Verari Founder Outlines Strategy After High-Speed Wipeout and Rebirth

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Verari’s shutdown, laid-off employees complained bitterly about Wright’s “big company” ambitions and management style—and it is clear that Driggers has resized the new Verari’s strategy to focus below the Tier 1 server markets dominated by HP, IBM and Dell.

“The strategy going forward is to partner, partner, partner,” Driggers told me. “The way the company started was as a computer consulting business that got close to the clients it served.”

Driggers says he wants to return to that business model by partnering with contract manufacturers, licensing value-added resellers to expand sales channels, and integrating its technologies and products with third-party suppliers. He intends to rehire from 60 to 90 employees—or about 27 to 39 percent of the previous workforce. “We will keep our direct sales force, but it will be a smaller sales force that’s more focused on our core business of working as consultants in developing solutions for customers and who provide lots of support during the install process.”

As for the capital shortage that ultimately undermined the old Verari, Driggers would not identify the other investors who helped him buy Verari out of foreclosure, or say how much money was injected into the new company.

But Driggers said the new owners got almost everything in the liquidation, including factory and corporate assets, and 90-plus percent of existing inventories, “so there’s not a heavy up-front cost for us” to get restarted. He also said, “There was a significant business backlog, so there’s not a lot of costs to cover.” He estimates the new company will be profitable by March. “And obviously,” Driggers added, “we don’t have to service that debt any more—and trust me, that was one of the single biggest costs that we had previously.”

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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