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Husqvarna: an experience in support hell April 30, 2016

Posted by Sacha in /dev/null.
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This is the story of a horrible support experience. It shows how choices made by a company can impact their customers and cast a very bad image on an otherwise good company with good products. This story shows what happens when a company think they are done with their customers once the sale happened. That’s a mistake. Selling should be the first milestone in a long journey…

Last summer, I decided to buy a lawn mowing robot. I had already bought other types of robots in the past, but they never quite did the job. But based on reviews, the lawn-mowing-type might be ready for prime-time. I don’t have a big garden at all, but during the week I work, on Saturday I have plenty of “catch-up” activities from the week and on Sunday … you are not allowed to mow in Switzerland… So my grass would grow, grow, making it clear that the next mowing session would be a true fight in the trenches, so… one more good reason to postpone even further… Anyway, after a careful review and selection process I went for the Husqvarna Automower 308, part of their their entry-level offering.

I did the setup and had it to work for the rest of the Summer 2015. It was a total success: no need to mow the lawn anymore, perfect cut, silent, etc. the ideal type of robot.

At the end of the Summer, I cleaned it, making sure not to use high-pressure water, but instead using a sponge and some (non running) water, being careful at not damaging it, following the advices of the user guide. Then I stored it in a dry place for the Winter.

Spring 2016, time comes to wake up my robot: I set it up again and… my robot shows signs of mad-cow disease: it starts moving and one of the wheel starts, stops, starts, stops, until the robot fully stops and beeps with a message: problem with the right wheel engine. Damned! How can a robot get damaged while sleeping in a basement?!? Especially after following the requirements set in the user guide!

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 13.43.00.png

Anyway, not only do goods in Switzerland automatically get a 2 years warranty by default, but I also bought a premium warranty service. I wasn’t quite sure what the premium warranty was for, candidly, but knowing I had bought the device from an online shop and this being an expensive buy, I thought it would probably not hurt to have a safety net.

So I contact the “premium” support company, Setronics, ship them the robot and wait for a reply (they’re supposed to give me feedback in the next 24h). No word, this worries me. So I contact them and here is the simple message I’m getting:

Nous avons recu une devis de Mower World.

Cette dégat ce une influence extérieure.La garantie est refusé.

Translating from (Swiss German) French to English:

We received a quote from Mower World

This damage has an external cause. The Warranty is refused.

And attached to the email, a detailed quote from a company called “Mower World“, with a repair cost of … Fr. 1’103.-, for a machine I bought (new) a few months ago for Fr. 1’490.-!

Let me dissect the situation for you:

  • The online shop, Galaxus.ch in that case, doesn’t handle support directly, the support goes to the company who sold me the “Premium” warranty, Sertronics.
  • Sertronics does NOT handle the repair themselves (at least for Husqvarna), they work with one of Husqvarna’s certified repair center, an independent company, in that case Mower World – it is NOT possible to send your device to Husqvarna, you must work with those independent certified shops.
  • Mower World decree that i) this is my fault and ii) I must replace ALL of the engines and ALL of the electronics, for a total worth 80% of a new model
  • The new equivalent model that replaces my 308 (the 308 is not being sold anymore, but the 105 is a carbon copy) is now sold by Galaxus.ch for … Fr. 1’107.-, the exact price of the repair 🙂

What goes through my brain at this point is that:

  • I know I properly handled my machine and cleaned it following the requirements of the user guide, so this machine should be repaired under warranty.
  • If some water indeed went into the machine, then it means something went wrong despite following Husqvarna’s advice

Furthermore, the quote from Mower World makes no sense to me. As an engineer, it just doesn’t compile. My robot is able to start, its onboard computer is fine (as I can interact with it), and I know that at least one of the engines is totally fine. So replacing ALL engines and the onboard computer just doesn’t pass the sniff test. I have a strong feeling: Mower World are either malicious or incompetent (being both requires distinct talent).

So I tell Sertronics that I’m really pissed, that Mower World’s quote makes no sense. Sertronics feels a bit uneasy about the situation. They understand they are sitting in-between two parties and are powerless. They offer me to send me back my machine as-is and wire me back the full amount I originally paid for the premium warranty. I accept and, a few days after, receive back my robot, still half-disassembled by the “repair” shop.

