The Software & Services Division of the Software & Information Industry Association, the leading association representing the software and digital content industries, today released Vision from the Top – its fifth annual executive report on the future of the software and services industry. The publication features exclusive insights from top technology executives who provide expert insight, give practical guidance, tell instructive stories, and provide high level industry analysis, all aimed at helping CEOs build, scale and grow a successful business.
Each executive answered questions about business and industry opportunities, ranging from leadership in the ever-evolving technology and software industry, to delivering quality customer service, to the increasingly important role of analytics and data.
Contributing executives include:
• Dave Duggal, CEO of EnterpriseWeb
• James Messer, CEO of goTransverse
• Dev Chanchani, Founder and CEO of INetU
• Umberto Milletti, CEO of InsideView
• Robert Reid, CEO of Intacct
• Suresh Balasubramanian, CEO of LiveHive
• Clayton Whitefield, CEO of SaaSOptics
• Bob Scarborough, President and CEO of Tensoft
• Guy Nirpaz, CEO and founder of Totango
• Mark Hauser, Managing Partner of Waterstone Management Group
The following quotes provide a sense of the range of ideas and topics addressed in Vision from the Top:
Umberto Milletti, CEO, InsideView: “Being a data-driven organization is no longer a trend or buzzword. Data is the fuel that powers business, but you have to turn it into intelligence. Otherwise, it’s just numbers. Intelligence is taking the right and correct data, surfacing what’s relevant, and turning the information into action. If you’re not gathering, monitoring, and acting on your business data and using it to work smarter, you’re falling behind and you won’t know it until it is too late.”
Suresh Balasubramanian, CEO, LiveHive: “The availability of all of this data has also impacted consumer behavior. Anyone with Internet access has a wealth of knowledge literally available at the touch of a fingertip for the taking. Customers can quickly learn about companies, products, services, and pricing faster than ever before. To operate in this new world of highly educated consumers, businesses have had to rethink the way in which they engage with customers.”
Bob Scarborough, President and CEO, Tensoft: “Successful product innovation is broader than just solving the tactical problems that customers run into in their industry and job function … our goal is to find an innovative and well thought out solution that will both solve the customers’ immediate needs and be designed and architected to meet their future needs as well.”
Robert Reid, CEO Intacct: There are a lot of people out there that are visionaries. What’s difficult is taking it to an action plan. How do you pull together a strategy, the tactics, the resources, and the capital to make it happen? You have to build a plan that at any moment in time just keeps building on itself. Figuring out when you should be doing what and when is not an easy task. If you don’t get the plan written down and ensure other people understand it your strategy could fall apart; if your strategy falls apart then your plan will fall apart.
On Customer Service:
James Messer, CEO, goTransverse: “It starts at the very core of every business: the culture. It’s not enough to say you’re customer-focused. Every employee and every decision needs to start with the questions ‘How does this help our customers?’ ‘What value does the customer receive?’ It sounds simple, but the reality is many companies are still product-centered with an internal focus on driving their revenue. It takes great discipline to resist the gravitational pull of being product-centered; building a customer-centric culture is a way to fight it.”
Dev Chanchani Founder & CEO, INetU: “All businesses are caught between three significant motivators that are often at odds with one another –customers, product and operations. While all of these elements are important, resolving the tension between them by choosing which is most important to you and your business is the key to success. You will need to make some sacrifices on one front in order to improve on another. In other words, if your goal is to be truly customer-centric, you may need to make some sacrifices when it comes to your product or your operations.”