Dashboard Insight recently spoke with Talend's Yves de Montcheuil about Talend's technology and clients, plus his thoughts on the open source business model and why you don't get to play golf with a sales guy.
Dashboard Insight: How and why did Talend get started?
Yves de Montcheuil: Talend's founders, Bertrand Diard and Fabrice Bonan, were running the data integration practice for a systems integrator. They were implementing the proprietary ETL (extract, transform, load) tools from Informatica and (now IBM's) Data Stage that were predominant at that time. And they were experiencing the pains that other customers were going through: high product costs, complex deployments, lengthy learning curves, etc. It was a time when open source was gaining significant traction in some parts of the IT stack, but there was not an open source alternative to proprietary ETL products.
DI: What are your product lines and what are the differences?
YdM: Talend's products are articulated around two stacks: open source data integration and open source data quality. In both stacks, we offer a product that is freely downloadable, provided under the GPL v2 license: Talend Open Studio for data integration and Talend Open Profiler for data quality. These are complete, fully functional products. In addition, we offer enterprise extensions to these products (Talend Integration Suite and Talend Data Quality) which bring additional features for mission-critical enterprise projects, as well as technical support and IP indemnification.
DI: Tell us about data integration and how it fits into business intelligence.
YdM: Data integration represents the set of processes that are used to move and transform data between databases and applications in the information system. In the specific context of business intelligence, data integration is often referred to as ETL and is used to collect data from the source systems - regardless of the technology - transform and aggregate it into the data warehouse, data marts, OLAP applications, etc.
DI: How does an open source vendor like yourself make money?
YdM: We make money through technical support, consulting and training services on our open source products. In addition, and this accounts for the largest part of our revenues, we sell subscription licenses to our enterprise versions – which include value-added features and services such as support and IP indemnification. We also have an OEM (original equipment manufacturing) business, where other software vendors – either open source or proprietary – embed our data integration technology into their own software stacks.
DI: Why would a potential client consider an open source solution? What are the benefits?
YdM: Our clients select our solutions for several reasons. The first one is that the software meets or exceeds their requirements. Open source products are compared head to head with equivalent proprietary solutions and customers perform a complete feature-cost-benefit analysis. Very few companies choose open source products only because they are open source.
Of course, open source often plays a role in the choice. The optimized cost of the solution, the guarantee of vendor independence, and the openness of the products all weigh into choices.
DI: And what’s the downside?
YdM: You don't get to play golf with a sales guy. Open source vendors do not have the same type of adoption cycles. When we sell into an account, they have usually been using our products for quite some time and are already convinced.
DI: What kind of clients do you work with?
YdM: Our customers are of all sizes and across most verticals. We welcomed over 400 new paying customers since the beginning of 2008, including many global organizations such as Yahoo!, US Cellular, SwissLife, Honda Bank, Virgin Mobile France, Shopping.com, Levolor, MyBuys, Car & Boat Media, Eurofins and Sun Country Airlines. Roughly one third of our business comes from Fortune 1000 type organizations, but a lot of mid-market companies also buy our solutions.
DI: Can you tell us about your partnership with Jaspersoft?
YdM: Jaspersoft is the leading vendor of business intelligence solutions. For a BI project, you need an ETL. Rather than reinventing the wheel, Jaspersoft chose the best of breed solution out there, and OEM'ed it from us. JasperETL, Powered by Talend, is based on our technology. In addition, we do a lot of joint marketing and sales activity with Jaspersoft – our companies are very similar and have a comparable culture.
DI: Any other partnerships of note?
YdM: We have technology partnerships with many technology leaders such as Teradata, Microsoft, ParAccel, Sun/MySQL, EnterpriseDB, Infobright and others. You'll note some of these are open source, others are not. Open source and proprietary technologies are both present in the information system and it's our job to make them work together.
DI: I understand there is a connection with Talend and Business Objects founder Bernard Liautaud, can you tell us about that?
YdM: Bernard Liautaud––the founder, CEO and chairman of Business Objects for 18 years up until its eventual sale to SAP for $6.7 billion––recently joined Talend’s board of directors. He is a General Partner at Balderton Capital, an early investor in MySQL, which also led our Series C round of financing of $12 million in late January 2009.
DI: What are the future plans at Talend?
YDM: Our plan is to continue to innovate for the benefit of our community and customers. And reinforce our market leadership position in the data integration space.
Yves de Montcheuil is the vice president of worldwide marketing at Talend, a recognized leader in open source data integration. He has over 15 years of product management and product marketing experience with various US and European software companies, including Sunopsis, Empirix, Cyrano and SDP/Sybase. Yves holds a masters degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Supelec in France; he has presented at numerous industry events and conferences and has authored several published articles.