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Pure Storage, Inc. (NYSE:PSTG)
Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call
Nov. 19, 2018, 5:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

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. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. If you would like to ask a question during this time, press "*1" on your telephone keypad. If you would like to withdraw your question, press "#". I will now turn the call over to Matt Danziger, VP of Investor Relations. You may begin your conference.

Matt Danziger -- Vice President of Investor Relations

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 reconciliation 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 earnings 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 the property of Pure Storage.

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

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

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 a 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 ATIs 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 a 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 Hatfield -- President

Thanks, Charlie. Q3 was indeed a strong quarter for Pure. We not only continued 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 are 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 of 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 GSIs 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 two 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 is highly differentiated when compared to our competition and is now operating at significant scale. Specifically, FlashBlade has 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 three of the Top 5 players in this industry as customers, including both Synopsis 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 two-thirds 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 trade-offs 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 IET are two 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?

Tim Riitters -- Chief Financial Officer

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 points 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 $35.4 million, or $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 $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 $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 $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 three 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 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 8% and 12%, or 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

At this time, I'd like to remind everyone in order to ask a question, press "*1" on your telephone keypad. We will pause for a moment to compile the Q&A roster. Your first question comes from Mark Murphy from J.P. Morgan.

Mark Murphy -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Yes, thank you and congrats on the strong results. 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 renewals in there or is it possibly something else, like the early traction of some of your subscription offerings like the Evergreen Storage Service?

Tim Riitters -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, 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 three-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 Murphy -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Thank you. 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, etc. and just how it's going to fit overall into your product roadmap?

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. 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. And so Amazon was very excited about that, as we were, not just for that use case but also for the ability to dedupe backup 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.

Mark Murphy -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Thank you very much.

Operator

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

Alex Kurtz -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thanks, guys. Lots to unbundle here. First, congrats on a great quarter and this product launch today. Hat, our channel work indicated also strong momentum in U.S. fed and cloud AI. So, I was hoping you could provide any additional color on the order flow in these two 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, as we start to look out into next year.

David Hatfield -- President

Hey, Alex. Yeah. No, we're 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 gonna continue the focus there. One quarter doesn't make a trend so we're gonna 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.

Tim Riitters -- Chief Financial Officer

And, Alex, this is Tim on your second part of the question. We're obviously pleased with Q3 in terms of the overperformance on the bottom line. But 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 overperformance on the bottom line and I think about that as almost a multiplier of both revenue overperformance 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 two numbers multiply and typically drop right to the bottom line in any given quarter.

And so I wouldn't read that overperformance 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.

Alex Kurtz -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from Katy Huberty from Morgan Stanley.

Katy Huberty -- Morgan Stanley --Analyst

Thank you. Good afternoon. Congrats on the great quarter. A couple of questions from me. The conversation around hybrid multi-cloud offerings is picking up momentum, particularly with the traditional data center infrastructure players. So, it would 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.

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

Right. Well, we think we're 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 Pure One cloud analytics and management to the entire spectrum of our product.

And then, third, this was purpose-built for the cloud from Day 1. This was -- in terms of the Cloud Block Storage, that's our software running natively on an AWS infrastructure. And this was something we were able to bring to market quite quickly. And then, finally, Flash to Flash to Cloud, as I mentioned in an earlier comment, that's a unique offering, a first of its kind, where customers can get the best of what they're looking for, which is low-cost, long-term storage plus very high rapid recovery from events that occur onsite for them. And we think that's a first example of anything like that. So, we think we're highly differentiated.

Katy Huberty -- Morgan Stanley --Analyst

Thank you. That's helpful. What's the penetration of Evergreen [audio cuts out] today and where do you think that might go over a three-year time period?

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

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

Katy Huberty -- Morgan Stanley --Analyst

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

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

Terrific. I'm gonna give that to Hat.

David Hatfield -- President

Yeah, 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 nice uptick in GSI. We saw some nice multimillion wins within healthcare as well. So, we see it as being incremental to the overall mix and saw some nice traction. It's still early days so 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.

Katy Huberty -- Morgan Stanley --Analyst

Great. Thank you so much.

Operator

Your next question comes from Jason Ader from William Blair.

Jason Ader -- William Blair -- Analyst

Yeah, thanks. Just a housekeeping one for Tim on the accounts receivable. It 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?

Tim Riitters -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, Jason, a couple of things. So, on DSO this quarter, I mentioned in the earlier question from Mark on deferred revenue, our support contract 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 gonna 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 given our balance sheet, that's an easy trade-off as we continue to grow the business.

Jason Ader -- William Blair -- Analyst

There wasn't any particular backend-loading or linearity skewed to the end of the quarter that drove that up?

Tim Riitters -- Chief Financial Officer

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 are happy to see.

Jason Ader -- William Blair -- Analyst

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?

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, no. I think, to some extent, the results, Jason, speak for themselves. 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 out, 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 the jitteriness of the market and so possibly expecting something but we really didn't see it. So, I think, as I said, I think the results speak for themselves. We executed well and didn't see a lot of macro yet.

