Pythian purchases Silicon Valley firm

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Tom Pechloff
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Ottawa-based Pythian said Thursday it’s buying a California company which it says makes it the largest open-sourced database managed services company in the world.

Pythian acquires California firm Blackbird.

The purchase of DevOps and data services provider Blackbird also gives Pythian an office in the Silicon Valley. Terms of the deal, including purchase price, were not revealed.

Pythian CEO Andrew Waitman said DevOps is the next generation of IT operations.

So what is DevOps?

“I asked that question three months ago,” Mr. Waitman laughed.

Basically, DevOps is the idea that the development and operations side of a business have to work together.

“You don’t expect a (software-as-a-service) company to be down, so all upgrades, all feature additions, every new functionality and feature has to be added without an impact on operations,” Mr. Waitman said.

He said the impact of the two components not working together is enormous, especially in the SaaS industry, because new features are expected almost daily and one simply can’t do that if an operating system is down.

In addition to the SaaS industry, Pythian also draws clients from the world of retail, health care, media and entertainment, education and financial services. The company opened a New York office in 2012 and has routinely appeared on the Branham300, Profit 200 and other lists of rapidly growing technology firms.

And Mr. Waitman says Thursday’s announcement opens the door for more clients.

With Pythian now the largest company of its kind in the world, Mr. Waitman struggled to name the company in second place before coming up with Percona out of South Carolina.  Percona’s website says it has nearly 100 employees. Pythian now has 350.

Mr. Waitman said Pythian’s strategy is not to buy companies, but this was a “highly complementary ” opportunity which presented itself and came to fruition quickly since the negotiations were founder to founder without any third parties. The whole process took about two months.

“It was pretty intense,” said Mr. Waitman.

There will be some cross-pollination of staff over the integration period, said Mr.Waitman, and both companies will continue to grow and hire more employees.

“I think it’s going to be very good for Ottawa, very good for Canada. I think we have a great global company that’s being built here,” he said.

Geographic location: Silicon Valley, New York, South Carolina Ottawa Canada

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