Since you can buy parts online, I decided I might as well repair the robot myself. So I fully disassemble it and, once at its core, observe that:

  • There is no obvious trace of water in it
  • All 3 engines seem absolutely fine, no corrosion whatsoever.
  • I spot some corrosion marks on the main board, corrosion which in all likelihood short-circuits the “legs” of at least one component: the one that connects to … the right wheel!

Those engines receive power (forward, backward), but also include sensors to indicate how much resistance they encounter. My 15-seconds theory is that if there is indeed a short-circuit between those pins on the board, as soon as the IC sends the signal to power the wheel, the same signal is received as an indication that resistance is found, hence it blocks the engine. Self feedback-loop, hence the mad-cow disease behavioor. The scenario intuitively makes a lot of sense to me.

So I reach out to a friend of mine, superstar engineer in electronics, and ask for his advice. He spots the corrosion and offers to do a proper cleaning job (thinner and an old toothbrush, followed by an inspection with a stereo microscope).

This morning, I put back the board in the robot, assembled the whole thing and… it works. None of the 3 engines were damaged and the IC board wasn’t out of order.

Where does that leave me? Several observations:

  • The quote from Mower World was clearly very wrong. While I can understand they are not engineers, hence wouldn’t play with thinner and a microscope, fine, but they should have at most replaced the electronic board. I have absolutely no idea how they reached the logical conclusion that all 3 engines had to be replaced. They did what I’d consider an extremely unprofessional job, this is insulting to customers. I’d never ever work with a company like that.
  • Since there was no trace of water in the robot, but there were traces of corrosion on the board, water must have made its way somehow, but NOT in any significant quantity. At this point, my assumption is that they made it (item 22, page 4, here) through a “hole”, probably built to evacuate heat, that sits just next to the board. But that’s just an assumption.
  • I find it shocking that a 3rd party company with no obvious tech skills get to decide whether the warranty applies or not in Husqvarna’s name, that’s putting a lot of faith in a partner network…
  • It has not been clear to me what was the advantage to taking a “premium” service contract with Sertronics, since, at least in that case, their sole purpose has been to forward my box to another provider and forward e-mails between two parties. Despite this lack of usefulness, I thank them for having offered to at least wire back the money for the premium warranty, probably realising they were playing no role whatsoever in that transaction.

But truth be told, the lack of competence of a small local repair shop doesn’t bother me too much, we are all used to this. My biggest problem is this one: what is Husqvarna’s role in all of this? They are totally absent from this picture! They’ve decided to delegate their support issues to 3rd party repair shops, and get rid of any relationship with customers. What message does that send? Instead, they “certify” repair centers and probably hope for those to do a decent job. But are they regularly verifying the quality and ethic of those shops? Are they asking for feedback on recurring issues impacting their devices? Or are they completely blind to what happens in the field and just sell spare parts at a high margin? In my case, I know for a fact that I’ve properly followed all advices from their user guide. So there must be a weakness in their sealing. But what can I do about it? I’m forced dealing with 3rd parties that have a clear incentive NOT to make those machines more robust: they make a living out of damaged goods.

In my opinion, this awful customer experience boils down to one simple thing: Husqvarna explicitly chose to not interact with customers, not be in touch with the field, but instead delegate what should otherwise be their product feedback-loop to 3rd parties whose business interest is at odd with Husqvarna’s and customers’ interests.

I’ll be forwarding this blog entry to Husqvarna and update this post with their feedback. If any…



P.S.: For the complete story, once I heard they wouldn’t fix it under warranty and since I didn’t know how much time it would take me to fix the robot, I bought a new one (105) and installed it. Galaxus.ch was nice and offered a discount on the newly bought device. Now that I have fixed it, I’m going to make good use of it and offered it.



Michel Goossens: From Time Magazine 1982 to CloudBees June 12, 2012

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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8 years ago, as I was JBoss’ GM Europe, David Skok introduced me to Michel Goossens with whom he had worked while at Silverstream. Following that introduction, Marc and I met Michel at Javapolis in Antwerp, that was at the end of 2004.

