Automattic gets a US $29.5M round of Series B funding.
Alfresco secures a US $9M round of Series C funding.
Sun Microsystems pays a cool US $1 Billion for MySQL. What's the common thread?
The flagship products for Automattic (Wordpress), Alfresco (Alfresco Enterprise Content Management), and MySQL (MySQL Database) are all open source applications.
The fact that any reasonably savvy developer can download, install, and modify these applications is obvious. What is slightly less obvious is that each of these applications fits squarely into the content management market.
Wordpress is arguably the leading blogging engine on the web
and while it may not have the same capabilities as an enterprise web cms, like Vignette
, it is most definitely a content management system.
So how do the investors in Automattic expect to see a return on said investment?
While Wordpress.com is a free service, much like Blogger.com, Automattic offers VIP Hosting
for bloggers and organizations who would rather pay for maintenance and upkeep rather than managing it themselves.
Yet make no mistake that a large amount of the substantial investment in Automattic will go toward to making Wordpress even more commercially viable, much like its closest competitor - Movable Type
, the most obvious content management player on this list, will use its new funds to bolster expansion outside of Europe into the lucrative US and Asian markets. At the same time, many current customers are hoping that at least some of that money goes toward improving the support for Alfresco's enterprise product.
This brings us to MySQL, one of the most recognizable open source applications and yet slightly out of place when listed next to Wordpress and Alfresco. However, all one needs to do is look under the covers to see that MySQL is the database engine of choice for these two and a myriad of other content management systems
Therefore, the next question is: How will Sun's acquisition of MySQL
effect all the applications and projects that depend on it? Unfortunately, the answer is "only time will tell". I can tell you that being under the umbrella of Sun Microsystems gives MySQL an immediate boost of credibility.
You can expect to see MySQL on the list of supported databases for many more commercial products in the near future.
It is certainly an interesting time for the content management industry. Market stalwarts will have to adjust their business models to justify exorbitant licensing fees and newcomers will have to build out their support structures to meet the needs of enterprise customers.
Unfortunately for IT managers around the globe, the choice of content management vendor just became much more difficult
What do you think of these investments and where do you see the smart money going? Share your insights in the comments