Friday, September 3, 2004
Interview: Mike Sheffey, CEO of Versora
Santa Barbara-based Versora (www.versora.com) is a new company which is developing software for migrating companies from Microsoft to open source software such as Linux. The company recently shipped a product to help companies migrate from Microsoft IIS to Linux Apache. I caught up with Mike Sheffey, the company's CEO and co-founder to get more information on the company and its products.
BK: What are Versora's products, and what market do they serve?
MS: Our products include Progression Web-Server, a tool for automated migration of Microsoft IIS web servers to Linux Apache web servers. The benefits of migrating to Apache are increased security, scalability and stability. Additionally, software licensing costs can be decreased. Progression DB- Server is a tool for automated migration of Microsoft SQL server to Linux database servers. The benefits of migrating to a Linux database server are significant licensing cost reduction, increased security, flexibility and stability.
These products are targeted at organization looking to increase their levels of security, stability and scalability for their server infrastruture with the use of Linux. Without any modification or impact on an organizations' Microsoft WIndows desktop clients, a server migration from Windows to Linux results in significant benefits.
BK: Why the focus on migration to open source software?
MS: Linux has shown itself to be the fastest growing operating system on the market. The reason for this growth is because of the business benefit it offers. IBM, HP and Dell are all supporting the top two Linux distribution on various server lines. HP has started shipping a desktop computer with Linux pre-installed. All of the industry analysts predict continued rapid adoption of open source software. According to analyst Gartner, Linux will have more than 1/2 of the (new) server shipment market share by the end of 2008.
BK: How has the reception been so far to your IIS to Apache tool been?
MS: Reception has very been good with various customers and partners such as NOAA and Novell using the product and or discussing the solution with their customers. Versora has partnered with Novell and IBM to sell their products throughout the world. Additionally Versora has formed relationships with various resellers to deliver our products and solutions to their customers.
BK: What's the background of the founders of the company?
MS: The founders of Versora are previous executives at Miramar Systems-recently acquired by Computer Associates. Jon Walker, Versora CTO was CTO and VP of Engineering of Miramar and I was VP of Sales and Professional Services. Before starting Versora, we noticed the commitment that Enterprise Software Companies such as HP, Novell, CA, IBM and others were making to Linux. We also spoke with some our our enterprise clients who were using or in the initial stages of deploying Linux. The cost savings of using Linux and the momentum of its growth is creating a multibillion dollar market that we plan to be a part of.
BK: How is Versora funded?
MS: Versora is currently funded by its founders. We have been approached by some VC firms who are quite interested in our business and the market that we address. So far our discussions have been very positive and we look forward to meeting with many of them again in the next few months to continue our conversations and see where they lead.
BK: Finally, what's your next big goal for your company?
MS: The next big goal that we have for our company is to release a couple more products to market that our partners are asking for. As we are able to release more information about these products we can notify those interested via our newsletter. Those interested can sign up at www.versora.com