Edit: ANTs Software seems to have subsequently collapsed, which may be why some of these links broke too.
Jeff Pryslak of Sybase put up a post insulting ANTs Software and the general idea of ANTs-aided Sybase-to-DB2 migration. CEO Joe Kozak of ANTs hit back with a rambling diatribe, which came to my attention because he mentioned my name in it, making some rather fanciful remarks about the “long” relationship I used to have with ANTs Software. (I do recall at least one briefing, plus some attempts from them to buy my services under the condition that I agree to a ridiculous NDA, which I refused to sign.)
This piqued my interest, so — recalling that ANTs is a public company — I decided to take a look at just how successful their software products business is. Well, for the quarter ended March 31, 2010, ANTs’ 10-Q filing says (emphasis mine):
The Company’s revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2010 and 2009 include service revenues representing managed and professional service fees for database and network maintenance and support services. Revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2010 were $1.5 million, an increase of $0.1 million compared to $1.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2009. For the three months ended March 31, 2010, two customers accounted for 96% of the Company’s gross revenues (Company A, 72% and Company B, 24%) compared to three customers that accounted for 97% of the Company’s gross revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2009 (Company A, 57%, Company B, 29% and Company C, 10%). The increase in revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2010 over the comparable period in 2009 is primarily attributable to professional service projects for Company A that were initiated during or subsequent to the three months ended March 31, 2009, partially offset by professional service projects for Company B and Company C that were completed subsequent to March 31, 2009.
Conditional on the Company’s technology developments being successful, the presence of customer demand and the Company having a competitive advantage, future revenues may include sales and licenses of its ANTs Compatibility Server (“ACS”) product and managed services revenue related to existing and new contracts and professional services revenue from pre- and post-sales consulting related to ACS and other database consolidation technologies. Sales of the Company’s first ACS product, which translates from Sybase to Oracle, have been limited due to the structure of the sales arrangement and go-to-market strategy. As such, the Company has structured the go-to-market strategy for the second ACS product differently via the use of an Original Equipment Manufacturer (“OEM”) agreement. Pursuant to the OEM agreement, ANTs is responsible for technology development specifically tailored to the OEM’s needs. The OEM will assume responsibility for marketing, sales and support of the technology on a worldwide basis, while ANTs will be the preferred service provider for migration projects. The Company is currently in the process of developing the second ACS product for a planned announcement and release in mid-2010. The Company intends to develop additional ACS products based on market demand and the availability of resources for development.
In other words, as of four months ago ANTs had had $0 in business in what it says is its main product area, which is pretty much the range the company has been in throughout its complicated history. Kozak’s post did link to a claim that IBM has experienced over 300 migrations to DB2. However, that figure includes Oracle-to-DB2 migrations that having nothing to do with ANTs. And by the way, IBM’s migration strategy is focused largely on ISVs, so the whole Sybase-ANTs dust-up may be about a type of business (direct capture by DB2 of Sybase ASE enterprise customers) nobody’s sales force is seriously pursuing.
True, the Sybase-to-DB2 emulation technology hadn’t been released as of then. Even so, I think it’s a wee bit early for ANTs to be acting as if there’s been any proof it ever has had or will have any significant market success.