February 12, 2009

Infobright update

Infobright briefed me, and I thought it would be best to invite them to provide a write-up themselves of what customer and other information they did and didn’t want to disclose, for me to publish.

Here are some of the details regarding how Infobright has progressed since our open source launch in mid-September 2008:

  • Growing customer base. We entered 2008 with about 10 paying customers, and as of now we have over 40. The majority are in online analytics (web, customer analysis etc), telco and financial services, with a few each in retail and government.  Our customers are about equally split between North America and Europe, with a few in Asia Pacific. The pace of customer acquisition has increased significantly since September, as Q4 was our best quarter to date and this quarter will surpass it.
  • Shorter sales cycles. In addition to seeing acceleration in terms of customer acquisition we are seeing a significant decrease in the sales cycle — from 6-9 months pre-open source to 1-3 months now. The beauty of the open source distribution model is that lots of people are using and trying our software without our involvement, so when they express a need for our Enterprise Edition they are already well down the path to a sale. We also believe that our publicly available pricing has been very well received, both in terms of its transparency and in validating our claim that we are the lowest-cost enterprise solution for an analytic database/data warehouse.  (Infobright also told me that, counter-intuitively, first-year revenue from open source customers was greater than in the prior business model, due to larger database sizes.)
  • Open source success. Since we first released our Infobright Community Edition, there have been more than 4,000 downloads. (I asked — those are all of the core database product, not of docs, additional modules, language translations, etc. ) Within a few months, the volume of users and testers had helped us improve the quality of our product, contributing items such as an install kit for a cloud implementation of Infobright and sample use cases for small data volumes where we significantly beat the performance of other databases.  This was an area where we had previously thought we could not compete (small data volumes).  The number of downloads is consistent with what highly successful open source companies experience in their first quarter or two. As a large percentage of the people coming to our infobright.org community are Windows users — about 65% — we expect that our upcoming Windows version will significantly increase the downloads. Most importantly, with the old proprietary model it would have taken years for us to get so many people using, testing, and providing feedback on our product. How many of our competitors, outside of the largest vendors, have had this many people using their software? What that means to us is much more feedback, product direction input and testing has occurred for Infobright than any of the other relative newcomers to the market.
  • New Partners & OEMs. In 2007 and early 2008, most of our focus was getting our product in the hands of early customers to validate the technology and get production references through a very small direct sales team and via referrals from MySQL/Sun. The demand to partner has been very high and we are also attracting a lot of interest from companies who wish to bundle their product with our software.   Since the launch we have added more than a dozen new partnerships and will soon be announcing about 10 new reseller partners with more to come.
  • New Product Features. The latest release of our software, 3.1, adds significant functionality to the product — specifically in terms of adding support for over 100 SQL functions that now run through the Infobright Optimizer rather than defaulting to the MySQL optimizer. (I.e., a lot of queries that used to run badly on Infobright now run quickly.) What that means for our customers is a significant  increase in query performance for all queries using these functions.


2 Responses to “Infobright update”

  1. John Redwood on March 4th, 2009 11:12 pm

    Curt! I expect better from you! Since when do you let vendors write your stories for you? Vague statements like “our best quarter to date” “first year revenue from open source customers is more than the prior business model” both seem to point to a complete lack of revenues prior to the open source model and are basically meaningless.
    Are they paying you so much you couldn’t even ask a few hard questions?

  2. Curt Monash on March 5th, 2009 4:58 am


    It’s a constant struggle to get vendors to disclose hard numbers in areas such as pricing, revenue, and customer base. What’s more, these things are commonly unverifiable at small companies, and of those occasions where I’m pretty sure a small company is telling the truth, a large fraction occur precisely BECAUSE I’m under NDA.

    Sometimes I find it best just to encourage a vendor to disclose what it chooses to in its own words.

    But if you have any follow-up questions — go for it! Infobright execs read here, and may well choose to offer more detail in reply.

    Thanks for your interest,


    PS. I try to keep my pricing simple, so a majority of the vendors in this sector pay me exactly the same amount of money as their competitors do.

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