Don DeLoach's CEO Blog
I spend a great deal of time with our customers. I love hearing their stories of how they use Infobright. Not only does it often intrigue me, but it helps inform the direction of the company. Yesterday I attended the Infobright Customer Advisory Council meeting for precisely that reason. I spend a good amount of time with our new prospects. I love that as well. When with prospects, I usually am hearing about their intentions with us. More and more they are around utilization of Infobright for storing and analyzing machine-generated data. Since this is my favorite topic, I always welcome this conversation. I usually am asked about how we are doing as a company. Since that is an increasingly positive story, I enjoy that all the more. Ask away.
I also really like spending time with our partners, especially those solution providers who embed Infobright in their offerings. This is the fastest growing part of our business. These are customer meetings on steroids, as the discussions generally shine a light on their customer outreach, which is sometimes unbelievable but always helpful and welcomed. And sometimes I have the hard and candid conversations about areas where we need to improve. There will always, always be those areas. All vendors have them, though some either do not admit this or are legitimately in denial. I wish to be neither. While I do love the positive feedback, and I especially love the great anecdotes that provide depth and color to specific use cases I would otherwise miss, what I welcome with open arms is the chance to continually improve.
I think it's important to leverage all the good and positive results you have, but that must always be done in the context of looking at all aspects of the business with an eye to ongoing improvement. For me there is no substitute for a large amount of interaction with customers, prospects, and partners to gain that perspective. That brings me to the turkey. Thanksgiving is a time to, well, be thankful.
I am. I have a great deal to be thankful for. A good family. Good friends. A good job, that keeps getting better, in no small way due to good customers, prospects, and partners.
Now it's time for the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving.
I spent the day today at the AdTech conference in New York. While it is not a mega-conference like Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (55,000 people), it was considerable nonetheless. It filled up a good part of the Javits Center and most of the day the aisles in the exhibition area were packed. What struck me, though, was the incredible buzz. It's one thing to have a big conference where the mood is dour, like the wholesale banking conference Sibos was in Vienna in 2008 in the wake of the banking crisis. But this is on the other extreme. This is an industry on the move. People are happy. People are engaged. People are young and energetic. The conversations you hear are intelligent and often marked by clear excitement. It's, well, really cool.
And because it is, it is also getting really crowded. There are many email marketers, mobile advertisers, online advertisers, and more, and more and more. I am sure each year there will be a noticeable growth in the cottage industry around AdTech, including lawyers, bankers, and of course, technology firms. After all, there is a thin line between an AdTech firm and a technology firm. From an Infobright standpoint, we are a platform supplier. We enable many of these companies to do what they do so well. But today I spent time in particular having discussion after discussion trying to understand what was really driving many of these companies, what was holding them back, and how we could help. What a good use of time. There are three main factors that seem to be almost universal in this market. They are:
These firms all store and analyze loads of machine-generated data. The information that is the fuel for the industry are weblogs, mobile logs, and other auto-generated data that stream in continuously and need to be stored and analyzed easily and quickly. It is common for a firm to store 10, 20, 50 terabytes of data that they must dice and slice with speed and precision. An inability to do this is often a limiting factor for the firm.
These firms run with a lean staff. Going into an AdTech firm is great. They are usually mostly in one big room, and there is almost a trading-room-like buzz to it. The drive, the sense of purpose is palpable. That said, you don't get the idea that the day starts at 9:00, and it certainly doesn't end at 5:00. Moreover, nobody ever seems to be sitting around. When it comes to technology staff, they are all generally lean. Growing the IT staff is not a goal, it is a limitation which, if it can be addressed, is. That doesn't equate to no staff, by any means. It just means no extraneous staff. Very efficient.
Last, money seems to really matter. These all seem to be very capital-efficient organizations. They grow quickly, and the good ones gain value in impressive fashion. But Total Cost of Ownership is not something that needs to be taught in these firms, it comes out everywhere. How IT resources are chosen and deployed reflect a cultural desire to do as much as possible with as little as possible.
There are, of course nuances to every firm. That's why some are more successful than others. And too, the differences track the various permutations in the market. All good. All expected. But the common traits naturally made me think about the success we are having here, and why. My conclusion came easily. Specifically:
These firms all store and analyze loads of machine-generated data. This is what we do, all day, every day. We have unique technology that allows us be an exceptionally compelling offering if this is your need. We are happy to show anyone why this is.
These firms run with a lean staff. We require far less administrative overhead than the alternatives. Really. And not coincidentally, we hear from our AdTech customers all the time that one of the biggest things about us they find appealing is that we don't require a big IT staff.
Last, money seems to really matter. We price fairly. Not expensive, but not "cheap", per se. But we also require far less hardware, and far less administrative overhead. So the combination of licensing, people, and hardware expenses associated with us compared to the alternatives is usually an impressive comparison. We simply offer more for less.
The ethos of this market seems to be all about doing more with less. We find it exciting, and we find that we are a dead-on fit for what most firms in this market want. And that, by extension, has us excited as well.