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With Docker Enterprise Acquisition, Mirantis Accelerated Container Adoption

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Guest: Adrian Ionel (LinkedIn, Twitter)
Company: Mirantis (LinkedIn, Twitter)
Show: Let’s Talk

It’s been more than two years since Mirantis acquired Docker’s Enterprise Platform business. We invited Adrian Ionel, CEO, Co-Founder and Chairman of Mirantis, to join us on Let’s Talk and reflect on this acquisition. “I’m immensely grateful and extremely proud of what the new colleagues who joined us from Docker Enterprise have accomplished within our company and how they transformed the company,” said Ionel.

The acquisition also helped Mirantis grow, “I think we won about 100 new logos since the acquisition, the vast majority of them on the Container platform. And they are among the best brands you can imagine in the industry,” said Ionel.

He also talked about the acquisition of Lens and how both Docker Enterprise and Lens have enriched the customer base of Mirantis by helping customers wherever they are in their cloud journey.

Check out the whole interview above.

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Swapnil Bhartiya: Hi, this is your host Swapnil Bhartiya, and welcome to TFiR Let’s Talk. And today we have with us once again, Adrian Ionel, CEO of Mirantis. Adrian, it’s great to have you back on the show.

Adrian Ionel: Hey, nice to see you again. How are you today?

Swapnil Bhartiya: I’m good. Happy New Year as well. It’s been more than two years if I’m not wrong since you folks acquired a Docker Enterprise. So I just want to take a moment, of course, in general, so just look back and reflect on that. What do you think of how this acquisition worked out? Not only for Mirantis, but also the whole ecosystem, because a lot of folks are benefiting from it?

Adrian Ionel: I’m immensely grateful and extremely proud of what the new colleagues who joined us from Docker Enterprise have accomplished within our company and how they transformed the company. We are a new company because of them in part to get also with the folks who are here for a long period of time. So what they’ve achieved in the last two years is absolutely amazing and it’s been the most beautiful journey for me, personally, to see that unfold. I think they’ve done amazing work and the impact on our customers, on the industry has been fantastic. So that’s the way we all look at it, I think. Definitely the board and the leadership team and the colleagues by and large in the company.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Excellent. Now, sometime when we do things at this moment, two years down the lane, then we look back at them we find that there are a lot of things that we did not even think back then. And sometime things exceed our expectations. So when you look back the reason why you bought Docker Enterprise back then, and then you look back at now, how do you justify that? Or if I ask, was this a good decision?

Adrian Ionel: It was fantastic. It was much, much better than our board case. We had to prepare a board case for making this happen. And there were quite a few people who were quite doubtful or skeptical, but in the end they let us do and they let me do what I felt was right for the company. And it’s turned out much, much better than the board case. And I just want to give you a couple of data points as to why we feel that is the case, real evidence.

I think we won about 100 new logos since the acquisition, the vast majority of them on the Container platform. And they are among the very best brands you can imagine in the industry. About 300 existing customers grew with us, so expanded their business with us since the acquisition, which is fantastic. And the customer satisfaction score, the MPS score jumped by about 40 points in the last two years, since the acquisition across the entire customer base, including the Docker Enterprise customer base. So that’s absolutely fantastic. But maybe more importantly, what’s super exciting for us to see is how some of our largest customers have accelerated and doubled down to the technology and continued not to only stay with us, but expand and continue their relationship with us.

And that’s really all of the world whether it’s Visa, who is the first customer I spoke with the day after the acquisition, who are quite concerned and wondering what this would mean for them. And they’ve expanded, they’ve grown their relationship with us. And I think they processed on our platform about 100 billion transactions on Black Monday, e-commerce transactions flawlessly, super happy customer, great partner. Growing across the Atlantic association, they’re super happy and growing customer on our Container platform. PayPal has continued with us on the Docker or the Container Runtime, the enterprise base Container Runtime, expanding the relationship. The federal government in all kinds of places has continued to place orders and grow the business with us. It’s really very much across the board where we’ve seen growth and commitment to our platform and commitment and to our team. We couldn’t be happier.

Swapnil Bhartiya: I mean, when I listen to you, it feels like of course it helped Mirantis a lot, but I think Mirantis helped the ecosystem, Docker users much more than it helped Mirantis because consistency, stability. And of course, Mirantis you folks do a lot of other things as well, just beyond that. You have stakes and capabilities and OpenStacks. So it’s a very good home for them, if I’m not wrong.

Adrian Ionel: Yes. What we’ve done. We’ve integrated the platform into, with the Container Runtime and the Container platform, being the foundation for everything we do. That’s the Container Cloud, which inherited the Docker technology at its core. That’s the foundation, even for the next generation OpenStack. So that the latest OpenStack customers that we have are running their OpenStack framework on top of Container cloud and our Kubernetes platform as the baseline. So it’s one product line. We have shipped many, many new releases for Kubernetes engine and the Docker engine or the Docker platform, since we acquired Docker Enterprise. And so, yes, we’ve had definitely an impact on the user base, on the community created not only stability and predictability, but also giving people a super exciting roadmap to look forward to.

Swapnil Bhartiya: As much as we would like to call things as bed of roses, they are not. So do you also have some concerns or worries regarding this acquisition as well, or where things are heading?

