Sramana Mitra: What about the acting part?
Christian Gheorghe: They have to write back. They have to say, “Now that I understand what’s going on in my business, what can I do about it? Let me just model this particular profitability curve and change my forecast by 10% down.” You need to promote that change across the entire data cloud. There are two ways by which you can accomplish that.
In the past, you used to ask your business to adapt their needs to the data model. In the new world, we are adapting the data model to the business. I think that’s a very interesting way to look at it. IT, in the legacy times, has been predicated on the notion of extract, transform, and load (ETL) the data. In the new world, with Tidemark and others in the cloud, you are leveraging on IT as a strategic enabler to do an ELT. Extract, Load and then the Transformation happens when you ask the question.
Sramana Mitra: That’s an interesting metaphor. What kind of customers are you going after? Are they the Fortune 500 Global customer base?
Christian Gheorghe: Yes, our company is targeting customers that have at least $500 million in revenues. Some customers including Netflix, Acxiom, Hostess and Brown University have more than a billion in revenue.
Sramana Mitra: What is the competitive landscape around what you are doing? Indirectly, there are many competitors. Who are the direct competitors?
Christian Gheorghe: The direct competitors are split into two. One is what I would call legacy. These are IBM, Cognos, Oracle Hyperion, SAP OutlookSoft, as well as Excel Hell. A fair amount of people still do this type of processes in Excel. It’s literally hell as you don’t have collaboration or a single version of the truth. About a third of our replacements of SAP System are Excel Hell. About a fifth of the remaining is in Oracle Hyperion. That’s what I call legacy.
The other set of competitors are the one that started about two years prior to us, which I would call ‘legacy in the cloud.’ They’re taking the old model that the legacy was predicated on and simply hosting it and calling it as a cloud-ready solution, which we don’t believe in obviously. We believe in a cloud-first solution, which is redesigned and re-imagined for the cloud. These competitors are the rest of the one third replacement and they contain adaptive planning and host analytics.
Sramana Mitra: Explain more precisely the difference between the host analytics adaptive planning model versus the Tidemark model.
Christian Gheorghe: It’s not a model per say; it’s an entire approach. The ‘legacy in the cloud’ vendors or analytics adaptive planning model takes the Excel model paradigm and puts it into a browser. It allows people to look at these grids on a desktop, hosted.
That’s not what we do. We believe that we have to empower and engage everybody in the organization with an experience that contains collaborations and context analysis, which is in English natural language so you can ask questions as well as the ability to present the information in a narrative with visualizations. Then you also have graphics and actionability built in. This is a richer, people-centric, and process-centric type of applications versus simply saying, “We used to be in Excel with 12 tabs. Here are the 12 tabs in your browser.”