Number two, as we move forward, to be able to monetize the cloud block storage as a software subscription independent of AWS, they'll help maintain their own contracts, that's positive for us in terms of incremental opportunities in the future. And I think just generally speaking, our opportunity with ES2 is starting to show real signs, so we can meet the customer in the way they want to buy. And if they want to buy it on-prem, they want to buy it in the cloud but really agnostic. We want to provide a complete solution for them for multi-cloud. Kix, anything to add to that?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matt Kixmoeller, Pure Storage, Inc. - VP of Product/Solution Marketing [28]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, I would just add the fact that I think we're seeing great signs of feedback from both traditional enterprise customers as well as cloud data-type customers. Now for traditional Enterprise customers, we can help them move their mission-critical apps to the cloud seamlessly and for web-scale customers they can develop much more simply, and have the resiliency be it built in the storage layer so they don't have to build it into every application they create. And then, the final thing I'd say just from an opportunity point of view is that the flash-to-flash-to-cloud opportunity and modernizing backup is a real opportunity that's largely TAM we haven't gone after in the past, and it's a huge opportunity to go in and modernize that entire workflow.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aaron Christopher Rakers, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division - MD of IT Hardware & Networking Equipment and Senior Analyst [29]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Perfect. And as a quick follow-up question, I'm just curious, as we look at your solid execution, particularly on the product gross margin line, just curious of how you're seeing current flash pricing trends? And how you're managing that as far as passing through some of the pricing that you've seen coming through?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Timothy Riitters, Pure Storage, Inc. - CFO [30]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, so Aaron, this is Tim. As we expected, we're starting to see some flash declines. I think, we talked a little bit about that in the last quarter as well. It continues to play out the way we anticipated here several quarters back. So obviously, we see those declines. But we've always thought of ourselves as a differentiated company and selling on value as opposed to sort of, if you will cost-plus. And so we've been able to maintain ASPs nicely because as you saw on the gross margin and you heard us talk about in the prepared remarks, customers are looking for value and the overall ROI that we can deliver to them regardless of what a cost in the bill of materials might be.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [31]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, I think, the only thing I'd add to that is we kind of benefit both ways, which we've said in the past. And when it comes time to get aggressive especially for a G2K or a new customer, we'll go aggressive to make sure we win the business and demonstrate our value from that point forward, so it gives us a lot of flexibility to win in the future.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [32]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your next question comes from Wamsi Mohan from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wamsi Mohan, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director [33]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charlie, you elaborated on the unification with the cloud and, clearly, you articulated like Pure's value proposition here. Wondering, if you guys are willing to sort of size the opportunity longer term? I know one of your competitors spoken about sort of $0.5 billion a few years out from a revenue perspective. Just wondering if, a, you can give us some goalpost that you're thinking about this opportunity? And do you see AWS as a net additive opportunity or partly cannibalistic? And I have a follow-up.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [34]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'll start with the second part of your question first, which is, we see AWS as a great partner here. And the way that we've envisioned this both of our products that we are associated with the AWS component of it, it's an opportunity for both companies to make money while saving our customers money, which is pretty amazing. It's a win, win, win situation, so we're very excited about that. And AWS has been a good partner with us this early in the development of these products. In terms of the first part of your question, it's a bit early. We're excited about the products. We're excited about the roadmap. We like the fact that this gives our customers comfort to know that they can get the best of Pure regardless of where they put their workloads, but I think it's -- and I think you can hear this from the entire industry, it's a bit too early to call exactly how customers will deploy their resources and how quickly it'll go there. Obviously, we're not doing this just for a press release. We're doing it because we think there's real money to be made here but, at least, I'm not ready to project yet as to what it might be.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wamsi Mohan, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director [35]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay. And as a follow-up, looks like CapEx ticked up somewhat quarter-on-quarter. How much has this got to do with the investments in the cloud? Or is it pertinent to something else? And how should we think about the trajectory of CapEx here going into next year?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Timothy Riitters, Pure Storage, Inc. - CFO [36]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wamsi, this is Tim. A couple of things on CapEx. Certainly, on the engineering, R&D CapEx, there is -- there were dollars that uptick both for what we're doing with cloud as well as our ongoing innovation efforts, and that I expect to continue. We're going to continue to make those investments. There were some onetime CapEx that we're seeing where we're just rolling out 1 new facility here in Mountain View, and so we're putting the finishing touches on that, so that tended to be more of a onetime shot than anything else. And you'd see that on the G&A part of overall CapEx.