Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Streambase Amnesty Program

Every since this morning, I have have gotten a number of emails telling me of a new Streambase press release and asking me what I thought of it. It seems that Streambase is trying to take advantage of the Coraleri merger in their "Streambase Amnesty Program".

And Coraleri may be making a mistake by publicizing Streambase's program.

When I first was alerted to Streambase's program by various people, I thought that it was yet one more instance of Streambase's questionable marketing practices.

But then I thought more and more about it, and now, I am not entire sure if I would categorize it as something totally sleazy.

When Don and Terry told me of their plans to have two engines, the first thing that I told them was that it would result in confusion, and that in order to avoid confusion, NEW customers and prospects might shy away from Coraleri and go to another vendor like Streambase or Apama. They might even want to avoid smaller companies totally, and go with something safe like IBM or Oracle. And, I even stated this fact in my earlier blog posting on the Coraleri merger.

I know that Streambase are big readers of my blog, and they certainly picked up on this fact right away. And, they are using this to take advantage of the period of haziness that surrounds any merger.

I question the use of the word "Amnesty". Amnesty usually implies forgiveness for someone who has committed a transgression. What transgression has a Coral8 or Aleri customer committed except not use Streambase? I'm sorry Streambase, but I don't that anyone needs your forgiveness. But it is very gracious of you to offer your beneficence to the Coraleri customers.

Streambase has detected a weakness here in the marketplace, and is positioning itself to exploit it. Is this sleazy or is this simply an aggressive but honest business practice? Competitive upgrades happen all of the time in the business world. Companies are constantly trying to poach customers from each other by offering various kinds of incentives.

Let's examine the Streambase press release.

(Bile On)

The Streambase press release says:

StreamBase received several enquiries on Monday from concerned customers."

Really? The combined Coraleri only has about 80 customers. There were actually customers who called you on Monday, the day of the merger? Everyone was that disturbed by the merger?

"StreamBase has designed a Best Practices Workshop for those investigating the migration process."

Wow! An entire workshop was designed and completed in the 2 days since the merger was announced. Pretty quick work there!

“Migration Best Practices: Moving from Aleri SPLASH or Coral8 CCL to StreamBase StreamSQL” is a workshop designed by Richard Tibbetts, StreamBase’s Chief Technology Officer and led by StreamBase’s senior field architects."

All of your senior field architects became experts in CCL and Splash in two days? Pretty impressive!

(Bile Off)


I am sure that Streambase has performed competitive analyses and gap analyses on both Aleri and Coral8 over the years. Most vendors know what their competitors are capable of. So, I am sure, at some level, there are people at Streambase who know what CCL and Splash do. I am sure that there are customers who evaluate Streambase, Aleri and Coral8 side by side, just like we did. A good field engineer like Streambase's Steve Barber probably gets questions from prospects all of the time like "I did this in Coral8. How do I do the same in Streambase?" I would question whether Streambase could handle the load of even 10 Coraleri customers asking for conversions at once. One migration would probably take Steve Barber several weeks to do.

As much as I dislike Streambase's sales and marketing organization, and as much as I personally think that they sometimes play fast and easy with the facts, I think that Streambase is probably doing right by their VC's by taking advantage of some of the uncertainty that surrounds a merger of complimentary products. And, I am sure that most majors companies would do the same.

I would like to think that Don and Terry and John and Jeff had completely thought this out, but until I see a complete roadmap from Coraleri, I will continue to think that there will be some degree of risk that arises from the integration. And, I cannot fault Mark Palmer from looking at this situation and thinking to himself that there's money to be made from this. I might do the same....


©2009 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved.
All opinions here are personal, and have no relation to my employer.

8 comments:

Hans said...

Ha, I am trying to picture Steve more overworked than the last time I saw him. I can't.

Aleri can say what they will, but we all know by instinct that supporting both products in the long term is dubious at best. The sooner they acknowledge this, the better, IMO.

Jeff Wootton said...

Hans - I don’t understand your comment. Aleri's public statements have indicated that we plan to merge the two engines while maintaining forward compatibility for smooth migration to next-gen product. I suggest you take a look at our public statements at www.aleri.com/merger.

Hans said...

Ok, good.

The combination of the press release that was emailed to me, Marc's revious post and Jerry Bauliers reply to it, had me thinking otherwise.

Anonymous said...

All I'm going to say is that I sure as hell do not want to ever have to use Eclipse. If Aleri turns Coral8 into an Eclipse based product, I'm running for the hills.

Hans said...

IMO Eclipse is much better than the editor Coral8 has now.

Jerry Baulier said...

I really don't like anonymous postings, but I do like frank constructive feedback. So thanks Anonymous and Hans - your input could influence our converged product strategy (to which we are already well in progress).

BTW, IMO Aleri has been a leader in flexibility in authoring demonstrated by the combination of continuous data flows, SQL, procedural SPLASH, pattern matching rules - all via Studio (i.e. visual) as well as textual. We have no plans to change that other than to swap out Aleri SQL for Coral8 CCL (and its visual editing support). Please let me know where improvements are desired.

Phone me if you'd like to hear more (or influence our convergence strategy) at 908 673-2440.

regards,
Jerry Baulier
CTO, Aleri

Anonymous said...

It's pretty well known that Streambase have laid off a significant number of staff recently, indicating that they aren't doing well. Are customers of Aleri and Coral8 really going to be more concerned by a little uncertainty in the Aleri roadmap than by the uncertain future of Streambase as a company?

Hans said...

Oh man, you get annoyed by SB sales but not that?