Fifteen years ago on 4 August 2005, at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland, Oregon, Sanjiva Weerawarana, Founder and CEO of WSO2 (which was then known as Serendib Systems), presented how global participation in open-source software development could fundamentally change the software industry’s dynamics. He also spoke about a small group of developers in Sri Lanka and how they were beginning to contribute actively to the Apache open-source world. Sanjiva believed this could prove to be a watershed moment in how open-source software is built.
It was perhaps an audacious idea at the time that many would have dismissed for being beyond the realm of possibility. Back then, open-source contributions came primarily from Europe and the US, and there was limited participation from Asia and developing countries.
But it’s only crazy until you do it, right?
Starting with just 10 employees, WSO2 has since grown into a team of 650 across the globe. The company is headquartered in Sri Lanka and has offices in the US, the UK, Germany, Brazil, and Australia. Today, WSO2’s technologies help more than 500 customers in 70 countries execute over 6 trillion transactions annually, across sectors such as banking and finance, healthcare, transportation, logistics, hospitality, e-commerce, retail, insurance, and government. Some of our key global customers include Wells Fargo, AT&T, Verizon, CBRE, Cisco, eBay, Expedia, Hilton, Motorola, Jaguar Land Rover, Qantas Airlines, Standard Chartered Bank, Nissan, and Honda. In addition, we now work with over 100 software implementation partners all over the world, which has further strengthened the company’s global presence.
Since WSO2’s inception, our products for API management, integration, and identity and access management have consistently gained recognition from prestigious industry analysts, such as Gartner and Forrester, and have been rated as leaders in their respective segments.
All of this has been possible because of the company’s leadership, diverse team, and culture, which emphasizes values such as transparency, inclusivity, and community contribution. Software companies live and die by the teams that create and deliver their products and services, and, from the outset, WSO2 has always been synonymous with the greatest talent in the business, whether they be in engineering, sales, marketing, HR, or finance—all of whom remain fanatical about doing whatever it takes to deliver the best. Throughout WSO2’s journey, the lifeblood of the company, the driving force behind what gets us up in the morning and keeps us awake at night, has always been this relentless obsession to keep on improving.
It is amazing to think about how much the open-source software world has transformed since 2005; we can all be proud of WSO2’s role in bringing about that change. Today, Sri Lanka, which was once viewed as a labor outsource market and not a country of software producers or creators, is one of the largest contributors to open-source software. But, as we look back, it’s impossible not to also look ahead. Over the coming years, we have an even greater opportunity to reach even more people and organizations and help them realize their full potential.
Happy birthday, WSO2. Here’s to many more of making the world a better place through software.