Six years ago, Nils Brauckmann became CEO of SUSE after the company was split out from Novell in 2011. Speaking at his company's annual SUSEcon event on November 8, Brauckmann reflected that SUSE has been on a growth path ever since the Novell exit.
For 2016, Brauckmann said that revenue grew year over year by 18 percent, and in North America growth was particularly strong, up by 24 percent. He added that SUSE is now also doing a larger number of big deals with values of million dollars or more. In 2016 the number of large deals greater than $1 million went up by 22 percent year-over-year.
According to Brauckmann, the fastest-growing route to market for SUSE now is the public cloud.
"In 2011 when we started to re-establish the SUSE business and unleash the power of SUSE and push the brand again, that was an exciting time," Brauckmann said. "We have seen a stable recovery of the business and have made it profitable again."
Brauckmann added that, "It's really repeatable, sustainable growth that we have achieved."
At the event, SUSE announced its SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 2 update, which provides performance and high-availability improvements. Brauckmann noted that for many years, SUSE was focused specifically on Enterprise Linux; however, over the last couple of years, SUSE has expanded its technologies into adjacent market areas with OpenStack, software-defined storage, CloudFoundry and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) efforts.
Looking forward, Brauckmann is very optimistic about the partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) that is now under active discussion. He did note that full details on the partnership and how it will work are set to be announced in the late November / early December timeframe.
Fundamentally, though, Brauckmann emphasized that he wants SUSE to be known as an open open-source vendor. In his view, being an open, open-source vendor is about providing a best-of-breed solution stack that consists of technologies from multiple sources, including both open as well as proprietary code.
"For customers in the market, heterogeneous IT environments are a reality for them," Brauckmann said. "What they really need is open-source partners at their side that are able, capable and dependable."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist