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An exceptional year for Alfresco

Alfresco has been doing exceptionally well. It's about time I talked about it.

It's hard to talk about the rising success of open source without at least mentioning Alfresco, given the successes of this past year. Given that I work for Alfresco, I try to keep references to Alfresco isolated and only part of larger discussions of open source. But there has been so much momentum and traction lately that today I can't help myself. Indeed, CMSwire went so far as to write:

Every week, it seems, there's a big announcement from Alfresco....The [company] has...some kind of magical app-building framework which enables them to rattle off integrated products at lightning speed.

The latest of these [Red Hat + Alfresco collaboration] is not quite as sexy, on the face of it, as the Facebook hookup. But in terms of its implications for the collaboration portal industry, i.e. for Microsoft, it could prove to be the killer app which takes Alfresco into the big time.

In the last quarter alone, Alfresco racked up the following:

  • Alfresco registered 400% sales growth over an already very robust fiscal year 2006;

  • Over 1 million downloads with 20,000+ active deployments of the product and a swelling customer base that includes the cream of the Global 2000 running Alfresco in enterprise-wide, mission-critical deployments (including H&R Block, which has been talking up its Alfresco implementation);

  • Web traffic on has quadrupled over the past year (Btw, the top destination is our page with screenshots, demonstrating product interest), with wiki (documentation) traffic more than doubling in the past quarter alone;

  • Recent awards include Red Herring 100 Global (one of the top 100 startups on the planet), IDG's InfoWorld BOSSIE, EContent 100 Award, KM Promise, and others;

  • The number of incoming leads has more than tripled in the past year; and

  • Alfresco released Facebook integration, Google Gadgets for ECM (iGoogle integration), integration with Adobe Flex, JBoss Portal integration (the "Sharepoint killer" mentioned by CMSwire above), and has generally been making life good for customers and bad for its competition like Microsoft's Sharepoint.

In short, it has been a very, very good year for Alfresco. The best part for me, however, is that we're turning a staid, somewhat dull industry into what it should be: the center of enterprise and consumer computing. Content is the heart of everything we do. It's about time that content management systems reflected this. Alfresco does this, as Mike Davis, Senior Analyst at Ovum, acknowledges:

[Alfresco] has the technical capabilities, and along with Microsoft is likely to be the most disruptive player in the ECM market at the enterprise level in the next five years.

That's what makes working for Alfresco so enjoyable. We have impressive, intelligent competition (Microsoft). We have the world's best customers. And we're part of an open-source ecosystem that is, virtually across the board, doing great things. Indeed, I am grateful to MySQL, Red Hat, JBoss, SugarCRM, and other open-source companies who paved the way for Alfresco and others. The hard work was done by them.

Were I allowed, I could write a similar post about many of the open-source vendors I advise. SugarCRM has had a banner year, as have MuleSource, Openbravo, Jaspersoft, Loopfuse, Volantis, MindTouch, etc. This is the time for open source.