Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Leaving EnterpriseDB

As some of you may know, I am leaving EnterpriseDB, the company that Denis Lussier and I founded 5 years ago. In this entry, I will offer some insight into the thought process behind this change, and an idea of future directions, both for the company and for me.

A couple of years ago, EnterpriseDB’s Board of Directors (myself included) made a judgment that the company had an immediate opportunity to scale into a sizable, industry-changing organization. To that end, we set out to attract a leader with the talent and track record to accelerate that transformation, and were very fortunate when Ed Boyajian accepted that challenge. As you may know, Ed was previously Red Hat’s general manager for North America. During his Red Hat tenure, Ed was a key member of the team that built the world’s largest and most profitable open source software business.

Ed and I have worked closely over the past year to build a more mature and scalable organization, both domestically and internationally markets. I am very pleased to report that EnterpriseDB is now widely recognized as one of the world's leading open source database companies, with nearly 2 million annual downloads, hundreds of paying customers, the confidence of leading investors and partners, and a first-rate executive team. With the transformational work largely complete, the time has come for me to move on, which Ed and I have been jointly planning quite some time.

What’s next for me? Simply put, I don’t know yet. I will spend the next couple of months speaking with and learning from as many people as I can, as I give thought to my next adventure. I would certainly welcome the opportunity to chat with any of you who are reading these words.

While I can’t say for sure what direction I’ll choose, it’s likely to involve an enterprise software business in one of the areas of my passion for the last 20 years, including:

    * Application development and infrastructure software
    * Open source, standards, and interoperability
    * Data publishing and delivery

Regardless of where I land, I will not be far from EnterpriseDB. I will remain involved with several strategic projects for the foreseeable future, and am deeply committed to the company’s success.

As I begin my exploration of potential next steps for me, I will offer occasional industry observations in this space. Stay tuned and stay in touch!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why would EDB license its technology to IBM?

Some people have asked why we would license our technology to a competitor. It's probably worth saying a few words here on this topic.

First, while there is some overlap between our target customers, IBM typically targets the very largest companies in the world, while EDB is focused primarily on the mid-market. Generally speaking, in other words, DB2 and Postgres Plus do not compete very much.

With the competition issue out of the way, licensing the technology to IBM (or potentially other vendors) makes sense for EDB for three main reasons:

1. It validates the strength and uniqueness of EDB’s compatibility solutions,
2. It demonstrates the demand for compatibility that other database vendors are experiencing, and
3. It establishes an ecosystem of invested partners who will work with EDB to make the technology even stronger over time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Significance of the IBM Licensing Partnership

At the highest level, the IBM license demonstrates the market demand for database compatibility and validates the strength of EDB’s solutions.

The news is also especially important in light of Oracle’s announced acquisition of Sun. With MySQL now under its control, Oracle has near-monopoly power in the database market, both in the proprietary and open source spaces. It is more important than ever that customers have mechanisms that allow them to choose freely the database solution that is best for them.

Compatibility = Choice

Database Compatibility = Customer Choice

It's rare that the database industry gets two major headlines in a week. Yesterday, of course, Oracle announced it was buying Sun (and therefore MySQL). But today's news is closer to home, and something I've been waiting to talk about for a long time...

Today, EDB and IBM disclosed that IBM has licensed EDB's compatibility technology and has embedded it in the latest release of DB2. This is the same technology EDB uses in Postgres Plus Advanced Server to deliver deep Oracle compatibility, which provides customers with the ability to freely choose their database.

And that's really what compatibility is all about: Customer Choice.

Customers who are currently locked-in to Oracle -- with proprietary syntax, stored procedures, packages, etc. -- are now free to continue to run their applications on Oracle...or they can use Postgres Plus for a fraction of the cost...or they can use DB2, which may bring other advantages, such as adherence to evolving corporate standards.

The point is that Compatibility provides Choice. It forces databases to compete on a level playing field, and allows customers to choose the most appropriate environment for themselves.

More on this announcement later...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

DOA - Not

My friends tell me they're about to declare my blog dead and inactive. Guilty as charged. But not for long...

It's been a wild 9 months, and I'll be reporting in on some of my travels and activities. But first, let's spend some time in the present. It's not often that you get two major headlines in the database space in a single week...

You've already seen the Oracle-Buys-MySQL announcement. More to come tomorrow...