This week Lifeboat announced their new contract to distribute our Actian product lines through their vast reseller channels as well as direct to their customers (you can find details here). Speaking as the Actian Product Management and Marketing lead for one of those product lines, the Actian Zen Edge database family, this is a major step forward for us. Lifeboat has a broad line-card that represents best-of-breed software and hardware vendors that complement Actian Zen for developers, data scientists, database administrators and business analysts. Allow me briefly to explain why Lifeboat’s brand recognition with Developers and other IT professionals is so important for us. We often talk with CxO level customers and prospects and find them receptive to our offers but increasingly, decision making around what software to use for data analytics, integration, and management is being made based on the recommendations of Developers who research on sites like StackOverflow, download software online, and play with it in their off-hours.
Whether we’re talking about traditional data center applications or mobile and IoT applications at the Edge, we know that developers are crucial recommenders if not final decision makers about which software is selected on any given project. They also play a pivotal role as members of larger virtual teams, sharing their findings with project managers, test/verification and QA specialists, security (particularly as DevOps extends to be DevOpsSec), and of course IT operations. With over 250 product lines, Lifeboat’s solutions include offers from world class companies like Intel Software and Microfocus (formerly HP Software), providing us with an opportunity to insert Actian Zen into the software application lifecycle at each point where data management, integration and analytics are under consideration – first and foremost with developers but also with other virtual team members.
In the past, developers have been mostly concerned with which programming languages, IDEs, and SDKs to use based on things like ease of use, can I set up and use it on my PC or in the Cloud (meaning free or on my credit card without interference from IT), is this an open standard language or tool, does this improve my marketability, etc. There wasn’t always much thought given to data management; developers assumed that using a file system or writing out to an external and often communal database was just fine. Meaning for years, unless they were writing in query functions using SQL or specifically developing analytics software or their own ERP system, they weren’t concerned with API’s for embedded data management. As applications become more intelligent, we see more developers rethinking how they need and go about embedded data management and analytics to support their applications. Furthermore, as those applications move out to the Edge, they are more likely to touch lower layers of the enterprise architecture in order to manage and react in real-time for mobile and IoT use cases. Lifeboat has a long history and strong brand association with Developers which are an increasingly important audience for Actian and, in particular Zen. The Lifeboat position on innovation and disruptive technologies fits with our product line and support of Lifeboat’s mission.