Lori Sylvia is the executive vice president of marketing at RedBend Software. Lori has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and is specialized in mobile, networking and telecommunications, having worked for General Dynamics and in several venture-backed startups like Indus River Networks. In this interview she addresses RedBend’s software management capabilities – provided to enterprise customers by the company’s own platform – and gives us insights into opportunities and the future of the mobile device space.
Sramana Mitra: Lori, let’s start with some context about RedBend and also about you.
Lori Sylvia: RedBend Software is the leader in mobile software management. We were founded in 1999 in Israel. Today we have seven offices around the world with more than 80 customers. We are getting close to two billion mobile phones, tablets, and other kinds of connected devices that have our software inside of.
Our customers are primarily manufacturers of mobile devices, but we also have customers who are mobile operators and new segments, like automotive. Our customers use our software to manage those devices over the air – to do things like deploying new applications, new services, etc. – and generally making those mobile devices better for as long as the enterprise or consumer uses them.
I have been in the company for almost seven years. I am the executive vice president of marketing and based in our headquarters, which is just outside Boston, Massachusetts. I have been in marketing and communications for about 20 years. I have a masters of science degree in information and telecommunication systems from Johns Hopkins University. I really focus on being a marketer of technology, and I have worked in a variety of startups as well as publicly held companies.
SM: What are the key trends in your industry segments that you are seeing, marketing to, and designing products for?
LS: We work across three different markets – the mobile market, the automotive market, and most recently the enterprise market. There are several trends that are converging across all of those markets, and that has put us in a very important and strategic position. One is that there are more and more devices connected. Another trend is that devices have increasing numbers of software programs, and are more and more sophisticated in their functionality. When you have some kind of computing device that has increasingly sophisticated software and is connected, there is a need to manage that software over the air.
Of course, we see this happening in mobile phones. When we first started in the industry, 90% of mobile phones were feature phones. We have been in this industry through the rapid adoption of smartphones. Several years ago we got involved in automotive because we saw that cars were becoming more and more connected and smarter. There was an increasing need to be able to manage those connected cars remotely, as well as offer applications and services to drivers and passengers. This has become very expected with the kinds of consumer electronics that everyone has in their personal lives. On the enterprise side, workforces are becoming increasingly mobile, and mobile phones are becoming a key to productivity. The big trend there is that more and more companies are not buying special-purpose enterprise phones, they are allowing their employees to use their personal devices. Those devices are being brought to work, and there is now a need for enterprises to be able to remotely manage the software and the contents of the work applications on those mobile phones.
In short, there is a growing amount of connectivity and an increase in the role of software and therefore an increased need for management across the ecosystem. This is what RedBend is trying to help its customers do.