X-bit labs: Thank you very much for agreeing to meet with us today and to share some of the insider info on Supermicro, its business model, and plans for the future. I would like to start with the history of Supermicro Company, how it was founded. Does your company have any Chinese roots? How was it developing during the past years?
Charles Liang: First of all I would like to say that I appreciate your visiting us and it’s a pleasure for me to interview with you.
Supermicro was founded in 1993, so our company is now a little over 10 years old. Back then the PC industry was quite saturated and one needed to have very special technology to break through. Any company that wanted to survive in the hardware industry had to manufacture offshore. But I believed that high quality products delivered in an earlier timeframe could help us get there. Indeed, to date our growth rate varies between 30 to 150% each year without any exception.
X-bit labs: What market do you consider to be the biggest for Supermicro right now?
Charles Liang: High-end server solutions for the enterprise market, with a wide variety of applications. Our vertical markets currently include high performance computing for research labs, education, and government, as well as applications in security and medical spaces.
X-bit labs: Why did Supermicro decide to go to the server market? What determined the decision to focus on this type of computer products?
Charles Liang: I wanted to use my engineering background, where I felt like I could contribute more, especially in designing quality servers. I found that working with servers required me to care more about quality, performance and features. That’s why my company focuses on designing and building superior quality servers. This trend will continue for sure.
X-bit labs: If you look at many companies out there, they try to expand their product lines. After being successful in a certain field for a while, they then try to apply their experience and knowledge to win some of the market in the close-by fields as well as in completely different market segments. What about Supermicro?
Charles Liang: Everyday we discover new challenges and exciting opportunity in this space. Today we ship only about 45K server units per month, and we envision growing that number to about 150K units per month within the next few years. We’re also focusing on lowering customer TCO and expanding our product lines. Perhaps one day you might see a Supermicro notebook, or a Supermicro TV, there is that possibility of course! :)