MuleSource Buys Microsoft, Oracle and Google

In a move that was anticipated by industry insiders for several months now, MuleSource CEO Dave Rosenberg announced at the opening breakfast for MuleCon2008 that MuleSource had made successful hostile bids for Microsoft, Oracle and Google - pending SEC approval, which is expected soon.

As part of his OSS (Open Source Swashbuckling) strategy, Dave laid out his roadmap for each of the three, soon-to-be-absorbed companies.

Microsoft

Microsoft will be dismantled, as it has obviously outlived its usefulness. The main value from the company is in its many developers and .Net community, all of whom will be set free to work on innovative products in the open source realm.

Oracle

Dave admitted that the only reason for the Oracle purchase was to obtain access to the BEA Tuxedo, providing Mule with much needed COBOL connectors. Oracle database business has been undermined in recent years by MySQL for dot-com and Web2.0 applications, PostgreSQL for enterprise transactions, and LucidDB for BI. The applications business is increasingly being owned by Compiere [pronounced in the Italianite way] and OpenBRAVO. Partnerships are being planned with these open source companies.

Google

Google has lived off of open source projects and will now be giving back in a big way. As soon as the acquisition is complete, all Google code will be released under AGPLv3. All Google's products will be redesigned to conform to a new SOA and MDM strategy, to allow for even more efficient enterprise mashups.

Conclusion

What more is there to say? Get ready to ride the Mule, and welcome to the new world order.

|-| &#59;D

OSBC 2008 The Hidden Session

There's a blank space in the agenda for this time slot. A panel has been brought together to discuss if open source companies can survive the M&A. The panel includes Harold Goldberg, CEO, Zend Technologies, Ben Sabrin, VP, Sales & Business Development, Appcelerator, Zack Urlocker, EVP of Products, MySQL, and Rex Wang, VP, Product Marketing, Oracle.

The community, the employees, the product - everything could change.

Zend and MySQL are strong partners, as over 50% of development on top of MySQL is in PHP. Sun acquiring MySQL initially was upsetting, but more from the standpoint that the world needs strong, independent open source companies. The two companies are dedicated to supporting the overlapping communities through the transition and to maintain the direction of MySQL. Sun and MySQL, whether still being in the honeymoon period or indicative of long term cultures, are having open, supportive conversations.

Red Hat and JBoss had no such conversations, and the cultural shift was very negative, though the results may be positive.

Harold brought out that there are three types of M&A: acquire a business, consolidate markets, purchase a piece of technology. Open Source doesn't make this different.

Sleepycat was acquired by Oracle two years ago, and it was announced at OSBC 2006, and thus has been the longest in the transition. Sleepycat personnel were integrated with comparable groups within Oracle, e.g. Sleepycat engineers joined database engineering, marketing joined marketing, sales formed with sales folk from other recent Oracle acquisitions, a new sales group focused on embedded databases and small devices. Though this integration and dispersal happened over many months, and some processes, such as the release cycle are still done the Sleepycat way and may never transition to the Oracle way.

There are gradations of M&A transition & integration policies, ranging from complete absorption into the new culture, to maintaining the acquired company intact while the acquiring company learns the new business. Most acquisitions fail. It's too early to tell how these acquisitions will run, but a lot depends on the M&A experience and competency of the acquiring company.

OSBC 2008 Server Out Network In

I haven't been doing any "live blogging" this OSBC. Yesterday was very hectic. I did some interviews, attended some sessions, and had many great conversations. Today was less hectic, and I even got to pull out the MicroTrak to record a podcast with Brian Reale of ProcessMaker.

I actually got to this panel session early enough to grab a piece of table and set-up my laptop. This panel is "Open Source: Out of the Server, Into the Network" moderated by Larry Augustin, Managing Director, Augustin Ventures and comprised of Artur Bergman, Director of Engineering, Wikia, Fabrizio Capobianco, CEO, Funambol, Kelly Herrell, CEO, Vyatta, and Mark Spencer, Founder and CTO, Digium.

