We just finished our big annual event – MongoDB World in NY. I am in equal parts excited and exhausted. My channels team totally rocked at the show – and I could not be more pleased with my gang.
I have been here at MongoDB for about 3 months now – but I had no idea how awesome an event this would turn out to be . A big thanks should go to the able leadership of Meghan and Dina . And looking at my calendar – I think maybe the first one to thank would be my most efficient assistant , Kaila Hecht , for getting me through the zillion meetings on schedule . Special thanks to Jen Seelin for a first class job handling AR/PR.
I have had busy schedules at conferences as a leader in IBM and SAP, but this was at a whole different level of intensity.
We had about 2000 people attend – and it was our first multi day conference ever. More than a hundred people told me they could not believe this was our first big conference. I can’t blame them – I could not believe it either. On Tuesday afternoon, I walked out of a meeting with a large SI partner, and I found a really long time along the corridor. I was curious why all these people were lining up and stood on tip toes to see what was up. All I could see from where I was standing was the Men’s room. I was telling myself that we should have had planned better for bio breaks, and started walking towards the head of the line to tell people where the other rest rooms were – only to find that this was a line of people who could not get into the session for time series 🙂
We had a pretty good discussion with the customer CIOs on the first day, moderated by my pal Paul Cross and the most well respected Merv Adrian of Gartner
As the dude running channels – it was gratifying – scratch that – downright THRILLING to see the kind of support our partners are giving us . Many of them had booths at the expo and unlike most tech conferences where people on booth duty out number visitors, here I saw plenty of traffic . For a first conference – how many companies will have representation from partners from North America , EMEA and APAC ? We did ! A huge thank you to all our partners !
I did have one regret – something I plan to fix next year. I could not listen in on most of the customer sessions. I can’t tell you how bummed I am to miss those. Next year, I am going to fix that and block some time for customer sessions. That is the most inspiring part of the whole event, and we had some rock star customer successes. I am used to conferences where majority of the content is produced by the vendor, and a small percentage of customers telling amazing stories. Boy was I thrilled – there was no shortage of amazing use cases. We had a partner from Israel who showed us how a telecom billing system was built on MongoDB. We had Citi and Goldman Sachs telling us about their MongoDB as a Service implementation. We had Parse ( now a part of Facebook) telling us how 275000 apps were enabled by MongoDB. And many many more .
What stood out clearly was the trend for some really big customers to think of MongoDB as a common platform for multiple projects, as opposed to a small little “toy” project. Enterprise software does not typically boast of tens or hundreds of thousands of apps – so this was very interesting for me to watch. There are a few different reasons for this. MongoDB being open source definitely helps in viral adoption. The price point for MongoDB paid subscription is low enough that cost pales into background in front of value. This is the opposite of typical enterprise selling motion – where a vendor tries to maximize every transaction. We don’t do that, and customers like it and use our technology more . And then there is the most amazing part of our story – our community.
We have over 600 partners now in our partner program ! We have technology integration with a broad range from exciting brand new start ups to household names in enterprise software like IBM, Teradata and SAP . As I have said before – it is not what we make , it is what we make possible . Partners are the ones primarily driving the “what is possible” – and they have been doing a fantastic job at that .
Our partnership philosophy is pretty simple – whether they are systems integrators, resellers, distributors, ISVs or IHVs, we want to enable and support them and get out of their way of scaling customer success. There are many things partners do that we can’t do by ourselves. A database by itself doesn’t have any direct business value – business value is delivered by the variety of apps we enable. Those are written by our partners and customers. So pretty much everywhere a partner can add value to a customer – we try to support them to the fullest extent, and get out of their way. The primary yardstick is to make sure we don’t compromise customer or user experience in the process. We will succeed together – Our customers, partners and us – and we will do so at scale. If you are a partner reading this and want to know more about our partner program, please visit us at http://mongodb.com/partners
If you did not get a chance to watch the keynotes – you absolutely should watch the videos. Plenty of tech goodness there – document level locking , pluggable storage engine, MMS automation etc – , as well as a lot of explanation of the big picture vision, customer successes etc. You will love it. I had fingers and toes crossed for the live demos – but Eliot and gang pulled it off in style. For me in particular – I loved the fact that all keynotes were short and to the point. Understated , elegant and yet quite enthusiastic. Hopefully this becomes the trend in tech conferences. Same deal for tech talks – they were concise and had time for Q&A.
I am going to take a few days off to recover, but I am looking forward to the next MongoDB World already 🙂