Jason Ader -- William Blair -- Analyst

Okay. Great. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from Aaron Rakers from Wells Fargo.

Aaron Rakers -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Yeah. Thanks for taking the questions. I've got two, if I can, and then also congratulations on the quarter. 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 Hatfield -- President

Hey, 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 a multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategy. And so I think mostly what it does to start is just increases relevancy. It expands our strategic conversation with senior executives in their organizations so we think that's positive for our overall portfolio, No. 1.

No. 2, as we move forward, to be able to monetize the Cloud Block Storage as a software subscription, independent of AWS -- they'll 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, we're really agnostic. We want to provide a complete solution for them for multi-cloud. Kix, anything to add to that?

Matt Kixmoeller -- Vice President of Products

Yeah, I would just add the fact that I think we're really seeing great signs of feedback from both traditional enterprise customers as well as cloud-native type customers. 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 built into 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 Rakers -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

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 on 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.

Tim Riitters -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, 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 last quarter as well and 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, as 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 materials might be.

Aaron Rakers -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Perfect.

David Hatfield -- President

Aaron, this is Hat. 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 down 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.

Aaron Rakers -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Thank you very much.

Operator

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

Wamsi Mohan -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

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

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

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 are associated with 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 -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Okay. Thanks for that. And as a follow-up, it 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? Thank you.

Tim Riitters -- Chief Financial Officer

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

Wamsi Mohan -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Okay. Thanks a lot.

Operator

As a reminder, to ask a question, press "*1" on your telephone keypad. The next question comes from Simon Leopold from Raymond James.

Simon Leopold -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Great. Thank you for taking my question. I wanted to get a quick clarification and then 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 I just wanted to understand whether there were some particular factors that we should understand leading to that sequential decline, if there's 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 milestones. I understand you're not prepared to give us a dollar forecast but are there certain metrics or milestones that we should look for to help us validate your progress? Thank you.

Tim Riitters -- Chief Financial Officer

So, Simon, I'll take the first question on gross margin. On gross margin, you're absolutely right, the gross margin guide for Q4 of 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 to. And so that's why we guided what we did and 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.

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, and on the second part of the question about 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, as we announced in the launch, Cloud Snap is available today. StorReduce we announced would be available in the first half and Cloud Block Store toward mid-next year. Two of the three are subscription-based services. So, as you know, with subscription-based service, we'll get contracts but it'll 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 a good take-up of them.

Simon Leopold -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from Rod Hall from Goldman Sachs.

Rod Hall -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Yeah. Hi, guys. Thanks for the question. 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 an 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.

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

Well, again, as you know, we're not giving out specific guidance on 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 Hatfield -- President

Yeah. The only thing, Rod, 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 longtime stronghold for the file market for our competitors and so to have three of the 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, the size of deals, and the attach for our global sales teams, all of those are trending in the right direction. So, very encouraging.

Rod Hall -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Okay. And maybe on FlashArray. 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 two 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.

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Rod, I think the last time we commented on that was five 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 the overall sales are growing at 34% year-over-year just this quarter alone. So, we're on a very good growth rate. FlashBlade is a substantial portion of that.

Tim Riitters -- Chief Financial Officer

That other thing -- maybe I'd add one more thing as well, Rod. This is Tim. On FlashBlade, I think what's exciting to us is 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.

Rod Hall -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

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

Matt Kixmoeller -- Vice President of Products

Yeah, absolutely on track. This is Kix, by the way. Overall, I'd just say, the NVMe strategy is working. Over two-thirds of our shipments are now NVMe and we're on track to ship the final piece of the puzzle with NVMe over Fabrics 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.

Rod Hall -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Great. Thanks, Kix. Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

Operator

Your next question comes from Andrew Nowinski from Piper Jaffray.

Andrew Nowinski -- Piper Jaffray -- Analyst

Great. Thank you and congrats on the Cloud Data Services launch today. I just want to ask, the new customer adds that you've had have been fairly 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 Hatfield -- President

Yeah, Andy, Dave Hatfield. We actually feel great about the adds. It's right in line with our expectations. We're adding five 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 gives us opportunities to enter into different buying centers and different usage base contracts may accelerate things as well. It's still early days but we were really pleased with what we saw in the GSI segment and in the healthcare segment with ES2 in the quarter.

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

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 cloud companies and we're seeing that start to occur 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 Nowinski -- Piper Jaffray -- Analyst

Okay. Very good. And then with regard to the product growth at 31% year-over-year this quarter, I think. It seems fairly, modestly above what NetApp just reported for their All-Flash revenue. Can you just give us an update on the competitive landscape and where you're taking share, considering your rate is well above the market growth rate? Thanks.

David Hatfield -- President

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

Matt Kixmoeller -- Vice President of Products

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

Andrew Nowinski -- Piper Jaffray -- Analyst

Great. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from Stephen Fox from Cross Research.

