MySQL AB – a new product and an IPO

Speaking of Open Source companies that understand their market and core strengths, MySQL AB has also been on a tear. Earlier this week, the company announced its MySQL Enterprise Unlimited program. From the press release:
MySQL AB, developer of the world's most popular open source database, today unveiled a simpler way for large and growing organizations to acquire and adopt enterprise software. Designed with a customer’s perspective in mind, a one-year MySQL Enterprise Unlimited subscription offers a company-wide enterprise site agreement at the unprecedented low price of $40,000 (EUR 32,000, GBP 24,000).
“MySQL Enterprise has made it significantly easier to purchase database software and technical support for our entire organization,” said Glenn Bergeron, systems manager for Instaclick Inc., one of the first companies to take advantage of MySQL Enterprise Unlimited. “This new offering is ideal for corporate IT organizations with a growing number of projects but a tightly-fixed budget.”
MySQL Enterprise Unlimited is designed for companies with existing site licenses for Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase and IBM DB2. Last year, a survey of the Independent Oracle User Group showed that a full third of its membership also used MySQL1. With a MySQL Enterprise Unlimited subscription, an organization can develop, manage and fully support any number of MySQL database applications — significantly reducing IT time, cost and risk.
“Due in large part to advantages in distribution and volume, open source has the ability to disrupt traditional enterprise software pricing,” said Stephen O'Grady, principal analyst for RedMonk. “MySQL is attempting to prove as much with its latest site wide agreements, which offer customers the ability to support every database across their enterprise at a fraction of the traditional cost.”

Make no mistake about it, MySQL AB could have actually raised the price of their main product and still sold more. Instead they have chosen a plan which I think has a higher upside potential long term. Matt covers some of the reason the company is able to do this:
Zack told me over email (in response to my question, “How can you possibly make money at that price?):
The reason we can make money is because:
-The software really works
-And we don't have expensive Armani-wearing Ferrari-driving sales reps closing 40K deals.

Expanding on that is a post on Zack's blog. This isn't just about Oracle, it's about disrupting the industry. That's why this is a long term play. It's game changing. A lot of proprietary companies may have raised their rates as mentioned earlier, to boost the bottom line in the short term. It all looks very nice on the balance sheet. MySQL represents what I consider the future. Vibrant sustainable companies that treat their customers like partners and not like prey.
I see that the company is now looking at an IPO. As you may have guessed by my previous comments, I'll certainly try to get in on that. As you may have also guessed, I also regularly recommend and implement MySQL and run it on a site that gets a considerable amount of traffic.
–jeremy

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