eXo Takes Its Enterprise CMS and CEO to the US
Another European company has announced that it is opening a US office. This time the location is San Francisco and the company is open source solution provider eXo (news, site).

This follows the announcement in June this year that Red Hat’s JBoss Portal, eXo's Portal and eXo's Java Client Repository (JCR) were all to be merged into a single product that strikes the right balance of robustness and usability.

It is hardly any wonder then that the new board of advisors that will be helping eXo founder and CEO Benjamin Mestrallet to break into the US has a strong Red Hat presence including Sacha Labourey, a former middleware co-general manager who participated in negotiations on the eXo/Red Hat partnership before joining eXo.

Solution Building With Clients

While eXo says the move is in response to growing demand for their products in the US market, it really was only a matter of time before this happened.

In fact, if there are any surprises here at all it is that it has taken the French company so long to make the jump given that the US Department of Defense partly funded the eXo Portal, (now merged into the JBoss GateIn Portal).

And that’s what eXo has been doing since it set up. It builds solutions in partnership with its customers. So they know that everything they build fills the requirements of at least one customer.

Apart from the Department of Defense contract:

  • The Belgium Ministry of Finance helped define the key features for the eXo Collaboration Suite
  • eXo Document Management System was jointly developed with the State of Geneva as part of a €20 million eGovernment initiative
  • One of Paris’ suburbs, the Conseil General 95 (Val d’Oise), worked with eXo to create the Web Content Management System

New US Objectives

That eXo is not just ‘dipping a toe’ seems clear as Mestrallet himself has been relocated to San Fransisco. He told CMSWire that the US effort would include opening new sales channels and integrator relationships with an eye towards scalability, new technologies and much more visibility.

One of his first stops is the Enterprise 2.0 2009 Conference between November 2nd and 5th where he will be outlining some of the products eXo Platform is experimenting with in its labs.

The most recent thing to emerge from those very labs -- or was at least conceived in the labs -- was the merging of the code bases of Red Hat’s JBoss and eXo’s Portal and Java Client in order to create a best of breed result.

eXo_GateIn.jpg

eXo GateIn

New Board of Advisors

And it is this that Mestrallet and his merry bunch of advisors will be pushing in the US market.

Amongst those advisors are:

  • Sacha Labourey, most recently co-GM of Red Hat’s JBoss Middleware business and former CTO and European GM of JBoss, Inc.
  • Bob Bickel, co-founder of Bluestone Software, former head of Hewlett-Packard Middleware and, most recently, head of strategy at JBoss and board advisor to Hyperic (acquired by SpringSource), JasperSoft and Funambol, among others.
  • Edwin Khodabakchian, co-founder of DevHD, formerly Oracle vice president of product development and CTO of eCommerce at AOL.

With Bob Bickel, the company is also setting itself the task of developing new open source applications, and content services, and becoming the front-runner in the US field in these respects.

OpenSocial in the Enterprise

While all such moves from Europe to the US are interesting, this one should be one of the more colourful ones. eXo, after all is one of the most accomplished companies in the industry and has received a number of accolades including StartWest’s Company to Watch.

And guess what? That’s exactly what we will be doing here. But in the meantime if you want of see for yourself head to the Enterprise 2.0 conference where Mestrallet will be speaking in the OpenSocial in the Enterprise on Wednesday, November 4.