back to article Open source model impacts EnterpriseDB staff

The open source model has taken its toll on a number of EnterpiseDB staff. The company recently laid off some sales workers and under performers, as it realigns its business. According to CEO Andy Astor, EnterpriseDB has enjoyed a strong recent run. “We are in the middle of our best quarter ever,” Astor said. “We are in …

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This Doesn't Add Up

Maybe geeks go the do-it-yourself route but corporates want to see a salesman because they need to understand the support model, and that way they also get latest release/roadmap information. So to me it smells of they're not getting enough corporate response to justify even the sales people they've already got. Chucking out other people rather supports this feeling the revenue's not coming in.

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Linux

EnterpriseDB was never an Open Source business

EnterpriseDB's demise is due their attempt to _close_ the 'Open Source' business model.

They used PostgreSQL's BSD license to create their own closed, proprietary database technology. When they realised nobody wanted to buy it they changed their business model to offer PostgreSQL support and training.

The final signal of EntepriseDB's demise was when they changed their corporate logo to something notable only by its extreme drabness. Manager's hadn't realised Sharks have negative connotations outside of the US.

So long EnterpriseDB. I wish I could say you'll be missed.

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Response from Andy Astor

Let's start with a few objective facts about the state of EnterpriseDB:

1. We're in the final month of our best quarter ever

2. 2007 sales growth over 2006 will be measured in multiples, not percentage points

3. We have nearly 200 customers, compared with about 60 at the end of 2006

4. In just 7 quarters of sales, our repeat business rate is huge

5. Our average sales price is increasing consistently over time

Does this sound like a company in trouble? No, it doesn't seem like it to me, either. So, what's the story?

The story is really simple and really common. EnterpriseDB is a young company, and like every other young company I've ever been involved with, we are fine-tuning our business model. In our case, that meant recognizing that a large direct field sales force was overkill, and that most prospective customers prefer to work with us over the phone, anyway.

So, we had to say goodbye to a few great people, and we also asked a couple of underperforming individuals to leave. At the same time, we also brought on several new key individuals, and are actively hiring for many more (including -- guess where -- inside salespeople).

Like any business, we make plans based on educated guesses about what the market will want, and how we we can best deliver it. We adjust those plans according to actual market feedback. These adjustments include changes in products, service offerings, sales models, and every other aspect of business.

The problem is not that we've made a few changes. The problem would be if we failed to do so.

(This entry is also posted on my blog at andyastor.blogspot.com, where you may find additional comments.)

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Another perspective with some more detail

I wanted to add some more details to what Andy said.

EnterpriseDB now has 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

I go into a lot more detail and try to answer the unasked question "WHY?" in my blog at rodner.blogspot.com.

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Seems unlikely to me

I had heard that they cut like 50% of the company and that they are less than half of the revenue forecast for 2007. It may be thre best quarter ever, but that doesnt mean its a successful business or that the management team will survive.

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Dead Vulture

Suspicious

Wow ! Lots of big customers, awards, good pipeline - hardly seems the reasons for firing good people. Bad ones, fire them anytime. So, what happens when good sales employees get sacked? That's right, management takes over the sales process and, in this case, turns the almost closed deals over to somebody making $15 an hour. Saves the company money that can go to pay the management team that wants to get paid after 2 years of eating noodles. Very, very transparent really....

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Headed for the Dead Pool

Obviously running out of money and not making any. That's the only reason for the cutback.

Trying to sell a pig with lipstick is difficult, and even more difficult when the pig is 100% free, and the thin veneer of lipstick is cheap and nasty. Definitely no point for EnterpriseDB's existence - go for the PostgreSQL pig.

The words of the CEO don't match the reality. Another company dying trying to commercialise PostgreSQL.

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