I remember Michel telling us his story, how he started his career as a pilot, how he had to emigrate to Africa to keep his license given how bad the flight industry was in Europe in the early 80’s, how he was then flying highly priced horses from rich farmers around Africa, from competition to competition and how, when he came back to Europe, he was struck by the 1982 Time’s magazine “Person of the Year”: The Computer. This made him realize Computers would get big, so he decided to go back at the university, learn what computers were about while taking his first job in IT.

Fast forward and 20 years after, Michel and I started working together at JBoss and had some real fun. After JBoss’ acquisition by Red Hat, Michel built Red Hat middleware overlay salesforce and moved on to join Magento, which was later acquired by E-Bay.

During all of those years, Michel and I have kept in touch and when I started CloudBees in 2010, Michel invested in CloudBees as part of our Series-A. 20 months after that, CloudBees’ European business is booming and I approached Michel to see if he was up for some more fun and was willing to put his time where his money is. And he was.

Consequently, I am very honored to announce that Michel has joined CloudBees as VP Sales Europe.

Welcome Michel! Onward,


Amazon 1 – Microsoft 0 January 16, 2012

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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The cloud is redefining the IT industry as we’ve known it. Amazon’s recent announcement to provide free Windows micro-instances on EC2 is another event that underscores this revolution occurring from the move to the cloud and how even a giant like Microsoft has probably been forced in such a move.

However, I see several roadblocks to truly leveraging “free” on EC2 with the Windows platform. Let’s explore this further… For as long as IaaS providers have existed, using a Windows machine has always been more expensive than using a Linux machine. As an illustration, you can see below the current prices for Amazon Web Services and Rackspace, two leading IaaS providers.

Rackspace Pricing
Amazon EC2 pricing

Using Microsoft Windows is about 33% to 40% more expensive than running Linux in the cloud (from just a per-hour pricing). Note that at that price point, in both cases you are not going to get support from any vendor (you would have to either get support from Microsoft for Windows or pay for a Linux subscription from Red Hat or another provider). This leads to several observations.

First, this demonstrates that current software licensed-based business models are ill-suited for the cloud. In order to be competitive, cloud providers are looking for ways to scale their business at the lowest possible cost, which, most of the time, means they’ll always prefer relying on Open Source software if it is feature-competitive with its proprietary counterparts. At the infrastructure layer, this is almost always true: virtualization, routing, firewall, load-balancing, storage, DNS, SSL, etc. are king in Open Source land. This makes it very hard for vendors like Microsoft and even VMware to remain competitive when up against cloud-providers’ offerings aimed at commoditizing the market. Consequently, in the new cloud era, especially at the infrastructure layer, either you are able to provide a full-fledge SERVICE offering (that is the “S” in “XaaS”) that can be packaged in a way that makes sense to your market, or times will be hard, very hard.

While this post focuses on Microsoft, it doesn’t mean that things will necessarily be rosier for Open Source vendors down the road. Let’s open a quick parenthesis on this aspect. Once a cloud provider has decided to move with Open Source software, the next question is whether they need to rely on a third-party company to get support for that open source components they are using? While they might need help initially, providers will typically have grown the required expertise in-house as they expand, with no need for a high-friction process involving a third-party vendor. Furthermore, since their infrastructure is very homogeneous (hundreds of thousands of identical servers!), they can support their open source software at a much lower price point than any generic subscription provider ever could: they do not have to run gazillions of tests on gazillions of different motherboards, chipset, LAN cards, controllers, disks, CPU, etc. Their domain problem isn’t a problem – as their infrastructure is hyper-focused. This point is illustrated by the recent launch of Amazon’s own Linux distribution, based on RHEL/CentOS: Amazon Linux. Not only is support for that version of Linux provided as part of the default IaaS support cost (and as we know, FREE is a tough price point to beat), but it probably saves costs to Amazon since those customers are using a stack that Amazon understands extremely well, hence reducing the probability of hard-to-diagnose support tickets.

The bottom line is that any infrastructure subscription/license business, open source or proprietary, is a hard business in the cloud era.

