Top Guns (part 2)
David Hood | President and CEO, ACCPAC
Selling CRM into the mid-market has traditionally been a tough nut to crack. But to expand his company's reach into this market, David Hood, president and chief executive of ACCPAC, has come up with a solution, albeit a bit unorthodox for the CRM industry: the value added reseller (VAR), or the technology consultant channel.
ACCPAC already has a list of more than 5,000 VARs selling its accounting software, so why not enlist their help? Hood maintains that it is a logical transition for these accounting partners, who already understand ACCPAC's back-office solutions, to service and support its front-office eCRM solutions. Hood argues that both the back-office and the front-office solutions coming from the same vendor and installed by the same solutions integrator minimizes integration issues.
Already ACCPAC has roughly 150 VARs certified to sell ACCPAC's eCRM suite of products.
Undoubtedly, Hood's background with the VAR channel has influenced the company's unconventional approach to selling CRM. His relationship with ACCPAC began in 1985 when he started his five-year career as an ACCPAC accounting solutions reseller. In 1990 he joined Computer Associates, supporting ACCPAC channel partners throughout New England. As CA's senior vice president of worldwide channel marketing, he worked with VARs and distributors to increase CA's global channel presence.
Hood, who lives in Danville, Calif., with his wife and children, holds a B.S. in management advisory services from Southern New Hampshire University.
Adam Klaber | Global CRM Leader, PwC Consulting
Adam Klaber may well be the Clark Kent of the CRM world. By his steady and confident demeanor, one would never guess he oversees one of the largest CRM consulting practices in the world.
As Global CRM Leader for PwC Consulting, Klaber sits atop a $1 billion business. But the difference between Klaber and other executives is, he was not brought in to run an established CRM business. Rather, he was instrumental in building PwC's CRM practice from the ground up.
"My start in CRM involved a large ERP project that was providing consolidated sales and order management information, but we weren't getting into the sales and marketing organization of the client," Klaber says. "We saw a real opportunity to help companies sell and market; that was 1996. So I helped start the practice and we brought it all together into the overall practice."
Although Klaber oversees the CRM efforts of PwC Consulting and runs in the same circles as Siebel's Tom Siebel and PeopleSoft's Craig Conway, he strongly feels his time is best spent interacting with clients.
As a result Klaber, who is married with three children, is on the road a lot and is known for working long hours. That doesn't leave much time for his other passions: his family and golf. Regardless, he still manages to help coach his children's little league games.
This overflowing schedule would explain why he still gets excited when he breaks 100 on the golf course. "He routinely shoots an 80, but I am never with him," jests Sam Kapreilian, a partner at PwC. In seriousness, Kapreilian describes Klaber as one of the top leaders in PwC, who "has a great deal of connection with people and reads situations very quickly. Oh, and by the way, he understands technology."
Paula Kruger | General Manager, CRM, EDS Corp.
Paula Kruger likes to shake things up. The 51 year-old general manger of CRM for EDS is never satisfied with the status quo.
From her choice of reading material (First You Break all the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently) to her favorite basketball team (Dallas Mavericks and their billionaire bad boy owner, Mark Cuban) to her first job after graduate school (manager of a legal services organization for retired New York City police detectives), Kruger doesn't shy away from the unconventional, the unorthodox, or a hefty challenge.
Eighteen months into her position Kruger says the job keeps getting more exciting. That's because she is a leading the charge to take EDS from a firm that offers CRM consulting to the first name in CRM services. Despite deriving $1 billion in annual revenue from CRM, EDS is not where Kruger knows it could be. She is attempting to position EDS as "the dominant and recognized leader for large, [multinational], and mid-market companies" looking for CRM services.
And Kruger knows what her customers want. Prior to joining EDS she served as executive vice president of operations for Excel Communications, where she managed call center operations and was responsible for provisioning, billing, and distribution. During her tenure the company achieved the highest satisfaction rating among long distance telecommunications companies from J.D. Power.
Bo Manning | President and CEO, Pivotal Corp.
