Advisory Board to Build on the Success of Actuate’s Open Source Initiatives
Actuate Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTU), the leader in delivering Rich Internet Applications Without Limits™, today announced the formation of an Open Source Advisory Board. Open Source technology industry luminaries Julie Hanna Farris, a seasoned open source technology entrepreneur and Andrew Aitken, CEO of the Olliance Group, the leading open source management consultancy, are founding members of the board. The board’s mission is to reinforce and extend the leadership and innovation of Actuate’s open source business model, which combines the key elements of open source with the best of enterprise software and to further Actuate’s community contributions and activities.
The Open Source Advisory Board will work toward extending the success of Actuate’s blended commercial-open source business model, BIRT and the BIRT community. The Eclipse BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) project was first conceptualised by Actuate Corporation when the company joined the Eclipse Foundation as a Strategic Developer on August 24th, 2004. The project is the only top-level initiative within the Eclipse community to focus on Business Intelligence and reporting. BIRT is the foundation of Actuate’s commercial product line, which provides a host of value added products, services and support to organisations of all sizes that wish to maximise their investment in BIRT.
At over 4 million downloads to date, BIRT continues to enjoy momentum in the market. Actuate’s BIRT related revenue surpassed $8M in 2007 and is expected to double at $16M in 2008. Seventy five percent of BIRT users are in vertical industries and geographies that are not in Actuate’s traditional markets, suggesting that the company’s open source initiatives have resulted in broadening its market reach.
One of the boards’ initiatives will be to provide guidance that builds on the success of BIRT Exchange www.birt-exchange.com, a community site for BIRT developers sponsored by Actuate. Launched almost one year ago, BIRT Exchange is gaining momentum as a key destination for developers to exchange ideas on BIRT deployments, get the latest BIRT related product downloads and share knowledge and code.
“Actuate takes the mission of creating a successful business incorporating elements of open source innovation very seriously and creating the Open Source Advisory Board underscores our commitment”, said Actuate CEO Pete Cittadini. “We’ve seen a lot of success and momentum result from our moves into creating a unique hybrid approach to open source and enterprise technology. We welcome the creation of the board and leaders like Julie and Andrew who will add a lot of value to furthering our charter.”
Julie Hanna Farris, who serves as Chair of the Open Source Advisory Board, has helped to build several successful internet and software businesses in the Silicon Valley over the past 15 years. Most recently, she is the founder and former CEO of Scalix, a pioneer and global leader in open source email and collaboration software, with over 700 enterprise customers in 55 countries. Farris advises entrepreneurs and CEO’s on business and technology strategy and is a member of the board of directors at SocialText, the leader in enterprise social software.
“I have been particularly impressed with Actuate’s vision and thought leadership in harnessing open source to evolve the enterprise software model,” said Julie Hanna Farris. “Actuate’s commitment and ongoing contribution to the open source community gives them a unique insight into how customers adopt and use their technology and has expanded the company’s reach into new markets. I look forward to working with the company to leverage their open source initiatives in this next stage of growth.”
Andrew Aitken is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Olliance Group, the leading open source management consultancy with over 300 open source business and strategy engagements completed in the last seven years. He is a recognised expert on strategies for the commercialisation of open source, the co-founder of the industry’s most unique conference the Open Source Think Tank, and a personal adviser to such innovative open source firms as SugarCRM and Funambol.
"It is refreshing to be associated with a company that is so serious about investing in commercialising enterprise software by leveraging key elements of open source while also focusing on providing real value back to the community. BIRT is becoming a symbol of how open source projects can succeed in mission-critical applications,” said Aitken. "I am excited to contribute to furthering their position as a leader in driving commerce, open source, and enterprise software together."
The Open Source Advisory Board will work to underscore Actuate’s hybrid business model as the company expands its open source goals and value added services, as well as support Actuate BIRT’s growing community of users.