But let’s go back to our point with regard to Microsoft Windows. So, Windows is not only up to 40% more expensive to run in the cloud, but the tools available to build a Windows AMI (vs. a Linux AMI), customize it, provision it, build a JEOS (Just Enough OS) are much weaker on Windows than on Linux. Anybody who has tried to properly automate the usage of Windows and Linux in the cloud will tell you that none of this is trivial, and that Windows is particularly hard. Second roadblock to Windows’ adoption in the cloud: Windows’ cloud DNA is weak, very weak.

Let’s pursue on the on-ramping of new cloud users. About a year ago, Amazon launched their “free usage tier” offering. The idea was to provide free compute capacity to new subscribers so they could experience and learn the cloud at no cost. Yet, because this was a free offering, it was only made available for Linux-based AMIs. This meant that for about a year, tens of thousands of developers, DevOps, sys admins, etc. have learned how to use the cloud on Linux, not on Windows. Third roadblock: Windows is not a good candidate for on-ramping new users to the cloud, both for technical and pricing reasons.

Microsoft has probably tried to ignore this for while but this wasn’t sustainable: Amazon announced today that Windows is now also eligible on these free tier instances. For this to happen, MSFT probably had to provide free pass-through licenses to Amazon for that very purpose and maybe even more as this is really a way for Microsoft to tap into AWS’s on-ramping funnel. As we all well know, whenever we read “Microsoft Windows” and “free” in the same sentence, we know that something big had to force that situation.One last roadblock? Well, now you can try to do something meaningful on Windows with 613MB of RAM, which is what AWS’ free micro instances provide…

The cloud is redefining the IT industry as we’ve known it and re-shuffling power among vendors. This is an opportunity for new entrants such as CloudBees to make a difference as well as for dominant positions to shift base. My humble opinion? Amazon will become the new Microsoft and today’s news might be one of the first symbolic events that signal that shift. It will be very hard for Microsoft to turn their ship in a new direction.

Oh, and remember, you can test whatever the cloud revolution means to you, as a Java Developer, on the CloudBees PaaS. Just try us for free! 😉



CloudBees Wins a Perfect Trifecta! January 10, 2012

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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I always start the New Year with plenty of well-intended resolutions. Never mind, most of them don’t last: as soon as I start hitting the post-break reality, resolutions seems harder to satisfy, exceptions to whatever I have committed to seem to stack up and, oh well…maybe next year.

For now, the same logic doesn’t seem to apply at CloudBees. Here’s why.

In 2010, we committed to ourselves that in 2011 we would offer the first end-to-end, development-to-production Java PaaS in GA. Last year, in January 2011, we announced the first end-to-end, development-to-production, Java PaaS in GA. That was a great way to start the year — without breaking an important New Years resolution.

In 2011, we committed to aggressively communicating to the industry who CloudBees is and what we offer. We did just that. As if it was a mirror image of January 2011, this January–in just a few days—also saw that resolution come to be! In just a few days, CloudBees received three awards!

The first one was NetworkWorld, who recognized CloudBees as one of “9 hot technology startups to watch in 2012.” Wow – not bad for a one-year old company!

The next day, Dr. Dobbs announced the JOLT Awards. CloudBees received an Honorable Mention and, according to Executive Editor Andrew Binstock, “…CloudBees was included for special distinction because we strongly feel it indicates an important new direction in coding.”

Finally, last but not least, today we received an “InfoWorld 2012 Technology of the Year Award,” placing us in good company with products such as … Amazon Web Services, the iPad, Apple Siri, MacBook Air, etc. You can also read the press release we issued today.

With such a great start, I have a very good feeling about CloudBees in 2012…and, I can’t wait to see what NEXT January may also bring! After all, good things happen in threes…



CloudBees Running for a JCP Executive Committee Seat! October 20, 2011

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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At CloudBees, we are convinced that the cloud is the new platform; the platform where most of the workloads will end up running. This is a big fundamental shift in IT, one of those shifts that you only see once every two decades or so.

To navigate successfully through that transition, languages, frameworks, vendors, etc. have to adapt to that new paradigm. To quote General Erik Shineski (I tend not to quote Generals much, so please bear with me): “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.

