It’s simply an amazing journey!
Beginning this month we reached an important milestone in the growth of BizTalk360, welcoming our 250th customer.
- Feb 2010: Initial idea for BizTalk360 born
- Dec 2010: First prototype version was showcased
- Sep 2011: 1st paying customer from Hong Kong
- Nov 2014: 250th Customer
If we put some stats around it, it’s 250 customers in 1157 days or 165 weeks. In other words we signed up one customer every 4.6 days consistently for the past 3+ years.
It’s very true, the best softwares are created when you solve the real problems. When I started BizTalk360 back in Feb 2010, there was no intention (or even an idea) to create a commercial product. I’ve told this story few times, but it’s worth repeating at this important moment. The original idea for BizTalk360 originated in Redmond, during the 2010 MVP summit, when bunch of BizTalk Server MVP’s having a discussion over a coffee to build some kind of a better web based administration/operations tool for BizTalk Server and make it open source. Like any open source project, the drive was not there and everyone went in their own direction after some preliminary discussion. I continued building the software for nearly 10 months spending about 20-25 hours/week on my spare time and just before Christmas 2010, in a pub in Richmond, London I showed the product to Michael Stephenson and Yossi Dahan. They were so impressed to see the potential and benefit to the customer of having such tool, they gave some positive feedback.
I spent further 2 months polishing the product and demonstrated the v1.0 BETA of the product to all BizTalk MVP’s and the product group in 2011 MVP Summit. The feedback was mind blowing and that’s when I decided there is definitely a need for a better BizTalk Server administration, operation application. As like any technical fellow you are not 100% confident to just resign your day job and start building the product. I went back to my employer that time and told them I wanted to build this stuff, they kindly agreed for me to go part time. I reduced my regular job to 3 days a week and started building BizTalk360 more seriously, at this point even though I was technically working 2 days + weekends in the project, I was spending over 60-70 hours/week in the project, its basically the passion and the drive (love of labour) made it possible.
If I look back, there was no logical reasoning for the name “BizTalk360”, that was the only domain name available and I spent about 30 mins to register it. And I spend $100 hiring a Serbian designer to come up with the logo. If you think, it all will sound really silly, but may be that’s what made BizTalk360 a successful product, you didn’t think anything other than solving the real problem.
The company has grown step by step in the last 3+ years, from a single man show to 26 strong people.
At this precious moment, I personally wanted to thank all of our customer who put enormous trust on us. We love our customers and the customers definitely reciprocate it. I’m actually writing the blog from my hotel room here in Redmond, where we arranged for one of the biggest integration event INTEGRATE 2014 along with Microsoft and some core partners. We are really honoured to see one of the biggest Fortune 100 oil company going to present their BizTalk360 use case, in the event. It’s amazing to see them putting lot of efforts in preparing the story, creating the slides, going through corporate approval process before presenting here. They could have easily said NO, but they didn’t.
There are lot of people I need to thank in this journey, without second thought I’ll say the MVP BizTalk community will get the top credit. Nearly 10% of our customer base came from referrals by our MVP friends. Acquiring an enterprise customer is not an easy task, especially in the initial days, but when an expert like Steef-Jan Wiggers, Kent Weare, Stephen W Thomas, Tord Glad Nordahl recommend the product, the trust level simply goes up and it becomes an easy decision making for the customers. There are also lot of other non-MVP community members who helped us scale the product. The next big thanks goes to lot of our core partners Bouvet, Axon Olympus, Motion10, Matricis, Mexia, Sigma, Evry, CNext, I8C, Neudesic, Tallan and many more.
The next big thanks goes to our core team who made this journey possible, there are lot of people in our team who bet their career on us. Ricardo Torre for example, joined us leaving Microsoft, leaving his home country Portugal and moving his family to UK. Our India team is fantastic the dedication and hard work these guys expressed in the last 1+ years is amazing. You’ll see more and more of their work in the product in the coming months/years. I’m greatly thankful to all of them. I’ll do whatever it’s in my capacity to make their life better.
Last but not the least, my family. My wife and two kids, I know it’s not easy for the kids when dad is making over 100,000 miles travel in a year. But they are 100% co-operative and supportive, without their help this journey might have become impossible.
There is a long road ahead of us, we as a team are determined to work even harder and bring more exciting features to BizTalk360 and as always will be looking for all the technological challenges that comes our way.
Thank you everyone!