With a range of tech companies floating as corporations lose their appetite for acquisitions, companies like Boomi which was bought by Dell in 2010 believe they have an advantage over competitors like Mulesoft which have to answer to the public markets at sky high valuations following their recent stock market listing.
If Chris McNabb, CEO of Dell Boomi, is concerned about his competitor’s successful IPO, he wasn’t showing it when he spoke with Decoding the New Economy at a restaurant in a Sydney office park last week. With Mulesoft’s stock popping 45% on the first day of trade, attention was on how his company would react to such a vote of confidence in his market rival.
“We continue to grow very rapidly, well north of market growth rates. I think you’ll see us consolidate our position at the top of most boards in terms of the number of customers. If you look at Mulesoft’s S1 (the company’s official stock offering document) it shows them with around 1,078 customers while we have 5,300 customers. We almost have an unfair competitive advantage.”
Part of that unfair advantage McNabb cites is the breadth of services now offered by Dell’s merger with EMC where he flagged an increased push across the organisation’s sales team starting in the second half of this year.
“For us to say six months ago that we’d sit here and say that the merger of two 25 billion dollar plus businesses could be bedded down is really saying something. I think it’s one of the best integrations that I’ve ever seen.”
“For Boomi it’s been terrific and continues to be terrific. We get unequivocal support from executives, Michael Dell and the ELT – Executive Leadership Team – has been nothing but a hundred percent supportive.”
“Now we’re looking at what we can do with the EMC Solutions sales team, what we can do with our brothers in the strategically aligned businesses, specifically Pivotal, Virtustream and VMWare. What are the opportunities to go to market more collaboratively with them?”
Boomi’s recent ManyWho acquisition fits into that range of offerings and McNabb believes the workflow platform’s role as a tool helping CIOs manage their organisations’ transitions to cloud services will be a compelling offering.
“Workflow automation – redoing business processes in a structured and an unstructured way – was always a key strategy of ours.”
“Hybrid IT is here for the next ten years, so how do we enable it so customers can buy all the best of breed software they want yet still have a suite like experience?”
“We believe hybrid IT is creating challenges for CIOs and as you get all these different cloud applications from vendors you’re breaking apart your ERP and creating an integration problem and you’re creating a data management problem along with governance, API management and orchestration.”
“It’s our vision to give CIOs the unified platform the necessary fundamentals in cloud services to address these issues.”
With a solid market position in North America, McNabb sees the Asia-Pacific as the big growth driver for Boomi with channel partners leading the company’s expansion across the region.
“Worldwide EMEA is going through a ton of growth and this region (APAC) is going through a ton of growth. Our expectation is this region will have the highest growth rates – Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, these are key target areas.”
“If I look at things strategically and how important the channel is to us, is it’s a force multiplier as it allows you to get entire teams being certified and ready to go across regions. It also helps execute in a better way in local markets, you have to be in a region in a big way and if you can get really good certified partners you can do that much better and faster than if you’re hiring and building it yourself.”
Returning to the topic of Mulesoft, McNabb sees not being part of a publicly listed company as one of Boomi’s big advantages.
“We don’t operate on a ninety day ‘shock clock’, we know what the market’s growing at, we know what our platform is capable of, we know we’re going to raise our targets. There isn’t increased pressure to perform.”
“As it turns out, those in the public eye do have the ninety day shock clock to attend to and it will be interesting to see how those first, two, three or four quarterly reviews go. I’ll certainly be an eager listener to their investor calls.”
Ultimately though, McNabb thinks Mulesoft’s IPO and it’s 45% pop on listing vindicates Dell’s ongoing investment in Boomi and the potential of the cloud integration marketplace.
“I look at it as a terrific validation of the marketplace…. It’s good for everybody.”