For that reason, here at CloudBees, we have decided to step up and run for a JCP EC seat. We think Java needs to go through some important changes, including:

read more here…

What a week! JUC, JavaOne, TAB & more… October 10, 2011

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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My Family in the Alps (this obviously includes our cat)Last week was phenomenal in intensity: first we had the Jenkins User Conference (JUC), for which CloudBees was the platinum sponsor and key organizer. JUC was immediately followed by JavaOne and CloudBees’ semi-annual Technical Advisory Board (TAB) meeting. In between planning and execution of all of these activities a number of very important press releases were issued, along with associated media and analyst briefings.

Today it is Friday. I am back in Switzerland and it just started snowing: the perfect conditions to provide a moment for me to sit down, look back, reflect and appreciate…

Read more on the CloudBees blog…

ORCL and the Cloud: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly October 7, 2011

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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In what was probably Larry’s second hardest thing to go through (after losing against Alinghi during the finals of the 2003 Louis Vuitton Cup), ORCL finally joined the cloud reality.

Let’s go through the good, the bad and the ugly in what ORCL announced…

The Good

Larry has long been in denial about the cloud: this stance was not sustainable anymore. As a matter of fact, ORCL was the last major IT company to still resist the obvious: the cloud is here to stay – and it is thriving. If ORCL hadn’t changed course, they were truly facing a risk that their application, middleware and infrastructure businesses would be ripped apart by fast growing and much more agile SaaS, PaaS and IaaS vendors – and this in probably less than half a decade.

But Larry is a wise businessman and he certainly has no intent to lead his venerable company to the “elephants’ graveyard.” Consequently, ORCL made it clear today that they intend to play a significant role in the cloud at all levels: IaaS, PaaS and SaaS.

HP, Microsoft and to a (much) lesser extent, IBM had already laid out a cloud strategy and had started executing on it. ORCL was the last fortress to resist and their stance had probably been cited by a number of CIOs as an argument to justify their own resistance to the cloud. Those days are now over and all of the largest enterprise IT vendors have clearly sent the message that the cloud is the new platform. ORCL joining the fray is a greatly symbolic step forward for the cloud.

The Bad

The problem is that if you take a closer look at ORCL’s current cloud offering you’ll quickly realize that ORCL is not really moving into the cloud, it is more…moving the cloud into ORCL.

You want to pay as you go? You want elasticity? You want on-demand? Fine. ORCL’s current cloud offering is essentially a repackaged vertical stack of the good-old ORCL you’ve always known; they’ve simply made it possible to consume it in a cloudish way. We are still far away from the generic cloud infrastructure offering of an Amazon AWS, a true cloud platform à la CloudBees or a multi-tenant application offering à la Salesforce.com. Welcome [b|h]ack to the ASP model by the hour, welcome to 1996.

My gut tells me that ORCL’s customers won’t be satisfied with such a vertically-closed view of the cloud. ORCL will have to do better much better. But it takes more than a snap of the fingers to move such a large ship towards a new paradigm, so let’s give ORCL some time, the benefit of the doubt and let’s see how they execute.

The Ugly

The reality is that despite ORCL’s efforts to enter the space, and independently of their technical offering, it will be very hard for ORCL to incentivize their sales force to drive any meaningful cloud sales.

In order to be successful, their cloud solution would have to be better, faster and cheaper than their current offerings.

ORCL’s offering, as we have seen, is currently no way better or faster: being a mere hosting offering of their current products, it doesn’t provide any meaningful value-add and it is unlikely to generate a gold rush-like stampede to ORCL’s cloud platform.

As for the cheaper part, I doubt ORCL will convert their very-high, per-CPU prices into marketplace give-aways just because the cloud is cool.

ORCL’s prices will either have to be compatible with their current pricing scheme and level – which means absolutely non-competitive with the cloud offerings out there – or aggressively priced, hence in complete competition with their own sales force.

The fundamental question for many entrenched software vendors trying to enter the cloud is how can they incent their sales force to move away from highly priced, multi-year upfront licenses deals, in favor of pay-as-you-go, pay-what-you-need, self-service offerings, in complete disruption of their current account-level or territory-based sales model. This will be hard to swallow and a tough selling transition to make.