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [37]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Operator Instructions) The next question comes from Simon Leopold from Raymond James.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Simon Matthew Leopold, Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division - Research Analyst [38]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I wanted to get a quick clarification than more of a trending question. In terms of the January quarter forecast, you are suggesting gross margin will be down from the levels you enjoyed in July and October and just wanted to understand whether there were some particular factors that we should understand leading to that sequential decline if there is anything related to tariffs or other issues? In terms of the broader trending question, I wanted to see, if you can offer some thoughts regarding the Cloud Data Services milestone? I understand you're not prepared to give us a dollar forecast, but are there certain metrics or milestones that we should look forward to help us validate your progress?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Timothy Riitters, Pure Storage, Inc. - CFO [39]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So Simon, I'll take the first question on gross margin. On gross margin, you're absolutely right. The gross margin guide for Q4, 66% at the mid, and this is the same thing that we talked about last quarter as well. It just gives us the flexibility. You heard us talk about it even in a few earlier questions in terms of, we like the flexibility when we have a differentiated product to be able to take that gross margin and put it to work if we want too. And so that's why we guided what we did. It was the same thing that we did back here in Q3 as well. So obviously, we're enjoying really high gross margins for us right now, but we want to retain the flexibility as we continue to grow the business.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David M. Hatfield, Pure Storage, Inc. - President [40]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And on the second part of the question about your keeping tabs on the products as we put them out and, obviously, we'll be doing that. As the callers on this call know, I think, we're not a fan of identifying individual, especially, new products as they go out for consistent management because we do manage to the top line overall. That being said, one of these -- as we announced in the launch, CloudSnap is available today. Cloud Block -- StorReduce, we announced will be available in the first half and Cloud Block store towards mid next year. 2 of the 3 are subscription-based services. So as you know, a subscription-based service, we'll get contracts, but it will be paid out on a month-by-month basis. So we'll provide color quarter-to-quarter on these things and, hopefully, we'll all see good take-up of them.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [41]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your next question comes from Rod Hall from Goldman Sachs.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Roderick B. Hall, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division - MD [42]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I guess, I wanted to come back to FlashBlade, you commented that the growth there was very strong. And I wonder if you could give us any kind of update that would help us quantify kind of where you stand there? It sounds like it's going well, but just hard to get a feeling for how to model that or how to think about it? So is there any other color that you can give us in terms of relative size or anything like that, that might help? And then I have a follow-up.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [43]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, again, as you know, that we're not giving out specific guidance on the individual products. But I would say that at this point, you can assume that FlashBlade is a substantial proportion now of our total sales.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David M. Hatfield, Pure Storage, Inc. - President [44]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, the only thing, Rob, that I'd add there is, we're seeing terrific uptick in the repeatability of the use cases across Rapid Restore, AI, next generation analytics and Oracle. We commented on EDA, that's been a long-time stronghold for the file market for our competitors, and so to have 3 of top 5 in the EDA segment, we're very pleased with. Kind of just getting going in that segment and then just the overall momentum, if you look at number of deals and size of deals and the attach for our global sales teams, all of those are trending in the right direction, so very encouraging.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Roderick B. Hall, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division - MD [45]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay. And maybe on Flash -- I know you guys had originally, I know you got away from commenting on this, but you had said that you expected it to track with or at 2 times the pace of FlashArray. Is it catching up to that? I know it kind of fell below that at one point. And I'm just curious whether it caught back up to it? It sounds like it's reaccelerating.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David M. Hatfield, Pure Storage, Inc. - President [46]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, Rod, I think the last time we commented on that was 5 quarters ago. The quarter when I had just come in, so no, we're not going to go down that path. As I said, I think, that what we can tell you is that it is a substantial portion of our overall sales and overall sales are growing at 34% year-over-year just this quarter alone. So we were on a very good growth rate. FlashBlade is a substantial portion of that.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Timothy Riitters, Pure Storage, Inc. - CFO [47]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, the other thing -- maybe I'd add one more thing as well Rod. This is Tim. On FlashBlade, I think, what's exciting to us, we have this Rapid Restore case, is allowing us to have conversations with a lot more of our existing customers and I think that's one of the reasons you saw the sort of momentum we did in this quarter. It's not just about specific niche use cases. It's a lot more than that and you're seeing that play itself out in the numbers here in Q3.