Growing the Business

As you probably know already, we announced a $6.5M funding round a couple of months ago. Along with that we announced the opening of an office in Palo Alto, CA and then soon after that we hired a new VP of Marketing and a Director of Sales for Europe. On the product side, we recently released a platform-wide update – simultaneously releasing new versions of all 12 of our existing WSO2 Carbon based products and throwing in two more (WSO2 Message Broker and WSO2 Complex Event Processing Server) for good measure. If you have ever written any complex software then you know it’s no mean task to release 14 products at once.

This week we are releasing a new version of WSO2 Stratos, the world’s only 100% open source PaaS offering which meets real enterprise needs, as well as WSO2 StratosLive, our own hosted service version of it. imageStratos and StratosLive are going out with ALL 14 of our Carbon based products — yes you can sign up and instantly get your own (virtual) app server or ESB or message broker or whatever just like that. Try releasing the world’s most advanced open source PaaS and deploying all of that into production in an elastically scalable environment all at once. Yep, our engineering rocks.

The engineering beauty of our stuff will appeal to geeks: all WSO2 Carbon products and the corresponding WSO2 Stratos services version of them are in fact, exactly the same codebase. We “simply” run as a single tenant in the Carbon case and as a multi-tenant, self-serviced, elastically scalable system in the Stratos case. No one, NO ONE, but us has ever built a single enterprise middleware stack that provides a single environment that scales from traditional on-premise deployment to private cloud deployment to public service like that. We know all of our competitors are trying to do it, but most are AT LEAST 5 years away. Eat our dust guys.

The launch of StratosLive (which has been available in beta since late last year) marks our foray into the cloud service provider space as well. In other words, we are no longer just a software manufacturer but we provide it as a service too. I believe this is a key part of all open source businesses in the future — write and release software, and also host it for others to use. Many (old world) pundits say one organization can’t do both well — we are simply going to prove them wrong.

MonicaWith the product engineering (and now online services) side kicking butt, our marketing and sales engine is also running in high gear. With Monica coming in to drive marketing, with Jonathan’s renewed focus on business development and with Paul Broekhoven joining Lavi’s sales machine we are growing rapidly on the business side too. We’ve been pretty much doubling our business each year and of course that becomes difficult as the numbers become larger (and eventually impossible) but we believe we can do that at least for the next few years. That’s partly because of our business model — a very large portion of Paulbour revenues are out of recurring production support meaning we don’t start at zero every year, and partly because our products are soooo much better than the incumbents it’s quite easy to get in through the door. It’s very hard for a consulting and services business to grow like that but it is possible for a business like ours to do it.

We’re also looking for a few fantastic people to join our team! In California we are looking for a Business Development person to work with Jonathan on OEM and channel business. We’re the only enterprise middleware company in the world that has a comprehensive, 100% open source stack under the world’s best-loved open source license (Apache License v2.0) and of course the only one to have a PaaS platform too. Because we built the platform from the ground up, it’s intended by design to be embedded and can be used to whatever extent that makes sense for particular scenarios, thanks to Carbon’s component architecture of course. For example, if you’re a VAR selling a business application as a webapp on IBM WebSphere or Oracle WebLogic and you need to convert that into a SaaS offering (too), you can OEM Stratos and do it in a terrifically short time plus have a business model that is a lot more in your favor than now. Plus you can continue to sell it as a webapp too.  (Interested? Drop us a line.)

Our customers are often fellow technical geeks who are trying to figure out the best way to solve business problems. Our primary strategy to reach them is with education and information on how our stuff can help them technically. We repeatedly hear stories of how using the WSO2 stack results in a rapid or trivial solution in comparison to IBM or Oracle or any of the other big guys or even the niche open source players. We are looking for a group of people to help amplify that information and evangelize our platform to fellow techies. Location immaterial. Your mission is to take our products and help others understand how to solve their problems with them. You of course will influence the product teams to make sure that ours remains the best approach for particular problems! In the process, we will help you build your personal brand to become a technology rock star. Interested? Drop me a line — but no recruiters or head hunters of any sort please — I will only hire someone who individually WANTS to work with us!

In general my hiring philosophy is not driven out of published open positions. I look at the person who wants to work with us and together we try to figure out what best aligns WSO2’s objectives and their personal objectives. If such an alignment is possible then we move forward. The other key thing for me is passion and commitment — you must have something that drives you, some war you feel the urge to fight, some battle you feel the need to win, some vision that drives you — working in WSO2 must help you achieve those objectives. Otherwise you shouldn’t work in WSO2! Of course hard work is part of the deal – we’re in a classic David vs. Goliath battle and that is not going to be won without amazing amounts of Sanjivahard work. We do play hard too, but we work hard and intensely. Ask anyone who works here. Bottom line is that someone who wants to learn something and do stuff can make it happen. But it is impossible to teach someone to be passionate and committed; that must come from inside you, from deep in your heart.

Strap on; WSO2 is on a roll…

Sanjiva Weerawarana, WSO2 CEO
Sanjiva’s blog: http://sanjiva.weerawarana.org/