Careers at Mirantis
Mirantis’ mission is to help customers unlock their infrastructure and build their clouds the way they want to.
In the late 1990s Alex Freedland was the Chief Technology Officer of RSI Group, a small financial services software company. At a certain point the firm faced a lack of qualified technology staff, but had difficulty filling its ranks due to high salary requests from U.S.-based engineers. Consequently, Freedland explored the option of setting up an offshore IT operation – in his homeland, Russia.
In 1999 the team founded RSI Group Moscow, which not only served the original company’s needs, but also developed technology products/services for other businesses. The subsidiary proved successful, and halfway through the year it was serving major clients such as U.S. Bancorp, Mobistar, and United Healthcare. In 2000 it was spun off into a separate firm called Clear Logic Software.
In 2001 Clear Logic’s name was changed to Mirantis, and it continued expanding its software development operations. This effort included developing and supporting OpenStack, an open source software platform that enables the building of cloud computing infrastructures. Mirantis now focuses on working with organizations of all kinds to help them create cloud solutions based on OpenStack.
Benefits at Mirantis
Business model of Mirantis
Mirantis has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company targets its offerings at organizations that need assistance building and running OpenStack-based solutions.
Mirantis offers four primary value propositions: convenience, performance, cost reduction, and brand/status.
The company creates convenience by offering an end-to-end solution. It is a pure play vendor, providing all necessary software, training, and services needed to run OpenStack. This means that customers do not have to utilize different vendors for various purposes, ultimately saving costs. Mirantis also offers convenience through easy-to-use features. One is Fuel, an open source management tool that provides an intuitive experience for automated OpenStack deployment. The other is Murano, an OpenStack Application Catalog project with predefined configuration templates that enable users to pick the apps they want to provision for automatic deployment.
The company has demonstrated strong performance, as demonstrated through specific customer outcomes. One large telecommunications firm was able to reduce the time necessary to implement its multi-100 node cluster from 28 days to one day, as well as reduce the management overhead of four different types of clusters. Furthermore, a major software-as-a-service firm was able to redeploy its 20-person OpenStack team as a result of using Mirantis’s OpenStack solution.
The company reduces cost by not charging additional license, user access, maintenance, or per-incident support fees. Clients only need to have an active subscription to obtain all benefits.
The company has established a strong brand as a result of its performance. It bills itself as the top OpenStack firm in the world, with more organizations relying on it for deployment of the software than any other provider. Its high-profile customers include Cisco, Ericsson, PayPal, Samsung, Comcast, Expedia, Symantec, DirectTV, NTT Docomo, WebEx, Getty Images, Workday, and Gap.
Mirantis’ main channel is its website, through which it acquires most customers. The company promotes its offering through its social media pages and participation in conferences, summits, symposia, and road shows.
Mirantis’ customer relationship is primarily of a personal assistance nature. The company assists customers in the following ways:
Customer Service – Mirantis offers three levels of support as part of a subscription:
- 8×5 Support – For non-critical needs, e.g. dev/ test and non-production clouds
- 24×7 Support – For business critical needs, e.g. big data analytics and certain production environments
- Proactive Support – For mission critical needs, e.g. IT-as-a-service, customer-facing apps, and NFV
Training Services – Mirantis offers education programs that provide participants with all information needed to maintain an OpenStack environment. Courses include labs and hands-on exercises, formats include virtual and on-site, and the company includes a certification option.
Managed Services – Mirantis offers the following professional services:
- OpenStack Assessment, in which experts engage in preliminary work such as an evaluation of community engagement, CI/CD, architecture design, and applications/services catalogs
- OpenStack Implementation, in which experts help clients build an OpenStack private cloud
- Workload Migration Services, which migrate clients’ data and applications to an OpenStack cloud
- A dedicated technical account manager to provide personalized support
Despite this orientation, there is also a self-service component. The company’s website has a “Resources” section that features a number of self-help resources, including white papers, case studies, webinars, videos, brochures, eBooks, reference architectures, and product documentation. There is also a community element in the form of a forum where users can interact with peers.
Mirantis’s business model entails designing and developing its software and services for customers.
Mirantis maintains the following partnership programs:
Mirantis Unlocked – The company works with technology firms to develop joint solutions that integrate its clouds with their products. The program has three membership tiers: Access (free), Value (a fee of $3,000), and Premium (a fee of $6,000). Program benefits include the following:
- Webinar support to assist field engineering and sales team with the closing of more deals
- Significant training program discounts for engineering, sales, and support employees
- Collaborative work opportunities for social media posts, guest blogs, and global webinars
- Go-to-market tools such as solution briefs, joint press releases, reference architecture documents, videos, and white papers
Specific partners include Avi Networks, Brocade, Citrix, Dynatrace, EMC, Groundwork, and IBM.
Mirantis Channel Partners – The company works with value-added resellers and distributors who sell its products and services in order to expand its customer base. Specific partners include Wipro, ACS Cloud Solutions, ACTAR, Redapt, Alter Way, Blue Chip Tek, Datavision, Cloudenablers, and KINX.
Mirantis’s main resources are its human resources, who include hundreds of engineers that maintain expertise in OpenStack. The company also depends heavily on its customer support, training, and managed services providers. Lastly, as a startup it has relied heavily on funding from outside parties, raising $220 million from 10 investors as of August 2015.
Mirantis has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service and frequent service enhancements. Its biggest cost driver is likely cost of services, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of customer support/operations and sales/marketing, both fixed costs.
Mirantis has one revenue stream: the subscription fees it charges for access to its software and services. The company must be contacted directly to obtain pricing quotes.
info: Alex earned a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Santa Clara University. He previously served as the Chief Financial Officer and President of Mirantis, and held a variety of managerial positions at IBM, Netscape, ADP, and KLA-Tencor.
info: Boris earned a BSc in Information Systems from Santa Clara University. He previously served as Founder and CEO of Selectosa Systems, an IT consulting firm, and as Co-Founder of Agroup, an enterprise software company.
info: Rik earned a double B.S. in Marketing and Economics, an M.S. in Business Administration, and a Postgraduate degree in Accounting and Auditing from the University of Amsterdam. He previously served as CFO of Plastic Logic and Meltwater.
info: Jim earned a Master's degree in Computer Science from the State University of Lithuania. He previously served as Chief Technology Officer of Five9, a cloud-based call center software firm, and VP of Call Center Technology at Salesforce.com.
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