Bo Manning has a singular goal: to make Pivotal so dominant in CRM's mid-market that it becomes unattractive to the enterprise players. Over the past year Manning, Pivotal's president and chief executive, has hired sales and technology heavy-hitters away from the likes of Siebel, Oracle, and J.D. Edwards. "We need to bring in people who are used to winning in a big way, and people from these companies are used to that," says Manning, whose goal is to grow Pivotal to a $500 million company, from its current level of more than $16.5 million in total revenues. This is not a far stretch considering that prior to joining Pivotal he built and led Deloitte Consulting's $500 million CRM practice.
So far, so good. Since Manning joined Pivotal it has had two consecutive quarters of revenue growth, and the company is now the fastest-growing vendor by percent increase in license revenue, Manning says. "Manning put together a plan and rapidly figured out how to position the company and how to go to market. He understood the culture of the company had to change, and found a set of executives to lead all this," says Christopher Lochhead, a partner with the strategy consulting firm Lochhead Corp. and a member of Pivotal's board. "Ever since he has been executing that plan with speed and passion."
Manning's current focus is to continue "delivering on the promise of CRM to the midsize enterprise," he says. "Midsize enterprises will never say, 'Siebel and Microsoft are so good at helping me get what I need from CRM.' That secures our strategic future."
Charles Phillips | Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
Charles Phillips is not your typical financial analyst. While many of his peers are content to cover popular technology categories such as e-business, Phillips, managing director of enterprise and Internet software for Morgan Stanley, carries the weight of the entire enterprise software space on his shoulders. That does not mean he spends his time just evaluating Oracle or Computer Associates or even Microsoft. Rather, he is known for being an expert on all of these, as well as on CRM vendors like Siebel and PeopleSoft.
All the top CRM executives have Phillips on their speed dial, and he can make or break any company's stock with a "buy" or "sell" recommendation.
"Chuck is very connected to the industry," says Adam Klaber, Global CRM Manger for PwC Consulting. "He is really in tune with the financial strengths of these organizations and how well they run their management teams."
Phillips joined Morgan Stanley in December 1994 as an equity research analyst covering enterprise and Internet software companies. Before that he covered the enterprise software sector, with stints at Kidder Peabody, SoundView Financial, and The Bank of New York. Phillips is ranked the number one industry analyst in enterprise/server software by Institutional Investor, and has been a member of its All-America research team since 1994.
"I would say Chuck is extremely bright, street smart, and not easily intimidated," says Craig Conway, president and chief executive of PeopleSoft. "He follows the entire enterprise software space, which is no small feat, and each of the segments in that space."
Phillips received a B.S. degree in computer science from the United States Air Force Academy, after which he served as a captain in the Marine Corps in the data processing field. He earned an MBA in finance from Hampton University in Virginia, a J.D. from New York Law School, and is a member of the Georgia State Bar. He is also a chartered financial analyst and a member of the Institute for Electrical Engineers.
Hasso Plattner | CEO and Cochairman, SAP AG
The chase is on. Siebel's commanding lead in the CRM market appears to be dwindling thanks to Hasso Plattner and crew at SAP. Plattner, cochairman and chief executive of SAP, and his team are the first to make a concerted effort to combat CRM giant Siebel by garnering 6 percent market share in the past two years, to bring its total CRM market share to 8 percent this year.
Siebel Chief Executive Tom Siebel questions these gains, saying much of SAP's CRM revenue is derived from giving away the application with its integrated offering. Regardless, who better to challenge Siebel than Plattner, an electrical engineer who founded SAP with four IBM colleagues in 1972?
Plattner is described as "clearly a technology visionary," by Michael Park, vice president of global product marketing for SAP. "He's always been three to five years ahead of the market. Some would argue five to ten years ahead."
SAP's investment in portal technology has largely aided its market share run-up, Park says. "This was the thinking of Hasso in the context of where enterprise software is going in the future: It is important to support key business challenges and processes, not functionality. The portal architecture brings a new level of openness and capabilities to customers, and provides them with a framework based on their roles in the organization," Parks says. "Hasso is a key reason the company is where it is today. His technology vision enables him to see things other people are not able to see until it's already in front of them."
Scott Nelson | Research Area Director, Gartner Inc.
For all the controversy Scott Nelson has caused, he has given the CRM industry a chilling, yet much needed, wake-up call.
Nelson, a research area director at Gartner, has come under fire for trumpeting his message that CRM failure rates have reached the high range of 50 percent to 80 percent. The controversy, according to CRM consultants, comes from analysts' definition of failure.