Stephen Fox -- Cross Research -- Analyst

Hi. Good afternoon. Just one 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 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 a similar investment first quarter of next year as you had this year? Thanks.

David Hatfield -- President

Hey, Steve, this is Hat. Yeah, productivity is continuing to improve the way that we set out and in line with expectations. Our latest cohorts or 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.

Stephen Fox -- Cross Research -- Analyst

And in terms of investments in sales next year?

Tim Riitters -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. 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 and they're coming off good years at 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 gonna see that dynamic continue to play out. We've done it for three or four years now.

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

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

Stephen Fox -- Cross Research -- Analyst

Great. Thanks so much.

Operator

Your next question comes from Mehdi Hosseini from Susquehanna.

David Ryzhik -- Susquehanna International Group -- Analyst

Hi, thanks. This is David Ryzhik for Mehdi. Thanks for taking the question. I just wanted to touch on macro and then I had a follow-up. So, Charlie, just going back to your January 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.

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I would say that we're not including -- 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, etc. And so if the macro were to take a sudden change from what we saw last quarter, of course, that's beyond our control but, basically, we incorporated everything that's within our control.

David Ryzhik -- Susquehanna International Group -- Analyst

Sure, thanks. 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. I would love to get an update there. And in that context, with regard to Cloud Data Services, you announced Block. Would you consider announcing file services as well? Thanks so much.

Matt Kixmoeller -- Vice President of Products

Yeah, 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 NAI and analytics on through backup covers a pretty wide swath of the data center. And 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.

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

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 is on our radar.

David Ryzhik -- Susquehanna International Group -- Analyst

Great. Thanks so much.

Operator

Your next question comes from Eric Martinuzzi from Lake Street.

Eric Martinuzzi -- Lake Street Capital Markets -- Analyst

Yeah. 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 resellers? Your partners? Is there any training and education? Because typically down in the mid-size and smaller end, they like to sell a box and now we're talking about software and the cloud.

Matt Kixmoeller -- Vice President of Products

Yeah. 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 really different tack than our competition 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. The second thing I'd say, though, is that we approached this really with a channel-first philosophy. We're 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.

Eric Martinuzzi -- Lake Street Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thanks.

Operator

Your next question comes from Erik Suppiger from JMP Securities.

Erik Suppiger -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

Yeah, thanks for taking the question. First off, can you discuss the competitive landscape you see for the cloud services? NetApp 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 -- Vice President of Products

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 a kind of dollar fraction in this space, we're not starting very far behind them. 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 integrate our cloud app friends nicely between the two 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.

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

And then, Erik, to your question on Class B and 10% threshold, yeah, 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.

Erik Suppiger -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

Very good. Thank you.

Operator

Last question comes from Nehal Chokshi from Maxim Group.

Nehal Chokshi -- Maxim Group -- Analyst

Yeah. Thanks. 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?

Tim Riitters -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, so, Nehal, a couple 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, early Q1, hiring in the business. And so that's obviously one of the key jobs and key focus areas that we're working on here at the company. And, overall, seasoning folks of our existing folks that are on the ground, we continue to like those trends. We've got a lot of room to continue to sort of see those folks grow as they mature into their full tenure here.

David Hatfield -- President

Yeah, Nehal, this is Hat. I mean, the only thing I would say is we're hyper focused on continuing to identify the very best sales people 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're in a great innovation cycle. Our products are just completely differentiated from the rest and with the Cloud Data Services 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 Chokshi -- Maxim Group -- Analyst

Do you expect your win rates to go up as these Cloud Data Services mature?

David Hatfield -- President

I actually wouldn't mind seeing 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 Chokshi -- Maxim Group -- Analyst

Okay. And then if I may, you said that you had the strongest quarter for FlashBlade. Was that on a year-over-year or a Q-over-Q basis? And that is my last question. Thank you.

David Hatfield -- President

I think it's whatever way you want to measure it.

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

When we said the strongest growth quarter, but it was a very strong quarter.

Tim Riitters -- Chief Financial Officer

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

Nehal Chokshi -- Maxim Group -- Analyst

Okay. Thank you.

Operator

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

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

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 Pure One. 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

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

Duration: 55 minutes

Call participants:

Matt Danziger -- Vice President of Investor Relations

Charlie Giancarlo -- Chief Executive Officer

David Hatfield -- President

Tim Riitters -- Chief Financial Officer

Matt Kixmoeller -- Vice President of Products

Mark Murphy -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Alex Kurtz -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Katy Huberty -- Morgan Stanley --Analyst

Jason Ader -- William Blair -- Analyst

Aaron Rakers -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Wamsi Mohan -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Simon Leopold -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Rod Hall -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Andrew Nowinski -- Piper Jaffray -- Analyst

Stephen Fox -- Cross Research -- Analyst

David Ryzhik -- Susquehanna International Group -- Analyst

Eric Martinuzzi -- Lake Street Capital Markets -- Analyst

Erik Suppiger -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

Nehal Chokshi -- Maxim Group -- Analyst

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