Talk about an unusual career path. Alan Goldsworthy went from brick laying ("I worked for my father as cheap labor..."), to eavesdropping for the National Security Agency ("I can't say very much about that..."), to electronic scoring of professional football games ("I once got an official reprimand from the NFL for having a bug unresolved..."). And all that was before he formally joined the adult, post-college workforce.
In his current position as CEO of CRM analytics vendor Applix, Goldsworthy draws upon these experiences, and upon the wisdom accrued during 25 subsequent years spent working in the technology industry, to guide a company that is considered a rising star in the white-hot field of CRM analytics.
Analytics is a term that describes the ability of front office software to analyze captured customer data and put it into a useful context. For Goldsworthy, who has experience in supply chain and other solutions that supported back office operations, this specific functionality proved irresistible. In January 2000, he made the jump from the back office to the front, resigning as CEO of CMI-Competitive Solutions to take the helm at Applix. "I saw the potential of CRM and analytics," he says. "I likened it to walking through a garden, and every time I kicked over a rock, I found gold."
According to Goldsworthy, in the case of Applix, while the gold was definitely there, nobody really knew much about the company planning to mine it. "Nobody knew we were in the business," he says. "Having been around for 20 years in so many different areas, nobody knew exactly what Applix did."
Luck was with Goldsworthy as he rose to meet this challenge. In 2000, analytics became a hot topic in CRM industry circles. CRM was finally delivering highly detailed customer data--loads of it--and users needed a way to make sense of it all. For Goldsworthy, the need was nothing new. "In ERP, people were not effectively using graphics to present information that told whether they were getting the job done or not. It was the same situation with CRM."
Applix found itself in the right place at the right time. Its iCRM and iPlanning solutions give users a flexible way to gather customer data and then analyze it for use in enterprise planning. As interest in analytics grew, so did interest in these solutions--and in the company that produces them.
With analytics, Goldsworthy truly has found gold under the garden rocks. "It lets people actually measure what they are doing," he says. "That's incredibly important when you are trying to manage a business."