NFV Strategies

CEO Chat With Barry Mainz, Wind River

Valley Life

Steve Saunders: I almost went to the wrong office this morning. [Ed.note: It's true: Instead of going to Wind River's San Jose office, our fearless leader almost drove 75 miles in totally the wrong direction.]

Barry Mainz: Oh, good Lord.

SS: Yeah, I didn't get in to San Jose until 1 a.m. last night and I was super-tired. I was walking out of the apartment this morning and I just thought, well, I guess I should double-check which office I'm going to. So that was lucky.

BM: Yeah, that's good.

SS: But that's the headquarters, right, up there in Alameda?

BM: It is, yeah; this is the executive briefing center.

SS: Well, this office is beautiful.

BM: The Valley has changed. To get the type of designers that we want, you've got to have a little bit of a different environment. So this looks very Silicon Valley-ish, very open. To get a lot of good designers, we had to put an outpost down here.

SS: It's really challenging right now when you're competing with web-scale companies who are quite happy to just throw money and entitlement at new staff. I know you have a close relationship with Intel, and that's certainly not the Intel way, right?

BM: True, but Intel understands there's differences in the software market. I mean we're not just throwing money at them like drunken sailors or anything like that. But there are things that we need to do to compete. Like, hey, guess what? They like Macs. So we buy them Macs.

SS: Was that a big fight?

BM: Not internally, here. You need to give people the tools they want. They're probably going to want Macs. They're going to want different open environments. They're going to probably bring in beanbags.

SS: Always annoying. Tell me about the relationship between Wind River and Intel.

BM: The acquisition happened in 2009. We're a wholly owned subsidiary, so we have our own P&L, our own IT systems. A lot of it is because our customers look at us as Switzerland in some sense. So having the autonomy to be able to direct our business to what our customers and their needs are, their use cases, is important.

SS: So it was a customer-driven initiative not to roll it into the mothership?

BM: Customer, ecosystem partners, etcetera.

SS: I know you have a really strong ecosystem. I was reading about it. What is that called again?

BM: Titanium Cloud.

SS: Titanium Cloud, yeah. How many companies in that now?

BM: So we've got 16; going to 25 here pretty shortly. I know we picked up another two or three yesterday with all the contracts going through, so I might be off by one. But there is that ecosystem that we have for say, NFV, or software-defined X. And we have ecosystems for the other vertical markets that we play in.

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