SpikeSource Empowers Long Tail ISV's

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Today SpikeSource, an open source-focused software verification company, has announced that their software certification service has been gaining significant traction amongst independent software vendors (ISV’s). The company has been heavily funded by Intel , and is now powering the system that certifies ISV applications before they are made available in the Intel Business Exchange.

The platform gives ISV’s the ability to develop applications on a custom stack, complete with a set of pre-tested components that ensure security and interoperability. It also enables ISV’s to leverage advanced Intel technology such as multi-core processing in the development process to produce scalability, reduce support costs, and accelerate the time into market. ISV’s using the service boast an Intel branded certification badge to attest to the quality of their product.

The platform is currently in use by over 100 ISV’s, primarily in the security, networking, telecommunications, and enterprise markets. SpikeSource’s Jamshed Patel claims that they are currently focusing on expansion into foreign markets, and eventually plan on designing packages for vertical market segments.

The service has potential to be enormously helpful. Alternative deployment services are generally highly manual and program driven rather than technology driven, leaving a majority of the work to the ISV’s. It should be of huge help to long tail software companies trying to penetrate the market.

  • http://www.infowreck.com Patrick

    I work for an ISV that was approached by SpikeSource for “verification,” and I feel like this post is a bit of a shill. The idea of software verification has been around for a while (Microsoft, for instance, did a huge push to get ISVs to have their applications certified for Vista using Keystone), and SpikeSource really isn’t doing anything new. More to the point, while Microsoft’s program was in the $1000 range, SpikeSource wanted upwards of $25k per appliation, per year. Many of the benefits you cite, such as “leverage advanced Intel technology such as multi-core processing,” are nothing more than simple checks to see if an application is using threads. The “pre-approved” stack is almost laughable – they do almost no real validation of the components (at least, from a security perspective), providing a false sense of security. Our company passed, and I can’t believe their verification service will ever catch on (BX, on the other hand, does seem useful).

  • http://www.spikesource.com Dominic Sartorio

    Hi Patrick,
    Thanks for your comments, though I’m sorry to see that your sales call resulted in so many misconceptions about the program. Allow me to clarify.

    First, our certification service is quite different than the others you cite. Other services are one-time; you certify a specific version of your product, then need to pay again if you want to certify the next version. Ours was engineered to be a low-touch repeatable set of tests, and you can recertify as many versions as you want, as many times as you want, as long as you are current on your subscription. This way, you can maintain certification status as your product evolves, and continue to build customer trust without them worrying about whether a given dot release has “enough changes so the previous release’s certification doesn’t really apply anymore”.

    Second, while our Intel technology tests will grow and evolve, it is true that today we focus on multi-core performance. However it isn’t accurate to say “we just check for threads”. We measure whether or not you sufficiently scale on multi-core so that your customers can trust that your product will perform better. It’s an application performance test, not just an architectural checkbox. It’s true that threading one’s code is the most common way of achieving multi-core scalability, but it’s not the only way.

    Third, regarding the “false sense of security” comment. Our security tests aren’t just a one-time test; you also subscribe to an alerting service anytime new vulnerabilities are discovered that affect your product, so you can stay on top of the security issues that might affect your customers. And if you’re using our stacks, then those stacks are continually updated for security issues. If a new vulnerability is discovered in a component, we rev our stacks with the fix. Saying we do “almost no real validation” simply isn’t true.

    Hopefully this clears up the certification misconceptions, but last and not least, the program is more than certification. The program you should have been introduced to is a “Business Builder” program, an integrated program that combines certification with downstream marketing, channel and demand-generation benefits. If you think about it, what does it take to grow a software company; what does it take to turn a good idea into a sustainable business? It takes two things: (1) product that customers can trust and (2) ability to reach your target customers in the first place. This program integrates both – A certification service resulting in the Intel brand of quality associated with your product, and differentiated placement on the IBX plus additional marketing benefits. Few other programs, and certainly not the Microsoft program you cite, offer this level of benefits.

    Hopefully this helps – If this now seems more compelling to you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us (or me personally).

    Dominic Sartorio
    Sr Director, Product Management, SpikeSource

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