„The Open Source market is maturing“

John Pomeroy, Vice President EMEA at Alfresco
John Pomeroy ist bei Alfresco für die EMEA-Region zuständig
John Pomeroy, Vice President EMEA bei Alfresco, gibt uns heute in unserer Blogserie “Nachgefragt” einen Einblick in seine Open Source-Welt.

Who are you and how are you connected to open source?
I am the Vice President of EMEA for the world’s leading “Open Source Content Management Provider” Alfresco. We have enjoyed considerable success since our formation in 2005 and now have a very healthy global business, a significant volume of both community and subscribing customers and a wealth of competent solution providers of which it-novum is an excellent example.

What does open source mean to you?
Open Source was, and will remain fundamental to Alfresco’s success. Our vibrant community has enabled Alfresco to grow from a relatively unknown vendor in the content management market to the viable alternative to the plethora of old legacy ECM systems that most companies are struggling to maintain. The sheer volume of quality developers that are constantly providing suggested functional enhancements and performance/scalability/robustness improvements has enabled us to rapidly catch-up and surpass the old systems both in terms of functionality and enterprise readiness, and will continue to be a driving force behind our “Pace of Innovation”.

Can you describe your “normal” working day?
Not sure there really is such a thing, given the span of EMEA and the breadth of interactions not only with our rapidly growing organisation but also our partners and customers, not to mention press and analysts! However, having been through this kind of rapid growth to market domination before at documentum from 1995-2007, this is a familiar work cycle and having the benefit of hindsight is definitely of benefit when planning your diary and making some of the key expansion decisions.

What has been your most exciting and challenging project so far?
Being in the field most of the time, I am constantly both amazed and delighted by the applications our customers and partners have developed on Alfresco. Ranging from massively scalable architectures such as the one behind a national US Medical Care initiative that was processing 4,500 requests/min and creating 24,000 documents/hour at its peak, to a smaller but lifesaving application used by Fire Services that rapidly delivers plate instructions to iPads on how to dismantle a crashed vehicle quickly to save the lives of its occupants.

What kind of changes do you expect for the Open Source-World in the coming years?
Without doubt the Open Source market is maturing. From the numerous differing business models in the market´s infancy a couple of viable models are emerging. I believe that Alfresco has the right business balance in continuing to publish and support its “Open Source” community version to foster debate, suggested enhancements and code which rapidly drives the products evolution, whilst in parallel providing a licensed and supported version for customers using us in production environments requiring an SLA and assurance from a credible vendor. Subscribing customers benefit enormously from the pace of innovation but in addition have assurance of a fully QA’d product with an upgrade path. I fully expect over time more “Open Source” vendors to adopt this proven model.

How do you think, the Enterprise Content Management market has changed from “yesterday” to “tomorrow”?
There are several dimensions to this question. From a “what is driving adoption” perspective I think we have seen a migration from “Get it under Control” the mantra of the 90’s to “Apply some Business Process” of the 2000’s to today’s market where the first two are a given and the key drivers are around mobility, collaboration and ubiquitous access. This being the case, the ability to be able to action things from a whole range of mobile devices is clearly an essential capability. This in turn leads to looking at cloud technology as a potential delivery vehicle. At Alfresco we are applying equal focus on maintaining both “On-Premise” and “Cloud” capabilities, but uniquely with the ability to synchronise these based on business rules. In EMEA in particular, whilst many companies are not yet “Cloud Ready” they certainly want to be “Ready for Cloud” and our architecture enables them to move certain data to the cloud on an as required basis rather than forcing them into an “All or Nothing” approach which often results in yet another silo unconnected to their other business applications.

A final note on the future, although arguably relevant already, is that of openness. As ease of interoperation plays an ever increasing role in the return on investment and cost of ownership for most applications, this will become an increasingly important factor for companies looking for a hedge against obsolescence. Alfresco as its name suggests is truly “Open”, not only the source but also in its adherence to standards and interoperability. No other ECM package has the range of interfaces and integrations that Alfresco has, either as a supported product or available from our community “Add-Ons” download site. I see this as yet another factor that is driving Alfresco’s rapid growth.