As the last major IT vendor to commit to the cloud, ORCL closed the introductory chapter of its cloud story this week.

Ten years ago, it was less and less sustainable for companies not to have a clear open source strategy in order to i) protect their IP, and ii) increase their productivity. The exact same thing is true today with the cloud: now is the time to embrace the future.

Welcome to the cloud era, Oracle!



Steve Harris join CloudBees as SVP of Products September 27, 2011

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.

One of CloudBees’ top priorities for 2011 was to build a seasoned executive team. This led to Jim McLoughlin (from Appirio) joining as VP of Sales, André Pino (from Forrester) joining as VP of Marketing and John Vigeant (from Citrix) joining as VP of Business Development.

One of the critical hires we still had to execute on was to recruit a strong product leader. We were looking for somebody with a strong understanding of the middleware market, of Java and of what developers’ and enterprises’ aspirations are.

Today I am proud to announce that Steve Harris is joining the team as CloudBees’ SVP of Products. Steve was seen by many as “Mr. Java” at ORCL and a truly respected individual for his hard work, management style and leadership. Everybody I’ve talked to only had great things to say about Steve: engineers, peers, partners and competitors. Steve went through the Oracle AS era, the BEA acquisition and then the SUN acquisition, with both the Weblogic and Glassfish teams under his leadership.

Steve starts at a great time to ramp up at neutrinos speed: he will attend the Jenkins User Conference this coming Sunday, be present at the CloudBees booth at JavaOne next week and drive our Technical advisory Board (TAB) in Menlo Park next Tuesday.

Welcome Steve, onward,


P.S.: you can see a recent presentation from Steve here.

Recent Google App Engine News: Think Beyond Pricing… September 6, 2011

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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Shortly after going GA with Google App Engine (GAE), Google announced a new pricing scheme a few days back.

This new scheme has generated lots of heat and anger, with some GAE customers estimating their monthly cost will grow from US $8,800 to an estimated US $20,000.

To me, this turn of events leads to several observations:

Read more here…

CloudBees raises Series-B from LightSpeed Venture Partners July 25, 2011

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.

Sometimes, you can’t be sure why, everything seems to go wrong. Wrong timing, wrong sequence, wrong ideas, wrong team. Just all wrong.

And sometimes, things seem to unfold perfectly: the team is great, the chemistry happens, the ideas are good, the timing is right. Not that hard work is not required or that you don’t mistakes, but even those seem to have a purpose.

For now, CloudBees seems to fit in that second category. We launched the company 16 months ago, have raised 4m USD last year from Matrix Partners and the incomparable David Skok, joined forces with two great companies (InfraDNA and Stax Networks) and released the only Java PaaS that covers the complete application lifecycle, from development to production, in GA, with full support for SaaS partners as part of the platform. In the meantime, the team has grown from 5 to 27 and we will be opening our first office in Boston this week, which will primarily be serving as the mothership for our sales and marketing team – our engineering team being mostly located somewhere else on Earth.

While it is typically pretty hard to have any kind of certainty in this type of context, I have two: i) the PaaS market is going to be incredibly big and strategic and ii) it is unclear at what point it will fully trigger. And the timing won’t just depend on CloudBees delivering on a great platform and great customer service, it will also depend on a large number of external factors: confidence in public cloud infrastructure, viral effects around cloud-based deployment, messaging and investment of the leading software vendors towards the cloud, adoption of SaaS solutions, type of new applications being deployed, growth of the mobile applications market, (reduced-)IT spending, world’s economy, etc.

Consequently, the right thing we can do at CloudBees is to keep innovating, flawlessly deliver on quality releases and top service and aim for the long term. More of the same essentially.

To that end, we had in mind to raise a second round of funding later this year. That was the plan at least. It was without counting on a high-energy and talented investor, John Vrionis from Lightspeed Venture Partners who pinged me some time ago: he told me he had essentially done a lot of research, carefully studied this market, and he wanted to be part of the CloudBees adventure. He liked the market, the team, the approach and thought we needed to be equipped to do what is right for the company, resource-wise and time-wise.

