The company, based in Korea but with U.S. offices in Chicago, has made a major push in North America in the last year, looking to both strategic vendor and channel reseller partners to drive its Tibero databases into Oracle’s market.
Today, TmaxSoft has announced a major collaboration with Red Hat which will see its Tibero enterprise database available on Red Hat Enterprise Linux through an Amazon Machine Image (AMI). Tibero has a high compatibility with Oracle, and this partnership is one element of TmaxSoft’s strategy to go after Oracle’s market share. The partnership will allow Red Hat customers to configure and order Tibero directly from the AWS marketplace.
TmaxSoft was founded in Korea in 1997, and sold exclusively in the Asian market until 2006. While a New Jersey office was established early on, the company’s focus on the North American market only really began in the last year. This included the establishment of U.S. corporate headquarters in Chicago. They also have North American offices in New York, San Francisco and Toronto.
“The operation in the US on paper has been around for a number of years, but in terms of a true restart, it has really only been about eight months,” said Josh Yulish, TmaxSoft’s CEO.
“Our message to the market is the delivery of Oracle functionality at a much lower price,” said Larry Fredette, Senior Pre-Sales Solution Architect at TmaxSoft.
This message has two strategic components.
“Our go-to-market strategy here is two pronged,” said Franco Rizzo, Senior Pre-Sales Solution Architect at TmaxSoft. “First, we try to match Oracle feature by feature, including active/active clustering, so a migration from Oracle is fairly seamless. Second, while Oracle’s pricing is not virtualization-optimized at all, our licensing model favors enterprises that deploy databases in a virtual environment. We allow a license to license only a subset of their virtual environment, so instead of requiring 100 per cent of these CPUs, it may be as little as 20 or 30 per cent.”
“Even without the licensing, Tibero is also cheaper head to head against Oracle,” Fredette said. Tmaxsoft has used these advantages to convert almost 150 Oracle installations to Tibero.
The challenge of course, is that while Tmaxsoft is well known in the Asian market, and boasts some of Korea’s huge conglomerates as customers, in North America they are much less well known, while Oracle is the opposite. Tmaxsoft is attempting to leverage Oracle’s reputation however, by capitalizing on what they say is some broad discontent among major Oracle partners, as well as customer concerns about Oracle’s expense.
“We are looking for partners who are unhappy with Oracle,” Yulish said.
“Systems integrators will be very significant,” he stated. “The SIs see value in working with us because there are a lot of migration services. Our SI partners have brought us a lot of opportunities, and put millions in our pipeline, but now we are now bringing them opportunities they were not getting and growing their pipeline as well.”
“VARs implement us in private cloud offerings, and we are using a couple of MSPs who can bring us to their customers,” Fredette said. The MSPs want to build database-as-a-service into their hybrid cloud offerings.
The ISV partnerships are critical. Before the Red Hat deal was signed, Tmaxsoft was already working with IBM.
“IBM has a competing database but they see us as a partner with whom they can compete against Oracle,” Yulish said. “Most customers who have Oracle or are looking at Oracle are not looking at DB2, so IBM needs us to compete against Oracle. We are working on joint go-to-market plans with them.
The Red Hat partnership stems from the same motivation on the other vendor’s side.
“With Red Hat, we can get scale, and they can partner with a company with an enterprise database that can go head to head with Oracle,” Yulish said.
Yulish also indicated that Tmaxsoft is in the final stages of talks with VMware as well. Nothing has transpired yet with Microsoft however, who would seemingly be a logical partner.
“We started with the ones who approached us opportunistically, and that was IBM, Red Hat, and VMware,” he indicated.
“In 2016, if we could get 15 per cent of our sales through these vendor channels, that would be great,” he added. “In the next three plus years, we expect 30 per cent, and that’s not higher only because we expect strong growth from our other channels as well.
While Tmaxsoft also has a direct sales force, Yulish said most of the leverage will be done through channels, especially in the beginning. While large enterprises are a logical base, he indicated smaller organizations who need an enterprise grade database are strong prospects as well.
“We see this is a great entree into larger services opportunities for partners,” he stressed. “Our goal is not to build a services organization internally, so there is no conflict. For VARs, we are looking for ones who really understand what we are trying to do and understand the customer issues on the database side, so that they can sell Tiburo and offer value-add services around it.”