Developer tools specialist Telerik has opened new offices in London and Munich to even up the transatlantic imbalance between its users.
Although the firm started in Bulgaria in 2002, 60-70% of its customers (it claims 100,000) are in the United States. Over that nine years, the company's stack of Microsoft-oriented software development utilities has mushroomed. At November's DevProConnections’ annual Community Choice Awards, for example, Telerik won gold medals for its RadMenu for ASP.NET AJAX, UI Controls for SharePoint 2010, WebUI Test Studio and Telerik Training offerings.
Perhaps understandably, Telerik is currently placing a major emphasis on bundling its many tools into Ultimate and Premium collections. With such a package, a Silverlight developer, say, can build their application with the firm's RadControls and also take advantage of its planning tools, UI testing solution, reports generator, mobile device extensions and so on .
There's also a strong emphasis on its recently introduced Sitefinity ASP.NET CMS. While there are many competing content management systems out there, Telerik's proposition is that you also get a huge bunch of development tools to go with its own contender.
Dimo Iliev, managing director of Telerik UK, says: "If you’re an ASP.NET shop and you want a content management system, then it makes sense because all the different pieces of the portfolio just fall together and so the combined effect is much greater than the sum of the elements. That’s where we're going in the future, creating more opportunities for using the tools together, talking more about integration and making sure that when you buy one component and then add another to it, you immediately see the combined effects."
Although Sitefinity is up against systems that are essentially free, Iliev says: "Where we feel that this model doesn’t necessarily work is if you don’t have the expertise, i.e. you’re not a developer, or you don’t have the time. Then, actually, even though it’s free, your time isn’t free. You can’t just invest a month in something that is a day’s task or a few days' task."
Iliev says that Sitefinity is priced at a point that it makes sense to pay for the package and support that comes with the solution.
"If you get the free stuff, you start battling with it, look at the forum posts, then you go and read each thread. Somebody’s suggesting something; it may work for you, it may not," he says. "Once again, we’re falling back on time: whether you’ve got the time to do it and whether you’re willing to risk it. So when you get to the level where you want to make sure that you’re paying for something and you’re getting something in return, then the free stuff can’t compete and that’s where we come in."
Telerik is also big on helping developers create apps for the burgeoning Windows mobile market. Earlier this month, it announced Mango support and new chart and calendaring capabilities for its RadControls for Windows Phone 7 UI suite. Last week Microsoft included RadControls for Windows Phone 7 as a finalist in its annual Mobility Partner of the Year Awards. Iliev points out that its also easy for Silverlight developers to cross over into the mobile space. Does he expect a surge in demand in the Windows mobile arena?
He says: "I personally feel that if Nokia do deliver on their partnership [with Microsoft], so they deliver good solid handsets, that is going to unlock it and then if the demand is there, the developers will be jumping in to flood it. It’s like if you think about Android and the iPhone, because these are the two that we’ve got recent examples of, in the beginning there's slow adoption and then it's just like a tidal wave."