First of all, an apology is in order. My last blog was in December 2009, quite a while ago. I guess I am not really a natural blogger like some others for whom blogging seems a natural extension of themselves. I promise to try harder …
Quite a few things have happened in the company since my last blog. We finished 2009 very strong with nearly 500 customers and over 800 Elite and Professional Edition product subscriptions. We signed in excess of 65 Gold, Certified and Registered Partners, many of whom have begun to resell the commercial editions of DotNetNuke. We had 3 major product releases and 7 maintenance releases (a total of 10 product releases) -- a few more than we had in 2008. We acquired Snowcovered
and now have an AppStore that does nearly 4,000 ‘add-on transactions’ a month. We also closed a strategic OEM partnership with Telerik.
By every count, 2009 was both a super- eventful and super-successful year for DotNetNuke Corp.
If Q1 2010 was considered an indicator, this year promises to be no different.
Two months into the year, our platform subscription revenue is already more than 50% of our total 2009 subscription revenues. Our customer acquisition continues with no sign of abatement. In addition, we raised $8M+ in expansion capital in our Series B financing. This money will be good for us for a while as we focus on both strengthening the product and on our sales and marketing efforts. We believe this capital will be instrumental in helping increase product strength, increasing product adoption and use worldwide, and growing our customer base. In this connection, I would like to welcome Chris Cooper
as the newest member of our BOD (Board of Directors). Shaun and I made a decision to take capital from UV Partners
as much because of our rapport with Chris as because of the money itself. We believe ‘good people chemistry’ is a critical difference between great teams and okay teams and between being able to build great companies and okay companies. WELCOME ABOARD, Chris! We look forward to working with you
In addition to the above, we made two other major strategic moves in Q1 2010. In this blog, I will cover one of them.
A few days ago, DotNetNuke Corp signed a definitive agreement to acquire IP related to Document Management and Search (Open-DocumentLibrary and Open-SearchEngine) from Xepient Inc., in Spain
. In the past year, we have received numerous requests for this functionality from our customer and prospect base. We made the traditional ‘build versus buy’ analysis and made the decision to ‘buy’ after a discussion with Andreas Di Palma of Xepient. I am pleased to inform you that Andreas and his team will continue to work with DotNetNuke Corp formally, in both maintaining and further enhancing the modules.
An acquisition of IP like this is very understandably likely to cause some discomfiture amongst module vendors. “If DotNetNuke Corp., is going to ‘build or buy’ all the functionality required for DotNetNuke users, won’t they eat into our business? Is DotNetNuke Corp. going to start competing with us?” Etc. etc. etc.
The discomfiture is understandable and valid. I was asked this exact same question at DevConnections (“Will DotNetNuke Corp compete with module vendors over time?”). My answer today remains exactly the same as it was then.
Add-ons in our marketplace (modules and skins) priced at an average $100 per add-on cater OR meet the needs of the massive DotNetNuke user base which is likely over 700,000 installs worldwide. This is reflected in the tens of thousands of transactions that occurred on Snowcovered in 2009. The commercial editions of DotNetNuke, where the average deal size is about USD $4,000 (per year per subscription) is tailored to meet the needs of the larger companies which want a ‘fully packaged solution’ and a ‘single throat to choke’ in case of any issues with the product -- this is reflected in the hundreds of customers we signed last year. From what I have seen in 2009, the market for commercial editions of DotNetNuke is a very small subset of the total installs.
This is also reflected in the decisions we have made internally. Even as we have our sales team selling the commercial editions of DotNetNuke (‘direct sales’ is the route when you are talking hundreds of customers), we have our marketing team (Terry Erisman and Rhonda Geidt along with Brice Snow) focused on increasing sales in the marketplace (to reach thousands of customers OR the consumer market, ‘marketing’ is the defacto route). To this effect, we hired Rhonda Geidt for this specific purpose just a few weeks ago. We have invested in and will continue to invest in both sales and marketing for both the Platform and the Add-Ons Marketplace. Both are critical to the success of our business.
Given the above, I am positive and confident that the platform (both free and commercial) and the add-ons will co-exist and will both do well. They cater to different market segments and serve different purposes.
As for the second strategic move we made in Q1 2010, I will write more about that in a subsequent blog next week.