Quick, name an Alfresco SE who did not come from Vignette. Okay, you can shout out any name you want–I don’t really know the answer. But it does seem like every week I’m meeting an Alfresco new-hire that just turned in his Vignette badge. Most companies have an “attrition” number they keep an eye on. Vignette must have a “left to go to Alfresco” metric that keeps those guys up at night.
Of course the market is relatively small and incestuous and everybody’s gotta have a former employer, but I know when someone leaves you always want to know where they are going and if it turns out to be a competitor, it puts a pit in your stomach.
I guess as the legacy commercial ECM vendors get taken down by Alfresco and, more generally, the open source movement, this kind of thing is going to happen and it will get even worse. It’s kind of like watching Animal Planet. You see the tiger stalking the gazelle, you know what’s coming and you know it is the “circle of life” and all of that, but when the claws inevitably sink into those fleshy hindquarters, you still have to feel something for the gazelle, even if only for a moment. At least until you realize that’s what the gazelle gets for not embracing open source.
Of course hiring a bunch of folks from the same company doesn’t always work out for the best. People tend to be loyal and they move in packs (don’t worry, no one’s getting eaten in this metaphor). For example, someone recently connected the dots for me with regard to the Alfresco WCM engineer departures. It turns out Kevin Cochrane, Britt Park, and Jon Cox all came over from Interwoven so the timing of their departures is not coincidental at all.