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Roderick B. Hall, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division - MD [48]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And then just, -- okay, one last, I guess, question since you guys can't say much about that one. In the NVMe-over-fabric, I think, you'd said that you were planning on launching by the end of the year. I just wanted to make sure is that on track? Or you can just give us kind of an update on the plan there?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matt Kixmoeller, Pure Storage, Inc. - VP of Product/Solution Marketing [49]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, absolutely, on track. This is Kix by the way. Overall, I'd just say, the NVMe strategy is working. Over 2/3 of our shipments are now NVMe and we're on track to ship the final piece of the puzzle with NVMe-over-fabric this year, so feeling very good about our leadership there. And continuing to see that to be just extraordinarily differentiated in the field, when we go out versus the competition.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [50]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your next question comes from Andrew Nowinski from Piper Jaffray.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Andrew James Nowinski, Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division - Principal & Senior Research Analyst [51]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Congrats on the Cloud Data Services launch today. I just want to ask the new customer adds that you've had have been fairly kind of flat each quarter at around 300. I'm just wondering if you view the Cloud Data Services as a way to accelerate your new customer growth? Getting you into new accounts? Or do you view these as being deployed more by your existing customers?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David M. Hatfield, Pure Storage, Inc. - President [52]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, Andy, Dave Hatfield. We actually feel great about the adds. It's right in line with our expectations. We're adding 5 net new customers per day compared to the competition, who have stopped talking about their customer adds. So we feel great about the overall contribution and the mix there. Obviously, expanding our product portfolio give us opportunities to enter into different buying centers and different usage-based contracts may accelerate things as well. It's still early days, but we're really pleased with what we saw in the GSI segment and in the health care segment with ES2 in the quarter.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [53]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And Andy, I'll just add one additional thing to that. The quality of the adds is just as important. And as you may remember from the beginning of this year, we were, if you will, putting more emphasis on larger Fortune 500, Global 2000 customers and the 1,000 largest clouds -- cloud companies and we're seeing that start to curve for us. But of course, that takes a bit more effort than let's say, a commercial customer, and so we're very -- as Hat mentioned, we're very happy with the new adds we have and with the quality of them.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Andrew James Nowinski, Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division - Principal & Senior Research Analyst [54]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay, very good. And then with regard to the product growth at 31% year-over-year this quarter, I think, it seemed fairly modestly above what NetApp just recorded for their all-flash revenue. Can you just give us an update on the competitive landscape in where you are taking share considering your rate is well above the market growth rate?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David M. Hatfield, Pure Storage, Inc. - President [55]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, so the competitive landscape, I think, our win rate still stayed heavy. We're stable for the quarter. And so we feel great about our differentiation across all of the major competitors. So no material change there. Kix, I don't know, anything else you want to add?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matt Kixmoeller, Pure Storage, Inc. - VP of Product/Solution Marketing [56]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No. We have continued to see great product differentiation out there. And when we -- and when we define when we get in and we showcase our product, we win. Our biggest challenge is at bats, and so we keep working on and making sure we can knock on as many doors as we can.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [57]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your next question comes from Steven Fox from Cross Research.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Steven Bryant Fox, Cross Research LLC - MD [58]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just 1 question from me. It sounds like you're very satisfied with the sales force productivity in the quarter and year-to-date. As the product portfolio is expanding as you've described on this call. What does that -- what are the implications for productivity near-term and longer-term? And then as we think about next year with sales force investments, would we think about the similar investment first quarter of this year of next year, as you had this year?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David M. Hatfield, Pure Storage, Inc. - President [59]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Steve, this is Hat. Yes, the productivity is continuing to improve the way that we set out and in line with expectations. Our latest cohorts [are] our biggest classes continue to outpace our most productive cohorts from earlier on. Moving to a platform and portfolio pull-through sale motion versus a best-of-breed point product takes work and takes time. Very pleased with the attach of the new products, obviously, FlashBlade in the quarter was significant and that's largely driven by the attach of our sales teams bringing it into their portfolio. So that pull-through motion that we wanted to see is absolutely starting to kick in and is repeatable. So as you look at that as we add more products to their portfolio, we're confident that the productivity trends we're seeing will continue.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Steven Bryant Fox, Cross Research LLC - MD [60]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And in terms of investments in sales mix next year?