Archive for February, 2012

“Nimsoft was CA’s most notable acquistion….Nimsoft could be viewed as CA’s lifeboat”

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Great article on ZDNet from CA’s Chief Strategy Officer Jacob Lamm (really good guy) on organic growth at the giant.

The quote below is interesting because I really hope that they do keep it as an independent unit.

Among its cloud deals, Nimsoft was CA’s most notable acquisition. Nimsoft is operated as an independent unit and CA is throwing products its way.

“Nimsoft was built as an alternative to IT management software’s big four—CA, BMC, IBM, HP,” explained Lamm. It’s also worth noting that Nimsoft is a SaaS company. In simplistic terms, Nimsoft could be viewed as CA’s lifeboat. In any case, Nimsoft is the future of CA and new customers start with SaaS. Existing customers will expand via SaaS while keeping CA’s legacy software.

I have no idea how things are going for them so I won’t comment, but as a general statement, the challenge of keeping a disruptive unit independent inside a large company is a huge one. Antibodies.

It’s all about people. If you can keep amazing people happy and motivated then the rest is easy. But, how do you keep amazing people happy at a F500 company when they joined a start-up. Can you offer them the same equity upside? Can you offer them the same agile environment? Can you offer them the same edginess in what you do? Do you have the same passion and belief from the leadership? Are other start-up-calibre people willing to join?

Personally I believe it is absolutely possible and I believe that it starts with the right leader. As I’ve blogged about previously, leaders that run successful start ups are passionate and have an innate belief in what they are doing. It’s not about the money, it’s not about their personal career progression, it’s about the belief. This then attracts other people with the same qualities and from there you start to create something really special. When in front of the team are your team mates looking at you and saying “wow, this guy really believes in what we’re doing….I want to be on that journey with him/her”.

I wish my Alma Mater nothing but the best….it would be great one day to see Nimsoft as a separate listed company just like VMWare.

Go Nimsoft!

Occupy Boundary

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

I interviewed an engineer today….a really talented engineer and we are going to make him an offer. But, it made me realize that, of all the many resumes that come our way and the many interviews that we set up for our engineering team with potential candidates, a very small percentage actually make it to the job offer phase.

But what does this mean for our business? Well, some may think it slows us down – we’d love to have more talent on board faster and lowering the bar would achieve that. But the reality is that lower quality folks in the team start to drag everyone down plus, this is about building for the long term. The reputation is and will continue to spread that Boundary is a place where engineers get to work with the best of the best. And that means that the kind of folks that we covet, will also be coveting us. I know that start-ups feel like sprints because we always work crazy hard to meet ridiculous deadlines, but in reality they are marathons…we need to build for the long term while of course sprinting to the next deadline. And, we are solving very very hard problems….if this was easy then everyone would be doing it.

On another note, I spoke to a CEO of another IT mgmt company today who was very complimentary about the people that he’d hired from my old company. He talked about the character and commitment of those individuals; great to see that my former colleagues are continuing to carry the torch.

I have my first Boundary board meeting tomorrow so, despite me starting work at 5am this morning and just getting home at 7.45pm, I have materials to prepare. Fortunately it’s not until the afternoon so I may have some time in the morning.

Oh….and one final note…..did you know that we now have 41 beta customers on our service….that is up from 13 just 2 weeks ago. We’re getting to everyone as fast as we can but we’ve still got literally hundreds and hundreds of requests so please be patient.

Can’t wait until we make this public so everyone can just sign up directly…..the clock is ticking down.

It’s that giant sucking sound

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Yes….that sound is us being sucked back in to salesforce. As we look around at the newer tools, there are many things that we like about them, but they are not yet mature enough to give us the full functionality that we need.

Should we consider SugarCRM? Not sure about that….Sugar has always seemed to me a similar design point to salesforce…..

At the end of the day, it’s hard not to like the additional functionality that salesforce gives (plus, I did find a couple of social features, even if it wants us to pay extra for the LinkedIn interface)

Oh….how I used to love thee

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

But seriously….WELCOME TO THE SOCIAL ENTERPRISE the home page screams at me.

So…let’s put it to the test shall we. A simple request….when I have a contact in my CRM system, I’d like it look and suggest the LinkedIn, Twitter, G+ addresses for that person, allow me to select them and then show me their recent tweets/updates in the CRM record. I’d then like to be able to look at all “messages/events” on a per person basis or a per company basis….including of course email communication as well as social communication.

I tried and I tried. I plugged in Salesforce for Twitter….that must do it? Wrong. I plugged in other AppStore applications….surely someone must do this? Wrong again. I looked and I tried until I finally gave up and realized that….salesforce is about as “anti-social” as…well….if they were in the UK, they might get an ASBO (google it).

So, I know that when Cloud was hot, salesforce went from providing a hosted CRM to being a Cloud leader and that now that social is hot, they are now leading the social enterprise. I get it…I understand marketing…some may even accuse me of jumping on to bandwagons myself occasionally :)

BUT please, at least have a little something in the product to justify your marketing….just a teeny weeny bit.

We’re actively looking for alternative CRM solutions that are social……I think we’ve found one but anyone got recommendations?


Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

I have never before got so many props from people on a company logo – I have to say it’s pretty cool – even my son thinks so, and not much about dad is cool :(

Seriously though – I love it and I love the fact that this was designed by our internal UI designer – no wonder our product looks so amazing!

You like?

A personal goal that doesn’t actually mean much

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

I noticed on my LinkedIn today that my appearance in search is driven more by Nimsoft than by Boundary by a factor of 4:1. So, it’s my small personal goal to get this reversed….I want Boundary to overtake Nimsoft by end March this year.

Whoa – overwhelmed

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Super article by our founder ran in gigaom today – you can see it here

As a result we have tons of requests for beta participation. Please hang with us, we will get to you all within a few days….sorry for not responding sooner but we are ramping fast!

Long days

Friday, February 10th, 2012

The days are long and busy. One of the characteristics of being CEO of a start-up is that you have to be able to context switch, and you have to be able to do so 100+ times a day. Whereas other positions may need periods of deep thought and uninterrupted focus, my position requires spinning multiple plates concurrently.

We’re making huge progress and I can see more progress right in front of us. Every day each of us moves the ball a little further down the field…..and while we’re having to make some changes and update some things, I am certainly feeling productive.

I actually did my first product demo today….yep, just me, nobody else…..demoing away to someone. It can certainly be polished but I thought it went well (fortunately my audience went easy on me).

I heard a few people recently from traditional monitoring companies describe Boundary as competitive to them. We are certainly happy to take the attention that they are giving us (thanks!) – but I can assure them all that we are not competitive. Boundary is a different type of solution, solving a very different type of problem to a different type of customer – if anyone wants to understand that better then give me a call and I’ll happily practice my demo skills on you.

By the way…did I say…..we’re hiring!!! Check out the web site for more details but….if you are ridiculously talented, then forget the jobs on the web site and just approach us directly.

Couldn’t agree more

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

The worst thing about politics is that people win because they are the best politicians

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

The best thing about working for and growing a smaller company is that you win on merit and talent, not politics.