Much of the conversation in the first part of the panel centered around Cisco as a monopoly, pricing of "enterprise class" at three or four orders of magnitude over similar items from the the local electronics store, and adapting Linux for network use. What I heard was the commoditization of the network. The same discussion I was having with the CEO of a communications VAR 10 years ago. At that time, the industry was going through a sea change where the old way was to have system engineering as a free, value-added service as part of the sales process for large, multi-million dollar PBX, EDGE Router, telecomms & networking deals. The new way hadn't been decided yet, but the margins were being forced down to under 15% - commoditization. Today this panel was talking about COTS hardware running specialized open source software to replace network gear and PBXs - commoditization.

But where's the value? Fabrizio hit the nail on the head: community, the power of community and using open source to build a community. Why is there value in community? I think we can sum this up with customization, localization, and common needs.

Larry summarized it as a vertical market coming apart horizontally.

Great session all the way around.

Adaptive Planning at OSBC2008

I met with Bill Soward, President & CEO, and Greg Schneider, Vice President Marketing of Adaptive Planning. Adaptive Planning provides packaged solutions for business performance management (BPM), but I think that the best description of Adaptive Planning is that they provide focused BI tools, both on-demand as SaaS and on-premise as open source software, which is licensed under GPLv2.

Since its founding in 2003, Adaptive Planning has tripled its customer base year over year, and has grown to over 220 customers, with 90% of these being customers of the on-demand SaaS. However, approximately half of the largest customers use the open source on-premise version. Most of these customers are companies with 100 to 2500 employees. In toto, they've taken US$29 million in VC funding.

The open source version is available from SourceForge and SugarForge, and has been downloaded over 65,000 times in 85 countries. They have data that suggests that a significant percentage of these downloads have been by finance folk, not IT. These fits well with our experience that end-users are starving for simple BI tools that simply aren't being provided by IT in many cases. I told the "lake of data" story, and I'll repeat it again. Several years ago, we were giving our benefits of BI pitch to a VP of Marketing at a business unit of a Fortune 100 company. She stopped us and brought in one of her marketeers. This very non-technical fellow had recreated data warehousing using over 100 linked MS Access database applications that he called the "Lake of Data". It was amazing. It worked, and it filled their needs. This story pre-dates any significant open source options for BI, but it is exactly this type of person who might download Adaptive Planning Express.

Their community model is a bit different and I believe that it is very worthwhile. They build their community around partners with specific domain expertise. This expertise may be within a vertical niche such as health or the public sector, or specific geography. One example of this is the Adaptive Planning partner in Japan worked with their customer AKTIO to implement localized version of Adaptive Planning's open source budgeting, planning and reporting tools for 800 seats, on-premise at AKTIO. There are currently 65 partners working on extending Adaptive Planning in different ways.

Adaptive Planning is also looking to partner with other open source companies, particularly in the area of data integration. When Adaptive Planning added reporting tools, they originally looked at using one of the open source tools. At the time however, the existing open source reporting tools were very much for developers, and not for end users. Adaptive Planning is very much about ease of use for the end users, so they decided to build their own dashboarding and reporting set. However, with the maturation of open source offerings over the past two years, Adaptive Planning will likely not build their own data integration tools, but will partner with an existing open source solution.

In many ways, the chief competitor for Adaptive Planning is MS Excel. That is, the end users choose the status quo of slogging their way through Excel workbooks and pivot tables. Bill emphasized that the Adaptive Planning strength is allowing user collaboration on modeling, assumptions and background information in a secure, controlled way.

SourceSense and Microsoft Apache POI

I'm having lunch with Gianugo Rabellino, who is very excited about the new partnership between his company SourceSense, the leading open source integrator in Europe, with the little known &#59;) software vendor from Redmond Washington in the USA. The partnership centers on a new top-level Apache project, Apache POI, which is the open source file format reader and writer to create, edit and read Microsoft Office formats used in Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Visio, and supports Open XML.

Microsoft provides the detail in a press release, Microsoft and Sourcesense Partner to Contribute to Open Source, Apache POI to Support Ecma Office Open XML File Formats. Congratulations to Gianugo and Sourcesense.

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The TeleInterActive Press is a collection of blogs by Clarise Z. Doval Santos and Joseph A. di Paolantonio, covering the Internet of Things, Data Management and Analytics, and other topics for business and pleasure. 37.540686772871 -122.516149406889

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