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Timothy Riitters, Pure Storage, Inc. - CFO [61]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. So Steve, this is Tim. On next year, obviously, not guiding the year but, I think, if you look at our seasonal pattern from the past several years, Q1 is the investment quarter for us, where we do hire a lot in sales and marketing. We get them in. They're coming off good years and competitors. We have them have great years here at Pure. We get them in early. We get them trained up to hit the seasonally strong second half, and I think you're going to see that dynamic continue to play out. We've done it for 3, 4 years now.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [62]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And just putting what Kix said and Tim said together that we consider our limitation to be at bats. We're going to be investing significantly in the sales and marketing line.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [63]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your next question comes from Mehdi Hosseini from Susquehanna.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David Ryzhik, Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP, Research Division - Associate [64]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is David Ryzhik, for Mehdi. Just wanted to touch on macro and then I had a follow-up. So Charlie, just going back to your Jan quarter outlook. Does it include any kind of softening in the macro outlook. And is it safe to assume that you're factoring in some continued share gains to compensate for that? And I had a follow-up.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [65]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, I would say that we're not including -- we're only -- in terms of defining the guidance for the quarter, we're only looking at what we see in the market and what we're hearing from our customers, pipeline, et cetera. And so if the macro were to take a sudden change from what we saw from last quarter, of course, that's beyond our control, but basically, we incorporated everything that's within our control.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David Ryzhik, Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP, Research Division - Associate [66]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And regarding FlashBlade, you've talked in the past about adding some feature sets to FlashBlade to better compete in the traditional file storage space. Would love to get an update there. And in that context, with regards to Cloud Data Services, you announced Block. Would you consider announcing file services as well?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matt Kixmoeller, Pure Storage, Inc. - VP of Product/Solution Marketing [67]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is Kix. I'll take the first question anyway. Look, we continue to make progress on FlashBlade features nicely. And I think the thing that's been really encouraging to us is just to see repeatability around a number of pretty diverse use cases, so everything from the highest-end AI and analytics on through backup covers a pretty wide swath of the data center. So I think we're feeling good about where we are and as we add more features, of course, we'll just address more and more of the market.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [68]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And then on the file question, we don't like to announce things before we're ready to bring them to market. But you can assume that file's on our radar.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [69]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your next question comes from Eric Martinuzzi from Lake Street.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eric Martinuzzi, Lake Street Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division - Director of Research & Senior Research Analyst [70]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I wanted to discuss the Cloud Data Services offering and kind of the sweet spot for your customer base. My assumption would be, we're kind of talking about the larger customers, the top of the pyramid as I like to frame it. What about the value-added resell as your partners. Is there any training and education because typically down the midsize and smaller end, they like to sell a box, and now we're talking about software and the cloud.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matt Kixmoeller, Pure Storage, Inc. - VP of Product/Solution Marketing [71]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, so this is Kix. I'll start there. First off, as you said, we really wanted to start by going after the most important Tier 1 critical workloads, and we think that's actually a fairly different tact than our competition we started with. And so bringing in the greatest part of the Pure on-prem experience to the cloud and making it seamless was our key goal. Second thing I'd say though is that we approached this really with a channel-first philosophy. We're a 100% channel company, and so we really wanted to take this to market in a way that allowed our channel partners to add value. And so they'll be -- able to transact the software component of this. They'll also be able to resell the Amazon component. And of course, most customers are also buying on-prem, so the channel is really in a unique position to stitch together all of that into one cohesive solution.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [72]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your next question comes from Erik Suppiger from JMP Securities.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Erik Loren Suppiger, JMP Securities LLC, Research Division - MD & Senior Research Analyst [73]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First off, can you discuss the competitive landscape you see for the cloud services? NetApps made a lot of noise there, VMware has its own solution in the cloud, who do you envision going up against? And then, secondly, can you give us any updates on the proportion of shares -- B-class shares with your dual-class listing? Is that starting to approach 10% of your total shares at this point?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matt Kixmoeller, Pure Storage, Inc. - VP of Product/Solution Marketing [74]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So this is Kix, I'll start with the competitive landscape. I think the first thing to say is that, it's still really early. I mean, we're really excited about kind of when we're entering this market because the customer demand is really opening up now and if you look at our competitors out there who have announced kind of dollar traction in this space, we're not starting very far behind. So that's the first thing I'd say. When we look at the ecosystem, we see a lot of natural partners and you mentioned VMware, that's a great one. VMware was actually part of our launch event and we're underscoring our commitment to [any regular] cloud offerings nicely between the 2 companies. And so ultimately, I think the key is to make sure that the on-prem ecosystem partners that we have can transfer to the cloud, and so that customers can take advantage of both on-prem and cloud seamlessly, that's our whole vision.