Whether the findings from the well-respected research firm are accurate or not, they certainly splashed some much needed water in the face of technology buyers, forcing them to ask smarter questions about CRM. Nelson changed the way corporations evaluate CRM deployments and changed the way vendors sell into the market.
"The failure rates have had a definite dampening effect on the market," says Nelson, a seven-year Gartner veteran and a 14-year veteran of the financial services industry. "A lot of clients are saying, 'We're not sure we should do CRM because of the failure rates. If the odds are better than fifty percent that I'll fail, I'm not sure I want to do it.'"
This customer pushback has enraged CRM vendors and consultants. "We have some people accuse us on the hype cycle that it pushes CRM into the trough," Nelson says. "However, it makes people realize CRM has to be viewed as more than just a technology. It helps firms become more conscious of properly staffing projects and demanding more rigorous ROI work. It has helped the market mature."
The Veteran Pioneer
Roger Siboni | President and CEO, E.piphany
Roger Siboni knows a thing or two about market leadership. After all, he spent 20 years with KPMG Peat Marwick LLP, most recently as chief operating officer, advising companies on how to grow their businesses. In the past year he has put that knowledge to work as president and chief executive of E.piphany. At a time when most vendors are treading cautiously, Siboni has led E.piphany through a series of calculated risks designed to lock the company in a growth position. "He is very focused on making E.piphany successful, and has the knowledge and experience to make that happen," says Bob Joss, dean of Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and a member of E.piphany's board.
Siboni successfully led E.piphany's launch of E.piphany E6 and its subsequent transition from being a marketing and analytics vendor to being a full-footprint CRM company that offers sales and service tools as well. "E6 unifies all the applications we built, as well as those we bought, into a single J2EE platform," Siboni says. E.piphany is now running on a single platform, which is significant to how it will develop and integrate new applications.
"Just like when we first pioneered Web-based [CRM], we have brought the first full end-to-end J2EE CRM to the market with the first complete Web-based architecture that is a glimpse of what the Web services architecture will look like," Siboni says.
David Thacher | General Manager of CRM, Microsoft Business Solutions, Microsoft Corp.
David Thacher is in a unique position. As general manager of CRM for Microsoft Corp., Thacher has an army of enviable resources behind him, including the undeniable clout of the Microsoft brand name. What he doesn't have is a product--Microsoft CRM isn't due out until the end of 2002.
Its introduction in March ended months of speculation, but also sent rivals scrambling, even if it was only to issue a press release saying they weren't worried that an 800-pound gorilla was moving into their neighborhood.
Regardless, the fact that Microsoft is now officially in the CRM space is perhaps the single biggest event in the industry this year. However, Thacher is non-plussed by it all. After all, he's used to creating demand and awareness for a product that isn't there yet. Thacher was responsible for bringing Microsoft's NT operating system to market.
Thacher is quick to credit his team, but admits that once MS CRM was announced his profile rose and his inbox starting filling up with requests from partners, third-party software developers, potential large customers, and analysts eager to hear more about Microsoft's efforts.
Although Thacher enjoys spreading the word about MS CRM, what he is really looking forward to is letting the product speak for itself.
Ron Wohl | Executive Vice President, Applications Development, Oracle Corp.
Ron Wohl's first job during high school was as a traditional pen-and-paper draftsman, but he quit after a week out of boredom. But the high-energy, constantly on-the-go executive, isn't likely to be bored by his current job as executive vice president of applications development at Oracle. Wohl oversees a team of more than 5,000 and leads the applications group, which includes CRM, manufacturing, financials, distribution, business productivity, human resources, and government financials software.
An avid cyclist and photographer, the 41-year-old Wohl makes no bones about Oracle's place in the CRM space. "It'll be just us and SAP left standing," he says. Wohl staunchly belief in integrated offerings and making things simpler for customers. Any vendor not doing that won't be in the game, he says.
Wohl has become an evangelist for CRM. "The customer cannot be king if the product isn't king, if the service isn't king."
Winning is what it's all about for Wohl. And that means building the right product and thinking of CRM beyond traditional SFA products and realizing there is a blurring between front- and back-office applications.
Previously Wohl served as Oracle's chief quality officer and assistant general manager of the System Product Division. Prior to joining Oracle in 1986 Wohl was a consultant with Boston Consulting Group.