Intalio (and BPM) Goes Organic with Open Source

We recently spoke with Intalio’s founder, Ismael Ghalimi, to get the scoop on open source BPM. The company moved to an open source code model in February 2006, and has spent the past year making the transition. This includes eliminating a direct sales force and focusing on organic growth, acquiring new customers through training programs instead of traditional sales force initiatives.
Intalio BPMS Community Edition is an Eclipse-based development environment used by business analysts and developers. It is available free from Intalio’s web site,, and includes a BPM server and workflow capabilities.
Once a company downloads and starts using the product, and they have a clearly defined process they are automating, Intalio recommends they purchase a subscription to Intalio BPMS Enterprise, which offers patch updates, extra features, and other standard enterprise software license protection.
We were intrigued by the thought that Intalio has streamlined its operations and cut out the entire direct sales/marketing component to make itself a leaner company. Ghalimi explained that the main revenues are coming from customers that convert to the Enterprise subscription. In addition, Intalio makes money from people attending the training sessions that Intalio schedules around the globe to help new customers get up and running more quickly with their first process.
The results of Intalio’s efforts are encouraging. According to Ghalimi, the company has grown from 12 customers two years ago to 125 customers today, in 22 vertical markets and from 23 countries. All this essentially without a traditional sales force. 7,500 companies are using Intalio BPMS Community today. The goal is to convert them over time into subscription customers. To assist in this effort, Intalio has recently added a vice president position to head up its telesales operations.
On the operations side, the company is also going lean and efficient. It had outsourced engineering initially to the Ukraine and now is working with developers in China. Ten engineers remain at Intalio headquarters in California to architect the product and manage the development efforts. Similarly, technical support is outsourced to India, where the staff rotates every three months between QA and technical support to improve service to the customers. With all of this operational efficiency, Intalio hopes to be profitable by the later part of 2007, an good feat for a company that has made such a tremendous transition over the past year.
Apparently, gong organic can be good for you after all.


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