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OpenSource Thought Leader and CollabNet Founder Brian Behlendorf (Part 7)

Posted on Saturday, Apr 12th 2008

SM: Do you have all of the project management capabilities as well?

BB: We are definitely a lot more than just a bug database. We also show you the features customers are asking for. We can let your customers vote on potential features. When your customer base starts ranking their priorities you gain incredible visibility. That feature becomes a key part of release planning and a form of a project management tool.

SM: How about your resource management capabilities?

BB: Resource management is interesting. In terms of personnel management and time management there are some really great products out there and we are not going into that market.

In terms of management of hardware and server hardware we have CUBiT. Last year we introduced CUBiT which is a virtualization environment for building test servers. Globally you may have N number of machines and an administrator will want to give Project Z a certain number of machines and Project Y a certain number of machines. It can drive a tremendous amount of automation and optimization for the developers.

With the advances we have seen in VMware and other visualization technologies we saw a need for a tool to use and plug into the development process in a very predictable and automatable way. That is what CUBiT is designed for.

SM: It has been 8 years now you have been doing CollabNet and you said you have 450 customers?

BB: We had over 200% growth in 2007 over 2006 in terms of new customers. A lot of that has been due to Subversion bringing in companies that are more midsized and taking us on for projects which have 20 or 30 users, all of which have the potential to grow.

The enterprise sale cycle is very long, but there what we have found is that we are starting to get in without people engaging directly with us. Through our site they sign up for a training program or for baseline support and then all of the sudden there are 100 people at the company using one of our products. The company then looks at what other tools CollabNet has, and after we give them some demonstrations we typically have 1,000+ users at that company.

We really do have a transformative effect inside of companies. Companies realize there is strength in numbers with a system like ours. The amount of efficiency and reuse they can drive and the standardization benefit receive is tremendous. Inside an account like American Express we are now the standardized tool. As we are adding features we are talking to them about the types of features to add.

SM: So the CIO of AmEx has blessed you?

BB: Philip Steitz. In some accounts like American Express, who are traditionally extremely conservative in their approach to how they build their infrastructure, there is a visionary who did almost a top-down revision. These companies need someone to completely change the way they operate and the way they build software with partners. They recognize the need to adopt some of the principles that OpenSource has pioneered. That mentality is a perfect fit for CollabNet. That is we have seen a market uptick for us and why we are becoming more mainstream.

SM: What is the size of a larger account from a dollar point of view?

BB: Last year we had more than 5 customers whose annual contract value exceeded $2M. There were another 10 that were $1M or more and the vast majority are $100K or more. Only the bottom 30% are under $100K.

This segment is part 7 in the series : OpenSource Thought Leader and CollabNet Founder Brian Behlendorf
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