As we got to know each other better, we obviously performed our due-diligence and checked on John’s references. My dream is that if 10 years from now I get reference checked, I would like to get 10% of the positive feedback that John got. We were looking for a West Coast VC that would not merely sit on the board but would be part of the team, dedicate time, energy, frustration, joy and neurons to CloudBees and obviously understand what’s happening in the cloud.

As a result of this a deal was sealed and Lightspeed Venture Partners agreed to invest 10.5m USD in CloudBees, along with Matrix Partners.

Welcome John. Onward,


P.S.: original post is on CloudBees’ blog.

CloudBees Ecosystem Launch – Discover CloudBees^2 June 29, 2011

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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Last week at CloudBees, we have released our CloudBees Ecosystem program. As traditional ISVs morph into SaaS vendors, you will start seeing more and more of them aggregating around leading PaaS vendors, as a way to reach out to developers. This also enables PaaS vendors to provide their developers with a great tool box, nicely integrated with the platform.

I am very proud that CloudBees is the first Java PaaS to provide such an ecosystem, comforting us as the innovation leader in that space.

You can read more on my blog entry at CloudBees. Onward,


Vote for CloudBees June 3, 2011

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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Vote for CloudBees to win the JAX Award: http://vote.jax-awards.com/

Thanks 🙂

What is a PaaS after all? March 30, 2011

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, IT.
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I’ve just written a blog on what I think is a major differentiators between two families of PaaS out there: the infrastructure-centric PaaS vs. the application-centric PaaS.

Summary: you really want to use one in the second category.


Hudson is now Jenkins January 31, 2011

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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After some passionated discussions, the Hudson community has voted and accepted by more than 93% of positive votes to rebrand the project to “Jenkins”.

A three-persons interim board has been setup to further formalize the development processes and architecture of Jenkins. One of those seats has been offered to ORCL, but it seems they’ve declined it. The idea is to setup proper board elections in a few months, once the dust has settled.

Let me restate that while CloudBees is an important contributor to the Jenkins project, we have no intent to “take ownership” of that project: we won’t own its trademark, nor will we request contributors to assign a copyright license to CloudBees. Decisions about the Jenkins project will take place through its board and community. We certainly invite companies interested in Jenkins to join the community – and that includes ORCL. I’ve already received e-mails of companies indicating their intent to start working or to keep working with the Jenkins community.

The Jenkins community is an equal playing field project, code speaks.




Java in the cloud: Amazon joins the party January 19, 2011

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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Amazon announced today its Elastic Beanstalk offering, essentially providing Java in the cloud. This is great news as it reinforces the message that the future of Java is in the cloud, not on premise.

Yet, beyond the signal it sends to the market, this move doesn’t radically change the current situation. If you are a Java developer, you will find that CloudBees is a more mature and more sophisticated offering. CloudBees is a global platform, from dev to production, which will shield you from IT entirely.

Let’s dig more into how CloudBees’ vision differs from AWS’.

More on CloudBees’s blog…

Webinar: 7 Ways to Optimize Hudson for Production January 14, 2011

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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On the 19th of January, Kohsuke Kawaguchi, founder and key developer of Hudson, will walk you through an essential checklist that you can follow to ensure a smoothly-running Hudson production server. This presentation will take place as a free live webinar, you just need to register here.

More on CloudBees’ blog…

Hudson/Jenkins – some more context and thoughts January 12, 2011

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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Andrew Bayer just posted a blog post on Hudson-labs.org with a proposal for renaming the Hudson project to “Jenkins”. Since Kohsuke Kawaguchi, founder of and lead contributor to the Hudson project, is part of CloudBees, and I’ve helped Andrew and Kohsuke bounce ideas, I wanted to share some more context and thoughts.

Each and every Open Source project has its own DNA, its own philosophy that gets established over time. Born in 2004, Hudson has had plenty of time to find its cruising altitude. Yet, after Kohsuke left ORCL, ORCL decided they didn’t necessarily liked the way the project was handled and asked for some changes to take place.

