«The very basis of the fast growth of cloud offerings is indeed open source»


The new version of Alfresco Team allows the creation of environments for equipment via cloud computing

John Newton
President & CTO Alfresco Software

Datos biográficos

John Newton has spent the last 25 years developing information management software. After graduating in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Berkeley, Newton began his career in 1981 at Ingres, where he helped develop the first commercial relational database. In 1990 he founded, designed and directed the development of  Documentum, the leader in content management acquired in 2003 by EMC. In 2005, after two years removed from the sector, founded Alfresco with John Powell, former COO of Business Objects. Married with two children, he is currently president and CTO of Alfresco. He is defined as an entrepreneur with a passion for content management, the software company, traveling in Europe, food, wine and history. In 2007 he was appointed Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in Davos.


  • Is already amply demonstrated the effectiveness of the content managers in productivity and success of the company. Alfresco gives a further step in this direction with its tool «Alfresco Team», capable of creating environments for computers that allow collaboration on content, both within and outside of the cloud, according to the needs of the client.

John Newton, President & CTO Alfresco Software.

On the occasion of the presentation of a new modality of its popular content manager, «Alfresco Team», halfway between the community version and the enterprise version, we interviewed the President of Alfresco, John Allen, to tell us the new features introduced in this version, directed mainly to smes.


Gaceta Tecnológica: What is Alfresco Team and what innovative value brings to the world of content management?
John Newton:
Before launching Alfresco Team, we first did our research to find out what is the most popular use case that powers today’s team environments and we came to the unanimous decision…it is content collaboration, which is what makes up Team and combines the power of innovation through:
Social – Teams want to know what their teammates are working on, so that they can either contribute or stay in-the-loop.  This includes activity feeds around sites and content, the ability to see what content is popular and enabling two-way conversations around content.
Real-Time – Teams today are often dispersed (we are all over the world).  We use Skype and IM and email, and many other communication tools today – but sometimes you need to actually view and work-on a document together, too.  For the first time, Alfresco is supporting document check-out to Google Docs for supported filetypes, so that teams can collaborate and word-smith in real-time and then save the finished work in Alfresco Team.
Mobile – Teamwork doesn’t stop when you are out of the office – it just transitions to your mobile device or tablet.  Along with Team, Alfresco is releasing its first native iPhone and iPad apps (available for free in late August) that allow you to capture content on the fly, and make it available to your team in Alfresco.

G.T. Finally, the tendency is to bring everything to the cloud…Is this the idea behind Alfresco Team as well?
Many customers haven’t fully adopted the cloud yet for a variety of valid business reasons, specifically some customers want tighter content security control, that may be purely behind their firewall.  Other customers want more customization of their collaboration tools to their business processes – something that current cloud offerings cannot really do.  Alfresco Team bridges the gap between cloud or non-cloud needs and can be deployed on servers, behind firewalls, or as a full cloud implementation on Amazon EC2.  We have partnered with BitNami to allow customers to deploy Alfresco Team in just a few clicks on Amazon EC2. This means you get the flexibility to deploy Team in any way that suits your business needs.  Alfresco is also working on a number of pure-cloud services that will benefit both Alfresco Team and Alfresco Enterprise customers, which will be available later this year.

G.T. What benefits brings to organizations?
As a pro-tool for content collaboration, Alfresco Team provides continuos availability in the content anywhere. Thus, from any device (this is a new content collaboration product complete with iOS apps for the iPad and iPhone), you have access to all documentation and information available from your company. Customers can get started in a matter of minutes with a quick download and install on their server or on an EC2 instance.
The tool provides the resources for groups to not only work efficiently together, but to succeed with their projects. Alfresco Team isn’t a consumer-oriented file sharing tool.  It’s a full collaboration platform that offers enterprise-grade features like workflows and quick previews that make the difference between talking about projects and actually getting things done.

G.T. What kind of business model has taken Alfresco for this tool?
J.N. Alfresco Team offers companies a new, low-cost subscription entry point into Alfresco that allows teams, departments and small organizations to get a supported, fully QA’d and tested version of Alfresco starting at $199 US per user per year (minimum of 10 users to start).

«Alfresco has 2000 customers in 55 countries using the Enterprise version which is the same technology, and many thousands of deployments of the Community free version»

G.T. What experiences exist worldwide with Alfresco team?
Is still too early to talk, because it is a new product recently launched to the market. Generally, Alfresco has 2000 customers in 55 countries using the Enterprise version which is the same technology, and many thousands of deployments of the Community free version.

G.T. Does the market ask for a product like Alfresco Team yet?
We created Alfresco Team because there was demand for a lower-cost, supported subscription of Alfresco.  There are many potential customers who love Alfresco, but can’t afford the Alfresco Enterprise subscription and don’t need the Enterprise features like clustering and replication or 24×7 support.  Alfresco Team was created to address those needs.

G.T. Is there a case study in Spain implementation of this tool?
No, because it’s a new product recently launched.

«There is no longer any argument about the success and viability of open source. Open source is the de-facto standard for most infrastructure software and continues to grow in application software, as well«

G.T. Apart from Alfresco Team, what are the largest deployments of your open source content management system in Spain? Tell us about the case of Justice, for example.
Alfresco is the de-facto technology of choice for the ECM projects within autonomous and central govermment, and also being used by large private corporations. In the
web, you can find the list of customers in Spain.
In this moment, Alfresco is a key component of a total technology solution for Electronic document management in the
Ministry of Justice one key initial project being Audiencia Nacional.
This is one of the last and more importants implementations of the company, not only in Spain, also worldwide.

GG.T. Tell us the percentage figures in the Alfresco CMS market worldwide? And in the Spanish market?
Alfresco has saved organisations around the world around 1 billion dollars in expensive product licenses since we started out in 2005. The Spanish market represents around 7% of total global revenues and number of customers.

G.T. Do you think the future of cloud is also in open source?
I would argue that the very basis of the fast growth of cloud offerings is indeed open source.  Most cloud-based services are built on a foundation of open source software –
Java, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Linux, Alfresco, MySQL, MongoDB, etc.  While the end-users may not know what part of the cloud offering is open source or not, open source is a critical building block for any modern cloud service.  Alfresco is both a supplier to other cloud companies who are building content-rich applications for the cloud, as well as an application company that will have our own cloud offerings for document management and collaboration.  So, yes, cloud and open source go hand-in-hand and will continue to do so in the future.

G.T. What is your vision about the technologies based on an open source in general? Do you believe similar exponential growth that is having Alfresco in recent years?
There is no longer any argument about the success and viability of open source. Open source is the de-facto standard for most infrastructure software and continues to grow in application software, as well.  So, yes, there will continue to be growth in open source software, similar to what Alfresco has taken advantage of over the past few years. A good example is Alfresco’s
Alfresco’s Activiti proyect, which we launched last year in the Java-based workflow space.  Activiti was rated as one of the top 10 new open source projects last year by Black Duck Software and continues to grow at an exponential rate.