Adrian Ionel: No, I don’t have any concerns. The team has done a fantastic job. The people who have come over and have stayed with us, have proven to be as we expected. Absolutely phenomenal. I am super grateful for them and very proud of what they’ve done. I mean, that’s the only way I can describe it, super grateful for them because it’s been in part also a heavy lift. We are a very, very large player in the Container platform space is a heavily, heavily contested space as well with other very large companies being present. So it’s been a challenging journey in the sense that the customer expectations are very, very high as people have moved from more an experimental, prove it phase with Containers to running very large mission critical platforms on top of Containers.

So for example, the AT&T 5G networks runs on our Kubernetes plus OpenStack platform in 200 regions across north America, to just give you an idea of the scale that our customers operate at and our team has delivered and continues to deliver. I’m super grateful to them and very, very proud of what they’ve done. I just want to say, a huge also thank you maybe to the Docker in team, which is our partner, and continue to focus on the Docker journey for developers has been fantastic for us during the acquisition and transition process season, even post acquisition, they’ve been extremely helpful and supportive. It’s been just a wonderful experience all around, and it’s great to see them being so successful post sale of doc enterprise in the marketplace. So just a huge thank you to them.

Swapnil Bhartiya: You folks also acquired Lens and Lens IDE has become not only a critical piece of what you’re offering, it’s also helping the ecosystem a lot. So let’s reflect on that acquisition also, and also where it fits. And also, of course, this is a joke that you’re not going to make another, but should we expect more acquisitions from Mirantis well?

Adrian Ionel: Yeah. Lens has been an incredible story. Now, it’s been a bit of a fortunate thing for us that we discovered the company very, very quickly. But in some sense, really the Docker enterprise team helped us because the lead came to me. I remember from a veteran sales executive who came to us from Docker, who sent me an email and said, “Hey, this company might be available. This team might be available. Do you want to take a look at them?” So really Docker helped us in this sense, discover the Lens team. And the moment I look at them, I fell in love with what they were doing. It’s a team that’s based in Finland, Helsinki, and we more than doubled it, perhaps we’ve tripled it since. And what they’ve done is absolutely amazing.

They’ve taken this Kubernetes IDE called Lens. That’s just beautifully designed that at a time, maybe it had just 10,000 users around the globe, but people loved the way the product works. The level of simplicity that it brings to the daily life with Kubernetes, and believe it or not, today, it’s 430,000 users globally that the Lens IDE has. And it’s growing by a couple of thousand, one to 2000 every single day. It’s absolutely fantastic. And we have 50,000 daily active users and they are using Lens to manage as best I can tell, my numbers are a bit dated, but as best I can tell, they’re using it to manage about 200 to 250,000 Kubernetes clusters every month globally. So it’s the largest community of Kubernetes professionals around the world are using one single product.

So it’s been completely fantastic. It’s open source. So it’s free for people to try and it’s beloved by its users. And why is that? Is because [Misca 00:10:29] and [Yahri 00:10:30] and the technical team who have built it made this a product of love. They absolutely are huge fans and fanatics for the experience, the user experience. So they made it super good. And it’s used everywhere. And any companies that you can imagine, whether it’s Apple or SAP, or a small indie shop and the big hyperscalers and everyone in between is using Lens to make their Kubernetes life easier.

Swapnil Bhartiya: And when I talk to Mirantis now, a skill becomes intimidating because you folks also have OpenStack, and then you’re talking about thousands of core. And then now you’re giving about how many with Kubernetes also, so Mirantis that skill, it becomes very, very incredible. Now, is it also a condition for you that if you’re a coding company, they should bring in a new company as well, did Lens folks bring any company as well? What is the next exhibition we should be looking at?

Adrian Ionel: I mean, we are in the market all the time, and we speak to companies all the time who are super interesting. So it’s possible that more acquisitions would follow. It’s very difficult to tell in advance. We’ve discovered that maybe we do have a skill for doing this reasonably well. So it’s possible that we will do more. Yes, it’s possible that we’ll do more. The space, as you know, has an enormous amount of innovation. It’s still very, very young, and there are lots of super cool and interesting and innovative teams around the world who are building new tech. And one of the things that we can bring to them is an enormous reach because we have a customer base of 700 people or 700 companies around the world. We have enormous reach with Lens. So for teams who are out there and build cool tech on top and around Kubernetes, it’s a good way to reach a lot of customers very, very quickly.

Swapnil Bhartiya: If you look at 2022, what things we should be expecting from Mirantis?

Adrian Ionel: It’s all about growth and how helping our customers grow. That’s the most important thing. So the purpose that we have as a company is to help developers and innovators create extra ordinary products and services. That’s what we want to help them do. And we see that the biggest impact that we can make is we can help our customers grow their adoption of cloud native technologies, much faster that they’re able to do it on their own. So what you will see us do this year is be extremely focused at helping our own customers grow, helping them ship software faster, build exceptional product and services on top of Kubernetes, and just grow their adoption of cloud and cloud that if tech much, much faster than it’s happened in the past. The term that we use internally is blitzscaling. So we want to help our customer blitzscale their adoption of cloud native tech and just turbo-charge their digital transformation. So that’s what you’ll see us do this year.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Adrian, thank you so much for, of course, taking time out today and talk about reflecting on these acquisitions and also sharing with us what are the things they should be looking forward to, and of course the Mirantis. And as well, I would love to have you be on the show. Thank you.

Adrian Ionel: My pleasure, Swapnil, this was super fun. Really thank you so much for doing it. All the best. Bye-bye.

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