November 18, 2014

SUSECon 2014: SUSE's Open Approach Wins New Enterprise Customers


As the lights dimmed for the keynote at SUSECon 2014 this morning, there was a sense that something special was about to take place. Had we been transported to a more Apple-inspired keynote, where speakers with rock-star status among the tech industry would “wow” us with industry buzz words and mind-blowing statistics? Would a new brand of dog and pony show arrive to finally prove to us that SUSE Linux had arrived to steal the show from anyone and everyone daring to pull the spotlight away from the masters of tech?

No. What the attendees of SUSECon 2014 were presented with was something wholly unique. But even in the clever approach to the keynote (a fun talk show setting led by the ever-charming Michael Miller) the SUSE's half-year financial statistics spoke volumes:

  • Key performance indicators are ahead of the plan

  • YTD total bookings growth is up at +26%

  • Recognized revenue growing at +16%

  • New bookings rate +47% growth

  • New business is roughly 65% of the total. 

With the parade of enterprise and big data partners crawling from the keynote woodwork, something became very apparent ─ from the mouths of both Miller and SUSE CEO, Nils Brauckmann, the key to SUSE’s success is their commitment to being “always open." This openness has helped SUSE to not only become an industry leader in the field of In Memory Technology, but it also led to the merger between Attachment Group (of which SUSE is an associated brand) and Micro Focus (full announcement here). This merger will go a very long way to stretch the reach of SUSE across the globe.

Miller called SUSE an “Open open source company." A rather intriguing notion. Most companies that deal with Linux, lay claim to the tag “open." SUSE takes this one step further by being open with their openness. Yes, they are traditional in their openness ─ they not only use open source software, but contribute a great deal back to the open source community ─ but SUSE remains quite open about their open source-ness to their clients and customers. This is most notably followed through by their refusal to lock down a company. What does this mean? Simple ─ say the best solution for a customer is not only an open source solution, but a mix of open and proprietary solutions. If that is truly the case, SUSE will not lock the customer into an all open solution ─ they keep the dialog open with the client so the perfect solution is found.

Enterprises Migrating to SUSE Linux

Another factor in the amazing success SUSE has now begun to enjoy is migration. They have discovered a vast amount of clients in need of migrating from legacy systems ─ many of which are UNIX-based or Cobalt-driven systems ─ to a more modern platform. SUSE commissioned a study from Forrester Consulting, the results of which pointed directly to the need for these massive migrations. The study uncovered that enterprise businesses are beginning to focus more importance on the need to grow ─ even beyond focusing on issues like ROI. Turns out, SUSE Enterprise Linux is an ideal platform for these migrations. Why?

One of the main ideas that brings companies like Hong Kong Jockey Club (a world-class horse racing operation and one of Hong Kong’s largest employers) to SUSE is the ability to get the maximum availability from systems. Swiss Re (a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance, and other insurance-based forms of risk-transfer) has also migrated 800 out of 1,000 servers to SUSE Enterprise Linux.

“Five years ago we began seriously looking at new platforms to replace our aging, expensive, proprietary Solaris estate,” said Alexander Turk (VP at Swiss Re). “By migrating to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, we were able to meet our performance and availability objectives while significantly reducing platform and hardware costs.”

The respect SUSE is garnering is well earned. Their commitment to open source is paying huge dividends to both the company and the open source community. SUSE actively listens to clients, to the community, and to themselves in such a way as to bring critical improvements to the enterprise Linux experience. Being so open about who and what they are all about, will continue to help define SUSE as a leader in large-scale Linux deployments.   

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