Some things do well during a recession and open source enterprise content management is one of them. Proof in point is the release of Alfresco's (news, site) annual figures that shows 61% increase in revenues.

The figures, which run to the end of February, also show that Alfresco had the best ever quarter in the history of the company with a significant growth in the number of orders received in Q4 in 2009 over Q4 in 2008.

Alfresco SIs and OEMs

Growth, the company says, was driven by increased subscriptions and expanded partnerships that saw 100 new global system integrators (SI) and more than 20 new original equipment manufacturers (OEM).

As to what that growth in figures actually is we can’t say as Alfresco hasn’t released that, nor whether the 61% increase in revenues is reflected in its net profits or gross profits but with those kinds of percentage increases it’s probably safe to assume that Alfresco is celebrating.

And most of that jump is on the back of upgrades and improvements to their products over the course of the past year, according to Alfresco.

The investments resulted in large increases in the number of clients in the U.S. and Canada with 120 new customers between the Americas and the EMEA as well as doubling the amount of business done in the Asia/Pacific region.

It also says that subscription renewal rates are growing with their largest subscription to date sign-up over the past year.

Open source proved itself in the recession as customers turned to more cost-effective software solutions. Now as the economy is picking up, these proven projects are expanding into large-scale rollouts, said John Powell, CEO of Alfresco.

Alfresco Growth Areas

So what are the highlights (without the figures)? There are four main areas where Alfresco sees itself as doing particularly well. They include:

  1. Corporate Growth: Considerable growth in the number of customers with 300 enterprise customers and 2 million downloads. Customers now extend across five continents and include clients in the British and U.S. public sector as well as major corporations.
  2. CMIS: Alfresco Community 3.2 came with the first CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) public review implementation and contributed to Spring Surf, the largest Spring Extension so far as well as to spring open source community.
  3. Expanded partner program: Added 100 new global system integrators and set up partnerships with IBM, Amazon Web Services and RightScale.
  4. Records Management: Introduced the first DoD 5015.02 certified open source records management system and cloud-based records management deployments.

ECM Upgrades and Growth

It is hard to look at these different elements without the figures, but most of them are based around major upgrades and releases over the past 12 months and particularly those that were heading for the clouds.

Alfresco v3.2

Of note in this respect is the release of v3.2 that expanded its ECM capabilities allowing for cloud-based deployments, the streamlining of email management and archiving as well as enhancing team-based content collaboration.

Its focus on efficiency of implementing cloud computing resulted in support for multi-tenancy, a critical component of multi-company cloud implementations and multiple deployment options from traditional on-premise to full cloud deployment.

Cloud Computing

In terms of its cloud presence, it also released an Amazon EC2 image for those wanting to use Alfresco Server in the cloud. Updates included in September included improvements to the operating system (Bunt Linux) and the addition of 64-bit images for both the U.S. and EU regions.

The two biggest additions to the EC2 image include the Alfresco iPhone client and its U.S. Department of Defense-certified Records Management suite.

And for 2010, it says there’ll be more of the same. John Newton, Alfresco CTO, says they aim to continue building on investments made over the course of the recession and will be looking for growth in four key areas including cloud computing and CMIS.