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Cover image for Panel: Michael Miller, Michael O'Hare, and Jukka Alanen
Joseph (JJ) Jacks for COSS Community

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Panel: Michael Miller, Michael O'Hare, and Jukka Alanen

Michael Miller brings 20+ years of leadership experience combined with technical knowledge and strategic perspective. President of Corporate Development at SUSE where he leads the strategy and teams focused on SUSE’s CorpDev and M&A practice. His passion and mission is creating better futures for our customers, partners and communities by expanding the scope and value of SUSE solutions.

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Michael O’Hare is the senior officer responsible for new business generation and M&A execution at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Provide M&A advisory services to technology companies. Specialization / domain expertise in infrastructure management software (IMS), SaaS, cloud and software applications, with experience in other high technology sectors such as security, mobile/wireless and storage.

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Jukka Alanen is a senior executive with unique experience from VC-backed start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations, building high-value, industry-leading companies, and leading business growth and strategic expansion. General management skills across strategy, products, marketing, sales, business operations, corporate and business development, and people leadership. Built, scaled, and led world-class strategy, growth, and business & corporate development functions, including hundreds of alliances & partnerships, tens of mergers & acquisitions (M&A), new product launches, and market expansions. Deep industry experience in Software & SaaS, Cloud, DevOps, Applications, AIOps, Security, Information/Data Management, Mobile, IoT.

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Come learn from: Michael Miller, Jukka Alanen, and Michael O'hare!

JJ introduces panelists and presentation topic: M&A and focusing on how entities look at fundamentals in open-source world. - 0:00

How has the buy-side perspective of open source and COSS evolved over the last 20 years, in the M&A space? (Jukka defines 3 eras of open-source perpspectives in M&A. Michael Miller describes the perspective of open-source as evolving from Problem → Mystery → Asset) - 1:41

What are the key metrics in focus/being evaluated when you looking at a commercial open-source startup as a potential acquisition/merger? (Michael Miller highlights industry trends, adoption and traction, top-line growth, fundamentals of customer economics, quality of technology/talent/innovation/communities. Michael O’Hare shares perspective that metrics are similar to traditional software startups, highlighting the cultural element of OSS startups. Jukka breaks down evaluation into metrics used for any acquisition, and specific metrics for open source.) - 5:01

Looking at this from an entrepreneur standpoint, how should entrepreneurs think about mergers and acquisitions over the arc of the company, in particular building COSS businesses? (Michael O’Hare speaks about thinking through partnerships. Michael Miller highlights alignment on vision, understanding what you’re solving and for whom. Jukka speaks about what entrepreneurs should be prepared for, and what acquirers are looking for, and 4 points to keep in mind. All panelists speak about importance of telemetry/metrics about usage/product. Michael Miller speaks about building OSS vs open core and the importance of keeping up-to-date with innovation. Jukka shares more insights into what they’re looking for in OSS startups: customers, community/passion, differentiation for free/paid and product conversion, and clean bill of materials without hiccups or risks) - 10:34

Concluding remarks and JJ shares highlights from panel. - 21:06

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