Open source Database market gets boost in ASEAN

September 21, 2010

Recently, Ashnik tied-up with EnterpriseDB as its Master partner for ASEAN region. This is exciting for customers, partners as well as developers in the region, as they have Ashnik  to approach for their PostgreSQL needs, closer home. ( For those who are not aware of EnterpriseDB, it is a commercial vendor behind PostgreSQL – the leading open source RDBMS )

Having worked for 9 years in OS layer of open source, it is personally a very important step for me and Ashnik to bring more value to the customers in the form of leading open source database. Through Red Hat Enterprise Linux Ashnik continues to bring open source OS, virtualization and Cloud services for its customers. But the database market is far bigger than OS market.

Total database market is estimated to be around $21Billion for 2010 and growing at 6-8% per annum. To me, this shows that enterprises continue to pay a huge amount of license fees to the proprietary databases – as the numbers show that top 3 vendors Oracle, IBM, Microsoft garner almost 3/4th of the market share. In my discussions with enterprises almost every time I have heard that CIOs are not happy with the returns they get from the license fee they pay for these proprietary database vendors. Most CIOs have been voicing a need for strong alternatives.

While open source databases have been around for many years – PostgreSQL and MySQL being the leading names, with recent acquisition of Sun (and in turn MySQL) by Oracle, there have been doubts in the minds of enterprises about MySQL’s ability to remain independent and thriving open source organisations. On the other hand I found that EnterpriseDB has been silently strengthening its commitment to make PostgreSQL commercially successful. Even industry has responded very positively not just by adopting PostgreSQL but by investing in EnterpriseDB. The big names such as NTT, Kore Telecom, Intel, Red Hat, IBM have invested and are partnering. The $50 million that EnterpriseDB has been able to raise so far signifies the importance industry is attaching to the success of EnterpriseDB.

On the technology front PostgreSQL was always considered as true relational database and with EntepriseDB’s involvement it has been able to offer good user acceptance, ease of installation etc. EnterpriseDB has successfully positioned it as replacement for Oracle Database in the enterprises.

At Ashnik we see this as an opportunity to bring more value to customers, partners and ISVs in the region. Ashnik would be working with EnterpriseDB to develop the customer base and partner eco system to grow this market collectively.

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Ashnik and EnhanxIT create a cross continent platform for business development services

September 9, 2010

This week we (Ashnik) signed a collaboration agreement with a Spain based business development company EnhanxIT . This is an exciting news.

More than the opportunities it brings for Ashnik and EnhanxIT, it is a good news for the software solutions providers who are looking to grow in Asian and European territories.

From my personal experience dealing with many ISVs, I always got a message from ISVs that they were looking for a platform that would be trustworthy, professionally competent and would understand the ISVs needs while helping them to go to market. ISVs always voiced concerned about the opportunistic approach of the so called “consultants”.

Drawing upon these learnings, Ashnik set out to provide a platform for the solutions providers who want to enter the Asian market in a serious way. For non-serious players there are many other resellers whom they can tap. While we certainly understand the challenges of tight budgets and need for quick wins, we also try to help solutions providers understand the local market dynamics and opportunities.

Entering the new markets has certain learning curve. When solutions providers show some understanding this process, we see a synergistic approach and things work out in a better way.

This collaboration is a step in this direction. EnhanxIT has a very professional and experienced team and we look forward to work with them to help bring European solutions providers to Asian markets and vice versa.


First year of entrepreneurship – Learnings

September 4, 2010

One year has passed much faster than I imagined, but it made me wiser ( thats what I think) beyond my expectations. I am trying to share my learnings without being judgemental about other people.

You are alone when it matters most : Even if you may have found support and encouragement from your professional network while making the plans, when it comes to execution you are alone and it becomes your sole responsibility. You can not count on any one else whatever they would have promised. People like to join you only after you are successful.

No amount of prior work experience is good enough : Even after spending 20 years in work, the situation and circumstances that you face are totally unique and you come to know about it only after you have taken the plunge. So if you get a chance to take the plunge earlier, don’t stop yourself.

Be prepared to avoid ” I have arrived” feeling : I am not sure if this happens with everyone, but I guess must be true particularly for those like me who start after long years in job. You are given feeling of special person, person who has shown courage by the people around you. While this is a good thing, very helpful in the beginning, but it might give you a feeling of ” I have arrived” and take you away from rational and practicality of the entrepreneurship. It might give you sense of accomplishment and slow down your hunger for real success. Just taking a plunge is not enough, succeeding is more important.

One thing I would like to share that happened with me.  I realised, pretty late,  that I made a classic mistake of not building enough pipeline even after running sales for so many years.  Every lead that I generated, I thought would convert into business. When I look back today and ask myself, what could be the reason for getting  into such complacency ? I realised that it might be because of the feeling of “I have arrived”, ” I could do no wrong” sense that might have been developed. Hence wanted to share this story.

Many possibilities, many avenues takes you nowhere : This again may be because of long years in the job. You tend to think – I know so many things, I have network in so many areas, I can do so many things and you get proposals for many business ideas. In the initial stages, it may sound good, it may satisfy your ego, it may give you feeling of being busy, but soon you would find, it has not taken you anywhere. This may happen despite you having a good business plan.

Sounding board : When you start as one man army, it is very important to have someone around you who is well wisher, aware of the market conditions and who can be your sounding board. At least I found it very difficult to keep talking to myself or keep coming out with ideas without someone around. It helps tremendously when you hear yourself talking. You immediately realise the wrong and right.

I have gone through many more personal learnings. It has been very enriching experience from that point of view. At the same time it has been challenging times. Things have not gone as per the plans. Lot of things have fallen through at the last moment bringing me back to square one etc.

Family support : I think if there is one thing that you absolutely need is family support. Entrepreneurship is as much a an emotional journey as a commercial venture. When you feel alone it is only your family that you can reach out to. That is the only support system you can count on. I am fortunate that I can count on such.

Now I think I am much more grounded to reality. Looking forward to next year.


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