September 2019 is a triple milestone month for me. Not only do my wife and I celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, but it also marks 5 years since I joined Software AG and 21 years since I took my first role in the software industry.
Twenty-one years later I have worked with countless customers in at least 25 countries across five continents. In addition to retail I have worked with customers across telecommunications, aerospace, high-tech manufacturing, consumer packaged goods and petrochemical industries.
The number of customer projects and initiatives I have been involved with is difficult to comprehend. Whether the focus is on reducing cost, increasing revenue or managing risk, software has always been instrumental alongside people and process. This huge variety is what attracted me and continues to inspire.
While I have seen projects deliver amazing customer results, projects are rarely without moments of pain. Software issues – be these scalability, compatibility or defects - can constrain the ability to take customer orders, fulfill demand or run a production line, impeding the very raison d'être of the organization.
When it comes to overall suitability of software, and technology in general, customer perception is critical and metrics like Net Promoter Score and Gartner Peer Insights are used to judge this.
However customer anecdotes and stories are always a fascinating source of feedback. In my five years with Software AG I have been amazed at positive perspectives I hear from customers about our technology. One customer told me that the day they went live, it was the first time everyone in IT was able to go home at 5pm on a go-live day – with other projects they have found themselves working late into the evening. There was also a CIO who told me “My peers have not heard [us speak] of Software AG because, while it is critical to our operation it doesn’t cause issues, therefore we don’t discuss it.”
But the comment that really resonated with me came earlier in the summer from Saurabh Maheshwari of Capri Holdings, owner of Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo and Versace. While on stage at Software AG’s New York User Group meeting, he was asked what he thought of Software AG technology. He said: “It just works, and is the most important technology after ERP.”
“It just works.” What an incredible endorsement. It encapsulates the trust that customers place in Software AG’s technology.
As organizations transform, software becomes more and more critical to operations and every business model – so overall reliability has value beyond compare. In many respects, Software AG’s “Freedom as A Service” tagline reflects this, describing how constraints are eliminated.
After 21 years in the software business it is amazing to be able to help customers with technology that “just works.”
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