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [75]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And then, Erik, to your question on Class B and 10% threshold, yes, we continue to watch that. That has naturally come down over time as our VCs have rolled through and moved on to great quality public market investors. And so we'll continue to track that closely and, obviously, give updates as we get to that sort of 10% point.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [76]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your last question comes from Nehal Chokshi from Maxim Group.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nehal Sushil Chokshi, Maxim Group LLC, Research Division - MD [77]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your sales and marketing expense is up only 9% year-over-year for the October quarter. And given your tendency to invest in the first half, I would anticipate that it's not going to be up significantly Q-over-Q for the January quarter? So I'm concerned that your sales and marketing line is not going to ramp more than say, 20% year-over-year for fiscal year '19, and that would imply that you will get a significant improvement in sales and marketing productivity going into fiscal year '20. So a, is that the right way to think about that? And b, if so, why should we get the confidence that you will get a big ramp in sales and marketing productivity for your mature sales teams?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [78]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, so Nehal, a couple of thoughts on that question. So first of all, I would say that we are going to continue to invest in sales and marketing. And I wouldn't read any particular quarter. In fact, we continue to increase the pace of hiring here in the middle part of the year given the momentum that we were seeing in the business. So we were overperforming on the revenue side. We were overperforming on the gross margin side and that really enabled us to go even faster than I think we would have thought to begin with. So I think you're seeing some of those investments come to light now, but it does take some time. But we remain very focused on Q4, late Q4 and certainly yearly Q1 hiring in the business. And so that's obviously one of the key jobs and the key focus areas that we're working on here at the company. And on overall seasonality -- seasoning of our existing folks that are on the ground, we continue to like those trends. We've got a lot of sort of room, continue to sort of see those folks grow as they mature into their full tenure here.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David M. Hatfield, Pure Storage, Inc. - President [79]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, Nehal, this is Hat. The only thing I would say is we're hyper focused on continuing to identify the very best salespeople out there and bring them on board. There is a seasonal impact to that, but we're very focused on adding capacity. The reason why I'm confident on the productivity continuing to scale is we are in a great innovation cycle. I mean, our products are just completely differentiated from the rest, and with the Cloud Data Services that was the key remaining piece of the puzzle that we're adding in. The repeat purchases are remaining strong. The competitive win rates are steady and our teams have proven they can sell multiple products. So as I look at the productivity going into next year, I think the trends that we've seen, we're just going to continue.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nehal Sushil Chokshi, Maxim Group LLC, Research Division - MD [80]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do you expect your win rate to go up as these cloud data services mature?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Timothy Riitters, Pure Storage, Inc. - CFO [81]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would actually wouldn't mind seeing our cloud or our win rates actually go down a little bit if we saw more at bats. It's more about getting into more fights, so we're really pleased with the additional routes to market with the GSIs and the FSIs. We're excited about the relationship with IBM and continuing to get into more fights. If we can get into more fights, I really like our chances.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nehal Sushil Chokshi, Maxim Group LLC, Research Division - MD [82]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay. And then, if I may, you said that you had the strongest quarter for FlashBlade, was that on a year-over-year or Q-over-Q basis?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

David M. Hatfield, Pure Storage, Inc. - President [83]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think it's, whichever way you want to measure it. And when we said -- we said the strongest growth quarter, but it was a very strong quarter.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [84]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Very nice year-on-year growth. Very, very nice year-on-year growth.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [85]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And I will now turn the call over to Charlie Giancarlo for closing remarks.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles H. Giancarlo, Pure Storage, Inc. - CEO & Chairman [86]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you all. We're proud of our progress this quarter and especially around our cloud announcement. With the new data-centric solutions we've introduced, customers can work in their private cloud, the Edge, on SaaS or the public cloud and manage it all seamlessly with Pure1. I want to thank the entire Pure team and our global partners for their tireless efforts and dedication this last quarter. And I also want to thank our customers for their business and their trust in us. And I want to wish all of you, on the call, and in the U.S., a very happy and merry Thanksgiving. Thank you.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [87]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This concludes today's conference call. You may now disconnect.