The Year Ahead
As we kick-off our new fiscal year I want to say thank you for making us what we are today! We wouldn’t be where we are without all of you.
I think if you were to sum up in two words the past year in the industry, it would be Digital Transformation. You see that phrase all over and when that happens, seemingly overnight, there’s usually some confusion and FUD out there. So allow me to share with you our take.
First, without technology there is no digital. And we believe that is where you’ll see our differentiation.
With software product DNA at our core, our focus is on the “how” of digital. We are building the technology that drives our customers in the business of software, or ISVs. And as more and more enterprises turn to be software-driven, we are in a great position to build the software that will take them on their journey of digital transformation.
We see the market breaking roughly into three segments; companies with pre-internet, internet era, and born-in-the-cloud business models. Now this has nothing to do with industry, and even age, but more about how they approach workloads, their business and their business models.
For example, using financial services.
- You can think of large traditional banks as a pre-internet.
- Then there are those like Ally who are clearly internet – in fact they never had brick and mortar locations to begin with.
- And finally think of the new types of P2P companies we are seeing around the world in finance, such as the Lending Club in the US or Faircent in India, whose entire model is predicated and driven by software as they was born in the cloud.
But it’s not quite as clear cut as that because as always boundaries aren’t always sharply defined.
That large traditional bank is most likely in fact, a bit of all of these. It may have OLTP workloads, which would be pre-Internet. Its online capabilities and website presence is Internet. And now its mobile check deposit – for example – is born in the cloud.
So this heterogeneous environment, both at the enterprise level and at the macro market level is, despite confusion about what digital transformation might be, where we see great opportunity and specifically for us as technology leaders to build software driven business models.
And to reiterate, it’s not about how old you are or your size or your industry.
One example recently caught our eye and they’re not even a customer of ours. They’re in an old school industry, with lots of physical assets and locations around the world including across the street from our corporate headquarters in Pune. It’s Domino’s, a fifty-five year old pizza company! Their CEO Patrick Doyle was recently quoted in a Wall Street Journal feature saying “In a lot of ways, we’re really a technology company and we’ve adapted the art of pizza making to the digital age.” Yes a pizza company has become a software-driven business.
And software-driven is where we are seeing some of the greatest disruptive and innovative advances in business and technology today. From transportation, to banking, to travel, to agriculture, to healthcare – there is no area of our lives where software isn’t fundamentally changing how we experience it.
This is an incredibly exciting time for our industry. Established companies are transforming and new companies are reshaping how we see the future. And we’re a part of that. We built Persistent working with start-ups and in fact we’ve given birth to dozens of start-ups ourselves. We hold on to that spirit as we grow and evolve. Just this past quarter, we held our 5th annual hackathon, Semicolons, where our brightest developers around the globe competed in a 24 hour competition to build working prototypes of what being software-driven can be like.
There was so much energy and creativity, it leads me to close with a bit of a reflection. This year we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary. Some of you know, I got my start at HP in the very heart of Silicon Valley back in the 1980s. It was a very exciting time and place, getting to be there when Dave and Bill were both still deeply involved. As I look at the industry today, I still see that sense of “anything is possible,” both in Silicon Valley and here in India.
As we celebrate our 25th Anniversary this year, it’s this energy and creativity that has us so excited. Thanks to you it’s been a great journey for us and we feel the best is yet to come.