Some good news for Movable Type users in the English speaking world. After several years of severe neglect on the sales and marketing front, Six Apart finally hired a brand new VP of Sales and Marketing for North America. His name is Robert Minton, and he sounds like a really capable guy (I spoke with him during a conference call recently). Exciting times ahead! Continue reading to read his own introduction which he posted to the MTOS mailing list.
I wanted to introduce myself and give you some information about future Movable Type releases. First, my name is Robert Minton and my official Six Apart title is the VP of Sales and Marketing North America, for whatever that's worth. My background is in marketing, sales, and business development (partnerships and product development). I have worked for companies such as the Walt Disney, ESPN, ABC News, and I have developed partnerships with companies like Comcast Entertainment (now NBCU), Harpo Entertainment (Oprah's company), Terra.com, Nielsen, Abacast, Marketron, and many more. My goal in this new position is to work with the team in Japan to do whatever I can with the resources I have, to bring Movable Type and the other products that will be released in the US (fingers crossed), back on the radar screen for a larger group of CMS users and bloggers.
I am not sure if all of you know the full story of MT, but I won't bore you with the details unless you want to know. Here is the important information; the Six Apart that exists today is not the US Six Apart that stopped selling and backing MT through various sales and acquisitions. The Six Apart today is a group of around 50 Japanese employees that very much care about Movable Types success globally and they are passionate about building the best product possible. In Japan, MT has over 400 partners (businesses and individuals selling and servicing MT users), hundreds of plug-in; and many companies are knocking on their door to do business with them. An example is Adidas; they launched their Japanese site on the MT.
In the following months I will do everything I can to keep you informed as to what's going on in Japan and with Movable Type. I will also need your help in putting together and growing our business in North America.
My first ask is fairly simple. I am trying to determine who is still using MT to power their website or blog. I know about a few dozen sites already, but if you are working with a site or blog please let us know whom you are working with. I am mainly looking for exciting, well-designed sites that will help us to position MT in the light it deserves, and will help us tell a positive story to potential new clients and partners. Just last week I met a MT supporter from a company called Aloeroot.com; she manages the BC comic's sites (John Hart Studios) and "For Better or Worse" comic site. These are fun examples to share with our clients to show our deployment diversity. It seems Skype may be using MT for their small business blog? And once upon a time, Twitter used MT (I have a copy of the signed contract). There is a great history here and there could be a great future, if we can rebuild our community and ecosystem.
I also want to let you know that I am actively looking for new partners to help us sell and deliver MT solutions. If you are interested in getting more involved, please let me know. Some of the tools I hope to offer you to support sales and MT installations will be, discounts or commissions on MT license sales to registered partners. This won't make you rich overnight, but very little bit of revenue helps when you are running a business. I also hope to provide you with sales and marketing materials such as banner ads, power point decks, and templates, product comparisons, and benchmarking test findings. I would like to provide new partners with access to a larger support network that will allow you to easily find contractors to help you on a projects that currently may to large for your business. And based on what we hope will be an increase in future business in North America, we will be providing pre-qualified client leads to key partners that support MT sales and site development. When our current partners reach their capacity (and this does already happen), I want to be able to distribute leads to other partners so that we don't loose any opportunity to develop an MT site to another CMS. I hope at some point there will be a CRM system in place to make finding and sharing resources across our partner network a reality. My goal is to make it easier to do business with us in every way, both with our partners and our clients. This will not happen overnight. It may take months, so I ask for your continued support and patience.
Without a full view of where our community stands today, and who we are in business with, it will be harder to build a robust future. We have a project that just came to light. If this client commits to an upgrade from 4.38 to 5.2, it might require pulling together various partners in North America and Europe to get the project done in a timely and costly manor. I hope we have dozens of clients that want to do this and that all of us benefit from these types of business opportunities.
Here are just a few things to share:
Please note all dates are subject to change
Movable Type 5.2 Beta will be released first or second week of July.
There is a Pro Net meeting for the Japanese market in Tokyo in late June. There will be more detailed information shared on MT5.2 release, and two new services/offerings will be announced. One of them will be a service to help our partners manage their business and client's.
In September/October the English version of MT 5.2 will be released and MT will be offered in a cloud computing environment to enable flexible system design. You will be able to take full advantage of the benefits and proper management of system resources, including the cost, and the realization of a stable operational environment. These may or may not happen at the same time as the english release, TBD.
I look forward to hearing back from and working with all of you.
VP Sales & Marketing N.A.
A Six Apart Solution
P.S. Please excuse typos - nothing in life is 100% perfect, which includes me! Cheers