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BEA Analyst Summit 2006: BEA Market Execution Panel

[See intro notes to my first post for what’s going on here.]

The folks: Tom Ashburn (moderator), Rich Geraffo, David Gai, Rob Levy, Craig Chapman.

Video: Accenture and BEA

We see a print ad from Accenture with Tiger Woods. Then a video of an Accenture dude talking about telco work with Accenture and BEA.

“We certainly do see that the whole world will converge to a services layer and a network layer.”

“BEA has organized themselves very much as a solutions provider instead of a product provider.”

[The panelists have the triangle/pyramid hands that Brandon is so fond of in front. It’s a little weird seeing 4 people, each with their hands exactly the same.]


Rob Levy…

Tom: “Composure in less than a year?” Rob: it will be a year before we fill out “the blue box.”

Craig:…a bad way to come into my office with an acquisition is “we gotta buy this company and buy it quick.” We’re looking for large markets we can get in to.

…buying companies to flesh out the SOA/AquaLogic suite. Fuego acquisition. “Engineers don’t like other engineers code in general…but there were two words that came out of that review ‘rock solid.'”

Opportunistic land grabs…

I talk to a lot of startup guys, many of them in stealth-mode. “Stealth guys are guys who can’t execute.”

Again with the Fuego: “I look at how I can add world class products to a world class channel. Here’s my channel. And they’re kickin’ it.”

We try to find acquisitions where we can use a scalpel to fit it in, not a hack-saw. To get it to people fast, integrate it with our stuff fast, etc…[hot deploy the acquisition into BEA.]

Tom: How did you turn the company around in a year?

Rich: we need to get focused around the relationship we have with our customers. Listen, owrk with collaborativly. 500 customers. Asked them “how we’re doing,” how do we earn the right to sell more? Centers of excellence…client architects…

…right leadership team. Talking the same language of, e.g., telco networking. Show to customer how BEA brings value. “Everyone needs to understand how the BEA product set builds value.” [“Know your product” based selling.] “Holding the team accountable for showing the value in the eyes of the customer.” Value proposition!

Tom: Turned over 3/4 of your directors. Who do you look to put in those positions? “Being students of the technology” is important. “Primarily we’re looking for leaders who are students of the technology”…then back on message about showing value in the eyes of the customer.

“The triple play: Voice, video, and data.” Client architects. More on showing the customer’s eyes the value of BEA.

Tom says there was no sales person increase, or resources. So spend was flat. Instead, we picked good people. “Also around execution.”

Our plans are, this year, to start adding more people. 75(?) sales people. About 100 SC’s and consultants.

Tom: how did the service organization help?

David: what are our customers getting for what they’re spending? Customers are betting their careers are these decisions [to buy BEA]. Client architects, training…give the servicing to help top account figure out how to help them get value from BEA.

[Always an interesting notion for me in enterprise software: you can’t just buy the software and immediately get value, as you can in consumer software: you have to buy the stack, and then also buy a bunch of servicing to fit it. Is it really cheaper than having your own programmers? Are there enough programmers to go around for that? Would the simplicity and constraints of RoR go against this? But, when value is subtracted from software, services and support are one of the only things to sell other than yourself.]

Rich: we can go into our top our top telco customers about helping them transform to the triple play: voice, video, and data.

Tom: [telco and telco partners] felt we had the products to help them win in the marketplace.

Rich: There are industries where SAP dominates, like manufacturing, but we’re building out a reference architecture with AquaLogic with Accenture to move into those markets.

Craig: we’re going into non-BEA accounts and winning. Our acquisitions help us do this…so that we have a reason to be there and we’re trusted. I need a bigger foot-print, more leads, more room to drive license revenue.

Tom: “we’re great people to partner with because we’re not trying to create a 9,000 person consulting [division].” [Back to Alfred’s point earlier of focusing.]

Tom: So, new title, sounds fancy. What’s the CTO do?

Rob: My wife says the “T” stands for Talk and Travel. Office of the CTO does some prototyping and asks customers “is this kind of thing you’ll be needing in the next 6-12 months.” An Agilish/spike approach [perhaps something for Enterprise Architecture]. Helping people interpret what to do with the technologies. Full size, 3 brand division…common architecture issues.

Disclaimer: BEA is a client, and paid for me to come to this conference.

Categories: Agile, Companies, Conferences, Marketing.