Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Responding to the Register Article

I have not been blogging a while, simply because I have been so busy with work and family commitments that this site has suffered.  But, given the news publish today by the Register in the UK, I thought it was time I used this blog to talk about EnterpriseDB in a little more detail.

By now, I am sure that you all have seen the article.  If not here it is.

So, let me respond.  As Andy stated we are in our best quarter ever.  That is true.  It is also true that we have already far surpassed last year's sales.  In fact, we are calculating our growth in multiples as opposed to percentages. In 2006 we did millions of dollars of sales.  2007 will be x times that number.  By whatever standard you measure sales growth, that is fantastic.

Next, we now have almost 200 customers in less than 2 years of sales!  Some of the names we have talked about. Sony Online Entertainment, Sun, Vonage and FTD are the most notable.  Others are less known but just as significant such as:  Tomax, FortiusOne, Ticketline, Agri Stats, Atomogy, Proxicom, and xPrima.

And there are some we have yet to announce including:

  1. One of the Top airlines in the US has built their entire loyalty program on EnterpriseDB Advanced Server
  2. A $20 billion dollar public sector solution provider contracted EnterpriseDB for a multitude of large projects
  3. A leading provider of IPTV that boasts over 32,000 subscribers and 300 channels
  4. EnterpriseDB replaced Oracle as the database for a leading provider of Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) software
  5. The world's leading provider of mammography software for the most of the world's mammography machines, swapped out SQL Server for EnterpriseDB.
  6. Leading GPS monitoring company replaced MySQL with Postgres and EnterpriseDB and now processes 200,000 transactions/day and volumes of reads
  7. The world's number one online broker uses EnterpriseDB to support their Postgres implementation
  8. A publicly-traded, billion dollar insurance and financial services company uses EnterpriseDB for their Postgres support
  9. The world's leading high performance networking provider uses EnterpriseDB Advanced Server
  10. A social networking provider with over 50 million worldwide members uses EnterpriseDB for their Postgres support

And that is just the customer news.  There are so many other things going on including:

  • EnterpriseDB beat Oracle 11g for Best Database Award at LinuxWorld.  We have won this award EVERY year since our inception.
  • EnterpriseDB Advanced Server now works with both Cognos and Business Objects.
  • Our latest beta release includes more Oracle compatibility including over 2 dozen additional system views, bulk array and bulk binding capabilities and support for Oracle hints
  • EnterpriseDB contributed the single most-complex, and significant change to PostgreSQL in almost a decade.
  • EnterpriseDB Advanced Server is now qualified on AIX and z/Linux from IBM
  • EnterpriseDB is now qualified on HP-UX from HP

And, since I am the marketing guy, I will give you some insight there as well.  As Curt Monash can tell you, we are seeing huge demand for EnterpriseDB.  Our lead generation activities are resulting in a pipeline that is better than we have ever had.  And the types of companies that are in our pipeline include major ISVs and Fortune 50 companies from just about every vertical.

In 2007, we also started a regular set of training classes for both EnterpriseDB Advanced Server and Postgres.  They are very popular and almost always filled to capacity.

So, I have yet to answer the question that everyone is asking after reading the Register article.  "Why, then, did you get rid of some sales people?"

Here is my take (and if I haven't stated it before, I DO NOT SPEAK FOR ANDY OR ENTERPRISEDB.  THESE ARE MY OWN THOUGHTS.)

As with every start-up, you start out with a business model that is based not on real customers, but on the promise of real customers.  After a year of business, you evaluate what you learned and how you attracted your customers and you adjust.  You do that every year and every company does it.  The difference is that it is not as apparent with big companies like IBM who have been in business for years. 

So, what did we learn?  We learned that we are starting to turn a corner.  In the beginning we had no track record and just about every single deal required an on-site visit to a prospect to make them comfortable with this "start-up".  Now, we have the customers and references to back our claims.  And, we have learned a few things, mainly:

  • We do not need to visit every customer
  • Most customers are buying a smaller license up-front and then coming back in 1-3 quarters to buy a much larger license.

This is significant and why we are focusing more on inside sales and less on the outside sales.  Companies are able to download and test EnterpriseDB without a sales person.  They get comfortable with the software and make a small purchase to "try it out" in a non mission critical environment.  They make these purchases via the web or over the phone.  Shortly after the realize how good Advanced Server really is, they come back and buy a lot more.  At that point, we may send a sales person to visit them.  Its not that we don't care about them until this point.  Its that they don't need to be bothered with a dog and pony show when they can just go get the software themselves and test it and our support organization for FREE.

Make sense?  It does to me.

So, from a marketing standpoint, I want to get more companies buying the smaller licenses and coming back to purchase a larger license faster and we need a bigger inside sales force to do that.  Then, when a sales person does make a visit, they are going to a very well qualified customer, not just a lead.  Their job is streamlined, as is the business model for EnterpriseDB.

And the customer is happy because they can call us when they need us and we aren't hounding them with direct sales guys always trying to schedule a meeting.


I know this was a long post, but I hope you read the whole thing because this is important to me and should be to you as well if you care about EnterpriseDB for your business.  Besides, I haven't posted for a while, so I am making up for all of it at once...

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