June 13, 2006

Meeting Centeris – Discussions on the Mid-market

I had the opportunity to have a phone briefing with Barry Crist, the CEO of Centeris today.  They’re a small company, based in the US Pacific Northwest, who’s just starting to expand into Europe.  They’ve got a product, Likewise that helps you manage Linux servers in a Windows environment.  We had a good conversation about life, the universe and everything, as Centeris is hanging out in Germany this month – the European epicenter of all things Linux – so we got introduced and I discovered an company I wanted to share with you.

This is a good company to watch.  It’s founded by a bunch of ex-Microsofties. What a great concept – Microsoft-minded people who want to work with Linux rather than thinking it should be obliterated.  There is far too much polemic about Windows versus Linux in the greater IT community which is a waste of energy.  Both platforms are going to continue to thrive and have their purposes in life. There are areas of overlap where sales teams will slog it out, but the decision to use Windows or Linux need not be binary.  What is really helpful to end users is tools that help them make the systems integrate.

This got us talking about the mid-market.  One of the ongoing issues for mid-market companies is that they don’t have the leisure of hiring IT specialists – they tend to hire good generalists who can handle a bit of everything.  That means they need to find tools that are cost-effective, quick and easy to install and targeted toward them.  Barry feels very strongly about the needs of this market and we commiserated on the challenges this market faces.  We didn’t have enough time to solve the world’s problems, but they’re on our radar screen now and we welcome them to Europe.

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