Even as some Wall Street indexes hit 15-year lows, GroundWork Open Source has apparently lined up more funding and seems to be plotting a long-term IPO (initial public offering) strategy with a CEO change.

The channel-friendly company, which specializes in open source network management software, today named a new CEO and CFO. Apparently, GroundWork has also raised series D funding from JAFCO Ventures, SAP Ventures, Canaan Partners and Mayfield.

Executive Decision

First, a little background on GroundWork's new President and CEO (Peter Jackson) and new CFO (Wendy Nieto). Both are veterans of Intraware. Now here's the important part: Jackson took Intraware public and led the company's sale to privately held Acresso in October 2008 -- right as public markets were imploding.

Intraware wasn't an IT giant.  The company's quarterly revenue was only about $3.4 million at the time of the sale to Acresso. But Jackson does have experience at a considerably larger company -- the $400 million Dataflex. Vanstar acquired Dataflex's Western Region (which had $145 million in annual revenues) in 2006.

Jackson's previous experience leading IPOs and selling-off companies provides GroundWork Open Source's early investors with multiple potential exit strategies -- should the company need one.

Entrepreneur's New Role

Now that CEO Jackson and CFO Nieto are on board, GroundWork co-founder and former CEO Dave Lilly shifts to the COO position to focus on customer support, product development and service delivery.

How was GroundWork performing under Lilly? In a prepared statement, Jackson was quick to note that GroundWork's Q4 revenues exceeded company targets by 42 percent. And GroundWork's software has been catching on in the managed services market in recent months.

Ironically, The VAR Guy last week predicted that Alfresco, Digium or SugarCRM would be the first open source company to launch an IPO once the economy stabilizes. But perhaps GroundWork is in the long-term IPO race as well.

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