Joining the Board of BonitaSoft

I just agreed to join BonitaSoft’s Board of Directors. BonitaSoft is a rising star in Business Process Management (BPM), a market that Chausson Finance describes as currently worth $2.6 billion and expected to grow 30% per year by 2012.

The Bonita Project, the first open source BPM solution, was launched in France in 2001 by INRIA (Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique), then hosted by the ObjectWeb Consortium (now OW2), and brought to maturity by Bull. The solution has already been downloaded more than 140,000 times and has more than 300 contributors. The three founders - Miguel Valdés Faura, Rodrigue Le Gall, and Charles Souillard - have created a structure to support development of both the project and the business.

BonitaSoft just announced its first round of funding of $3 million with two major investors – Ventech and Auriga Partners. I want to congratulate BonitaSoft’s management who, despite an unfavorable economic climate (particularly in terms of investment) managed to convince a pool of investors of the relevance and future prospects of their solution and their business model.

Besides the size of this market today and its forecast growth, BonitaSoft has other things going for it. On one hand, the solution takes advantage of all the well-known benefits of the open source model - ease of use and deployment, worldwide contributions, interoperability, rapid ROI, and scalability. BonitaSoft’s TOC is 10 times lower than that of proprietary solutions. Does that remind you of anything? Oh, of course - Talend!

The BPM market today resembles the data integration industry of three years ago - it is dominated by giants (Tibco, Oracle, IBM, etc.) - proprietary solutions characterized by high development, implementation, and maintenance costs, as well as an ROI that is hard to quantify and predict.

In addition, BonitaSoft serves a diverse community - government, banking and insurance, industry, technology, etc. Since the emergence of software, large, strategic markets have been its primary target. The interest shown by these institutions and large enterprises is, of course, a guarantee of continuity for current projects.

And finally, after 20 years the BPM has reached maturity. Firms now understand the benefits they can derive - increased productivity and efficiency, aligning processes with strategy, compliance and traceability, and control and integration between customers and partners.

All these factors have helped BonitaSoft build a solid and promising company. I won’t conceal that I’ve been carefully following BonitaSoft’s progress for some time and have offered both my experience and my connections. It was, therefore, quite natural to agree to join its Board of Directors. We will now work to create synergies between our software offerings that some of our customers have been asking for. And we will certainly keep you informed.

Smooth sailing, BonitaSoft!

Bertrand