So as you may have picked up Jboss recently signed a reseller agreement with DELL. We are happy with this deal :) This is a very significant step for our organization.
First things first, I would like to congratulate Tom Leonard, who signed this deal on our behalf for the fantastic job he has done. DELL is notoriously hard to crack, our proprietary competition knows that and TomL brought all his experience and talent to bear to close the deal in time for LinuxWorld. That and the proverbial camping equipment in their corporate headquarter lobby. It is a trophy deal and we are all truly proud and grateful. We are DELL's *exclusive* provider of middleware. I like the sound of THAT.
The significance of this didn't go un-noticed by many in the press, basically that Jboss has now signed almost every major hardware vendor on the planet. HP, Unisys, Intel, Dell, SUN, NEC are all certifying with Jboss on their respective platforms. Who is missing? Well... IBM. Here is friendly call to IBM hardware and services. When the central software politburo isn't looking we are ready to do deals, we are waiting for you guys. Isn't it funny? Isn't it a repeat of the OS/2 days where it was an IBM software vs the rest of the world. Oh well, so much for open-ness.
But the real story I wanted to relay is that after 2 weeks into the agreement we are starting to see business coming in from DELL. That floored me. They took the longest to sign but once THE MACHINE is started it GOES.
I was walking through our offices yesterday and at the end of a long day. I really like feeling the pulse of the office at the end of the day, who is there, who is still feverish, who is happy, who has concerns, catching up with folks and just shooting the breeze. I specifically like hanging out in a particular corner of the sales offices where the energy is high. This is where I recharge my batteries on the business. I like the excitement, the commitment, the level of talent and energy that you can FEEL in our sales bullpen. I gotta admit, seeing faxes come in with orders was a always a rush for me, since the day I started working at SUN. Same excitement and fulfilment you feel with development, instant feedback. I am also grateful for the amount of stress these guys put up with on a monthly basis and I want them to know that I care. So yesterday's story was about one of our sales guys having to take down his calendar. The calendar was from BODOG (one of our customers) and think of it as sport illustrated calendar without the racyness, it is actually pretty tame. The guy claimed "miss august" was his lucky charm... and seemed a bit taken aback. So that was the topic of conversation when another one of the old timers barges in his face glowing red with excitement "I am about to sign THE FIRST deal with DELL and it is pretty big" to which someone replied "nope that would be the SECOND deal, the first deal was signed by so and so a couple of days ago". He seemed to be genuinely dissapointed that he wasn't the first but to me the fact that there was already **2** deals was news (I just came back from hollidays).
When he walked me through the deal and how all the parameters of the deal quickly fell in place with our new pricing it kind of hit me. We are dealing with a systemic entity. None of this "time to ramp", none of this "sales impedence missmatch", just a raw and unadulterated MACHINE at work in all its texan glory. The beauty is immediately apparent, a scale free systemic solution will by definition scale (hence the scalefree). From what I heard from the team that closed the deal, the DELL guys were absolutely impressive if not a tad overwhelming in their relentless and single minded focus on OPERATIONALIZING the deal, they deal with a system, you gotta work with the system, their job is to maintain the system. To the credit of our competition that couldn't strike a deal with DELL, it is all systemic, nothing personal. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that FREE SOFTWARE is a much better thing for volume hardware players and so it happens that they could make financial sense of our proposals in their system. The PR value is enough to put a small company like ours on the map (150 employees and counting) but if the baby cash streams we are seeing are a sign of the future cash flows, I can go to sleep knowing Dallas is systemically increasing our valuation, which is based on discounted cash flow calculations.
So here it is, in the wake of my emotional fiasco with the employees of an airline whose reservation system is a mess (see "when systems fail and no one cares"), here is the flip side of "when system works and the humans that maintain it deeply care." Our company today is focused on growing through systemic operations, scaling scaling and devising scale-free systems be it in finance, in development, in sales, in channels, in services and marketing (the last two are the toughest). It is a long road but we are making great strides and we obviously can learn a few lessons from our partners.
Don't mess with TEXAS! (which is the texan way of saying "remember we love you")