Will WANdisco’s ‘Cirata’ rebrand mend its damaged reputation?

WANdisco logo in a white rectangle with rounded corners, against an orange background
(Image credit: WANdisco)

WANdisco has announced plans to rebrand as the embattled data firm looks to shake off a challenging, scandal-fueled year.

The firm confirmed plans to change its name to ‘Cirata’ at its annual general meeting last week.

This change forms part of a “broad and extensive rebranding program” that aims to better reflect the firm’s “updated company vision, values, and future growth plans”.

“The new name is intended to provide a new and positive canvas where the company can build positive brand equity going forward,” the firm said.

This rebranding move from WANdisco follows a difficult year for the cloud migration services provider that included fraud allegations, layoffs, and the resignation of senior company personnel.

In April, chief executive David Richards MBE and chief financial officer, Erik Miller, both stepped down abruptly amidst an ongoing fraud investigation. WANdisco insisted at the time that the resignations were not linked to the probe.

The investigation centered around the discovery of “financial inconsistencies” related to sales and revenue figures. An independent investigation found that figures reported in quarterly earnings reports were inaccurate.

Revenue for 2022 was set at $24 million in initial reports, but was later found to be just $9.7 million. Similarly, sales bookings were reportedly inflated in the figures, with the original $127 million figure being revised down to $11.4 million.

Meanwhile, in May the firm announced plans to cut nearly one-third of its global workforce in direct response to the scandal. The firm said the cuts were part of a “reorganization and review process”.

New beginnings for WANdisco

WANdisco appears intent on drawing a line under the recent scandal as part of this renewed focus. However, questions still remain over whether the firm can overcome what has been a difficult year.

Patrick Kampff, senior strategy director at branding agency Siegel + Gale, told ITPro that while rebranding is a wise move, it risks being perceived as blatantly inauthentic. 

“Rebranding is often a powerful tool for companies looking to distance themselves from past issues and embark on a fresh trajectory toward positive equity,” he said.

“Yet, with its new name, Cirata runs the risk of being perceived as inauthentic in a slap-dash attempt to paint over the cracks of previous mishaps; a name change is merely one aspect of the rebranding journey.”


Abstract image showing a long row of servers disappearing into the distance

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Winning the data-centric digital business in this decade

Learn why Dell is a top consideration for teams looking to leverage power from their data.


Kampff said a key hurdle facing Cirata in the wake of this rebranding will be whether it is open and transparent over past issues. If it fails to do so, then it risks further harming customer trust. 

“It’s crucial for a brand to effectively communicate the rationale behind the change. Cirata should be transparent about its past issues and provide a clear narrative about how it plans to make things right for the future,” he said.

“This is a critical step to ensuring the trust of their customer base is on its side. In situations like this, rebranding works best from the inside out, originating from the core of the company in order to put its best foot forward.”

Chief executive Stephen Kelly appears committed to mending the firm’s reputation, however, noting that the company plans to focus heavily on rebuilding trust through the rebranding program.

“It’s time to focus our collective attention on the future and do everything we can to help drive the growth plan forward,” he said at the AGM. “Renaming and rebranding the company is one step in that journey and we're excited to build Cirata into a category leader.” 

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

For news pitches, you can contact Ross at ross.kelly@futurenet.com, or on Twitter and LinkedIn.