Let me clarify a key point upfront: was ORCL’s proposal stupid? No, not at all. Each and every project has a different DNA and I could very well see some FOSS projects for which such proposal would have made sense. Yet, the real question was not so much whether ORCL’s proposal could make sense for “some” project, the question was whether their proposal was making sense for Hudson specifically, a project with a well established DNA. And here the answer is a clear no.

So, why didn’t the community simply reject this proposal and move on? Anybody can request changes to any project, which doesn’t mean they’ll get accepted, right? Well, the difference here is that Hudson has an “asymmetry” in its community: one of its community members, ORCL, claims they “own” the brand and every contributor has to sign a contributor agreement granting them a copyright license. This “asymmetry” is frequent in many projects (JBoss, Glassfish, etc.) Yet, what is less frequent is when the “owner” of such asymmetry contributes very very little IP to the project (but receives a lot of free IP from the contributors through the CLA).

And so, the fear was that the Hudson project would be at the mercy of any random decision ORCL could take in the future.  And while I trust the person at ORCL with whom I’ve been interacting to not make any stupid or damaging decisions, at the end of the day this is not an agreement with a specific individual, this is an agreement with ORCL: people come and go.

So, what was the right decision? Was it be better for the community to keep investing its time and energy in the existing brand, and take the risk that it could fire back at some point in the future or was it better to “sanitize” the situation upfront and invest those efforts in building a new brand, hence removing the asymmetry that currently exists in the community?

What about ORCL now? They essentially have two choices. They can either keep working on their own project under the good old Hudson brand, or they can participate as an equal player in the newly branded community. Personally, I’d really like to see ORCL join forces with the rest of the community, as CloudBees will. I truly hope ORCL will join us, if not now, once the dust will have settled.

Last but not least, let me clarify one important thing: CloudBees has no intention whatsoever to replace ORCL as the new asymmetry in the Hudson/Jenkins community: CloudBees has no intention to own the trademark on the new brand, to own the IP of the project or anything else. Yet, what CloudBees has every intention to do is to further invest time and energy in contributing to Jenkins.




CloudBees becomes the PaaS innovation leader December 14, 2010

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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Just a few weeks after announcing the acquisition of InfraDNA, the Hudson CI leader, and raising 4m USD from Matrix Partners and private investors, we are very proud to announce today the acquisition of Stax Networks.

Read more on CloudBees’ blog

CloudBees raises 4m USD from Matrix Partners November 29, 2010

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English.

Yet another great day at CloudBees: today, we are announcing that we have just raised 4m USD in a Series A round.

Investors include:

  • David Skok & Matrix Partners: I am very proud to have David as part of the team, he has done a terrific job at JBoss and he is not the kind of investor who only talks to you on quarterly board meetings, he is a  * doer* and truly proactively helps companies he invests in. You can read David’s remarkable blog posts on For Entrepreneurs.com.
  • Marc Fleury: I am also very proud to have my friend “marcf” onboard as an investor, especially since I know he is getting very active with his own venture: OpenRemote. (Funnily enough, both OpenRemote’s and CloudBees’ CEOs are located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland 😉 )
  • Bob Bickel: Bob has been part of the CloudBees adventure since Day-One as a close advisor, so I am happy to see him invest in CloudBees – he wasn’t just being nice to me 😉
  • Michel Goossens: I met Michel back in the JBoss days when he joined the EMEA team to drive sales and marketing. Since then we have remained in close touch. Michel currently works at the fast growing Magento.

David and Bob will sit on CloudBees’ board. I’d also like to thank John Pearce for his help during that process.

Team, thank you for all of the work you’ve been doing to date, it has been a crazy pace – you are all amazing! Starting this week, new bees are joining our ranks, Lisa and Harpreet are going to help us on the marketing and product management fronts (happy kick-off in SFO!). And there is more coming, so stay tuned….




CloudBees further accelerating! November 9, 2010

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.
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Today, InfraDNA and CloudBees are announcing that they are joining forces. As part of this, InfraDNA founder and Hudson creator Kohsuke Kawaguchi joins CloudBees.

This is really a great milestone for CloudBees. You can read more about it: