Meanwhile, At The Low End, Infobright is in Transition

I’ve been busy with the big boys for the past few weeks, but open-source offerings are in the news and demand comment. Open source DW software provider  Infobright has a new CEO, Mark Burton  and though he’s an “interim,” he’s hands-on and has the pedigree to help get some traction. I discussed Infobright in this post from July. My conversation with then-CEO Miriam Tuerk was very enlightening, but she has since moved on, and this week I spent a very interesting hour with CTO Bob Zurek and Marketing VP Susan Davis discussing status. Infobright is now three and half years old, and first CEOs often move on in such situations: the firm is up and running, has completed a key transition (in this case to open source), and needs to bring in new skills. New CEO Mark Burton has been on Infobright’s board as well as those of firms like Zend, MuleSource, and  Jaspersoft; he was a senior sales exec at MySQL, and before that Informatica, so he brings experience that the firm needs. He knows how to scale a businesses. Mark doesn’t plan to stay as CEO for a long time; the commute from California to Toronto is not his ideal situation.

Infobright remains targeted at the application or business unit data mart use cases, where time to deploy and time to value are the critical issues.  They also will continue a focus on the OEM business,  “We’re the best for an embedded way to deal with DW projects,” says Davis. “With an interface to MySQL, easy download, massive compression, and a favorable cost model, we expect a lot of traction.” And direct sales are moving along well; the company claims to have closed some 20 paid deals in Q3. They assert 25000 downloads in the past year, and are partnering with Pentaho, Jaspersoft, Actuate and soon Talend. Sun was an investor, and Infobright continues to work with the MySQL Sun team; they expect Oracle to be a good steward for MySQL.

Infobright’s current financing round (a year ago) will sustain them for quite a while, so no plans for further financing are in the works at present.  They are dealing with a different go to market process, like other open source providers: identify people who choose to register; mine through that to find the most qualified people to focus your sales efforts on. (Even Infobright’s Enterprise Edition is freely downloadable for a trial period.) They want to refine an end-to-end automated marketing process: capture, use Loopfuse (think of it as Eloqua light) to score leads, feed them to the sales force, let Sales address based on scoring. They have 7 people now on their US sales team and an office in Europe.

Infobright is keeping its name out there in creative ways. Zurek was a driver behind the recent Big Data event in Boston, getting Infobright, Kalido, Expressor and others to sponsor enough to cover costs. On short notice, the event drew over 100 attendees – they actually had to turn some away. Its presence in the open source community, and its clear targeting bide well. It will be interesting to see Burton’s impact, and who is chosen to succeed him in the new year.

Published by Merv Adrian

Independent information technology market analyst and consultant, 40 years of industry experience, covering software in and around the data management space.

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