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You may have seen my recent blog post on Jive's New York Times article (a lot of former schoolmates did apparently as I got deluged on Facebook about the tattoo). In addition to the tattoo, I also mentioned that we had "one of our biggest quarters ever and we have never been stronger." Now that the books are officially closed, let me expand on it:

 

  • We had our best sales quarter in the history of the company.
  • We were cash flow positive (for the second quarter in a row).
  • We signed up 70 new customers.
  • We expanded our Bay Area presence with a new office in Palo Alto.
  • Over 100% year-over-year revenue growth.

 

I don't want all my blogs to be "rah rah" regurgitated press releases, but I do want to share how thrilled I am with our team and with what we were able to accomplish. It was a Herculean effort to have our biggest product release ever with SBS and to add such a huge roster of great, forward-thinking clients, all in the context of the worst downturn we have seen.

 

No new tattoos for this quarter's results, but I'm all ears on ideas to celebrate future quarters.

 

Thanks for your continued support.

I spend a lot of time working on Jive's enterprise SaaS offerings. There's one question in particular we've invested quite a bit of engineering time in answering recently -- is it possible to leverage the cloud to build a scalable SaaS solution using a single tenant architecture? It's not so long ago that it felt embarrassing to say the words "Saas" and " single-tenant" in the same sentence. For years, it's been an industry mantra that it's  simply impossible to have a scalable Saas business without multi-tenancy. But recent technology advances have eroded the multi-tenant advantage. And especially for enterprise cloud collaboration, there are important reasons why single-tenancy can actually be a better solution. I don't intend to start a flame-war over which approach is ultimately better, but I offer the top reasons my single-tenant shame is passing:

 

  1. Cloud computing is changing the game. Cloud computing is anchored on virtuatlization and new levels of automation via api-based resource allocation. It's now possible to approach multi-tenant level cost efficiency with a single-tenant application. Although the cloud isn't ready for all Enterprise use-cases (due to security and compliance concerns), cloud computing is maturing very quickly.

  2. Data isolation. Most multi-tenant applications use a single database to store all customer data. That means application bugs can put your data at risk by making it visible to other companies in the same SaaS environment. We use a separate database for each customer in addition to all the advanced data security features baked into the product, which provides much better isolation for critical data.

  3. Migration. SaaS offers fast setup and a fantastic TCO. But current enterprise security and compliance polices around storing corporate data in the cloud can be too high of a hurdle to overcome as product usage expands from a single department to the whole organization. Because of our single-tenant architecture, we're able to offer the same product via SaaS or on-premise. Plus we make it really easy to move from one environment to the other. We believe it's the pragmatic approach, and the one best suited for enterprise.

  4. Customization. One of our key selling points for public-facing communities is the ability to closely match an existing site's look and feel. Most multi-tenant applications end up looking cookie-cutter with just a few color changes. Jive offers much deeper levels of flexibility.

 

In an upcoming blog entry, I'll share further details about how we're leveraging the cloud including how we're using XMPP.

There is no question that this is one of the toughest economic downturns in history. Luckily, Jive has been blessed with success and has been able to stay a step ahead of the recession. As we head into of the second quarter of 2009, we are riding in from one of our biggest quarters ever and we have never been stronger.

 

And it always helps to have press to help drive home that point. Today the New York Times published an article outlining how we got to this point. "Start-Up Gets Course in Survival " discusses the steps we've taken to stay healthy and competitive in this economy, with guidance from our funding partner Sequoia Capital:

 

The changes that Jive has made since the Sequoia meeting illustrate the ways in which young technology companies have trimmed costs and narrowed their focus in an effort to stay alive. “Jive is the poster child. They nailed it,” Jim Goetz, the Sequoia partner who is on Jive’s board, told The Times. In the quarter ended in March, Jive booked higher revenue than any quarter in its history, and it plans to start hiring again.

 

It's a great piece. My only complaint was that I wasn't a huge fan of the "near tears" line . "Sincere" would have been much better for my ego. Also, I don't think it captured the impact of our original leadership team and how critical they were to our success as a company. This company was built on the strength of some great individuals and while it's easy for a story to position it as "not scaling", the truth is a much richer tapestry. We went through a transition and in some cases it's better to bring different people with different backgrounds to help that transition. But I stand by our original team as a solid group of dedicated individuals -- it was a tough transition and we wouldn't be who we are without those folks.

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