If you asked your average techies what they think of enterprise tech, you’re likely to get a dismissive yawn.
The same can’t be said for investors.
Venture capitalists and Wall Street alike have pumped hundreds of millions of dollars over the last few years into companies making the next generation of hardware and software powering our cloud-based future.
From storage makers that will let you run any application from any device to open-source companies powering the big data revolution, these are the companies that have everyone — Silicon Valley and Wall Street alike — excited for their initial public offerings.
Dropbox has had a wildly successful run over over the last several years.
When Apple failed to acquire the company years ago, Steve Jobs threatened to kill the company outright. They're now valued at a whopping $US10 billion.
Thanks to Google selling Motorola to Lenovo, the company was even able to snag former Googler Dennis Woodside as its first COO back in February.
Founded in 2007, Zendesk is a Web-based customer support and help desk service.
The company has more than 15,000 customers including Box, Groupon, OpenTable, Adobe and many more.
Like Dropbox, the company was able to pick up a major hire thanks to Google and Motorola going separate ways. In January, the company hired Motorola Mobility Vice President of Engineering Gilles Drieu to serve in the same role at Zendesk.
Tintri makes what it calls 'smart hybrid-flash storage.' That means it combines flash storage -- the same kind of storage used in a smartphone or thumbdrive -- with the classic computer hard drives.
The company specialises in storage for virtual desktops -- services that let you run a powerful Windows (or Linux) operating environment from a cheap device like a Chromebook.
Tintri recently raised $US75 million at a $US600 million valuation, which the CEO hopes will be enough to spring the company into an IPO in 2015.
Atlassian offers tools that help enterprise developers track and manage software projects. Comparatively speaking, the company hasn't raised a lot of venture funds -- $US60 million in 2010 from one VC, Accel Partners.
That's because it's profitable. And because it has a unique business model where it doesn't use any sales people. It makes the sales process so easy that customers simply sign up via its website.
Many insiders think it will go public in 2014.
GitHub offers software and a cloud service for hosting and collaborating on open-source software projects.
GitHub's founders famously bootstrapped the company into a profitable business and then shocked the tech world by accepting a $US100 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz in 2012 -- a record for the biggest one-VC software investment at the time.
GitHub has continued to go gangbusters, hosting about 10 million software projects (a number that doubled in 2013 alone) and working in one of the coolest offices in Bay Area where employees enjoy great perks.
Founded by engineers from Google, Yahoo, and Facebook Cloudera is one of the most watched big data startups in the Valley.
It's the company that develops and distributes Hadoop, the open-source software that powers the data processing engines of the world's largest and most popular websites.
Last June, the company tapped Tom Reilly to serve as CEO. Reilly has experience taking companies public -- he previously served as chief executive at ArcSight, an Internet security company, when it went public and then went on to be acquired by HP for $US1.5 billion, a 24% premium.
Pure Storage makes storage for companies that need to move lots of data very quickly, focusing solely on flash-based storage.
The company has raised an exceptionally large amount of money for a storage startup, including a 'strategic investment' last May from In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture capital firm, and a huge $US150 million funding round led by T. Rowe Price last August.
AppDynamics makes an app-monitoring tool that lets companies see how people are using their apps once they download them.
While that doesn't sound like the most exciting technology, it's quickly becoming a must-have tool for every enterprise. The company doubled its growth in the first half of 2013, it says, and is nearing $US100 million in revenue, reports Businessweek. It's testing the waters for an IPO soon.
AppDynamics has raised almost $87 million so far, including $US50 million in 2013.
HubSpot makes marketing software that helps companies use websites to attract customers and make sales.
It's also known for a corporate culture that's so warm, friendly, and productive, an MIT professor has studied it.
HubSpot employees are showered with perks, and the company treats workers as if they were co-founders, CTO Darmesh Shah told Business Insider.
HubSpot has raised $131 million from investors.