To hear him tell it, Centric was already a wild success story. Some 7,000 community members, the largest of them a $20 billion food service outfit. A 25 person staff. A solid Java-based core being extended into other areas like content management, even project management. A complete open source stack solution. Subversion version control.
Then Harvey said the three magic letters, IBM, and I understood.
Every major vendor today has a "posse," a set of open source vendors who surround it and live in its ecosystem. Microsoft has one. Novell has one. RedHat has one. IBM's is like the company itself, quiet, corporate, and shy unless they have something to say.
Which Centric does now.
"Our internal load testing, running on modest hardware, right off the shelf, assembles databases with tens of thousands of records, 1,000 or more concurrent users, and the system doesn't break into a sweat.
"We've also been working closely with IBM on certifying and porting so the same Centric CRM application runs across the entire IBM hardware and middleware stack." In fact Centric often exhibits in IBM booths at major events,
"One of their main demos uses Centric CRM working on IBM hardware. We're working with at least six different groups within IBM. There's technical, marketing and sales collaboration."
Centric started as a consultancy in 2000, and Harvey admits the first version of their software, written with PHP, was poorly received. But the Java version has taken off. It's now on Version 4.1.
And that's the message. If you're in IBM's posse you'll get the time and support to make mistakes, as well as a hearty endorsement when you do succeed. IBM's posse isn't flashy, but when the press does get called you'll be ready for your close-up.