While basking in the glow of a fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report that blew away analysts’ expectations, Nutanix Inc. CEO Rajiv Ramaswami is remaining cautious about predicting an end to the supply chain shortages that caused the maker of hyperconverged infrastructure software to cut forecasts for the quarter just three months ago.

The supply of hardware on which customers run Nutanix software is still constrained and likely to continue through the end of the year, Ramaswami said in an interview with SiliconANGLE. “We thought the situation we get worse in Q4 and took that into account,” in initial forecasts, he said. “Q4 was worse but not to the extent we had guided.”

Nutanix’s fortunes were further helped along by several large deals that closed over the past three months. “We didn’t know they would all come in but they did,” he said.  And the softening demand that has bedeviled many other enterprise technology companies this year has so far failed to be an issue.

“We’ve not seen any slowdown in demand for products and we are in a unique position because we have a growing rate of renewals,” he said. “That provides a cushion and a foundation. We’ve proven over the last year that we can book those renewals.”

Although Nutanix doesn’t report renewal rates, it said annual contract value bookings jumped grew 10% in the quarter and 27% for the full year. Annual recurring revenue was up 37% in the quarter and the company achieved positive free cash flow for the first time.

In transitioning from a license to a subscription revenue model, “the most important thing is to make sure customers are adopting and happy with products,” Ramaswami said. “We have a history of a high Net Promoter Scores even as we scale to 22,000-plus customers.”

The company’s promise of a consistent infrastructure stack that works both on-premises and in the cloud has also proven to be a strong selling point as customers eye their transition to a multi-cloud operating platform that has been dubbed the supercloud.

“We have a growing number of customers who are in a hybrid world and want consistency in how they manage it,” he said. “We help them do that.”

It hasn’t hurt that competitor VMware Inc.’s future has been in question since Broadcom Inc. announced plans to purchase the virtualization giant last spring. Although Ramaswami said Nutanix hasn’t taken explicit steps to exploit that uncertainty, the issue is weighing on customers’ minds.

“Customers are concerned about heightened risk and uncertainty about [VMware’s] prices, support and roadmap,” he said. “We tell them we are focused on making things simple for them with flexibility and choice and no lock-in.”

Photo: Nutanix/Twitter

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