Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Channeling the Big Data Tsunami: Opportunities from Infrastructure to Applications

Keynote speaker, David Reinsel, Group Vice President at IDC set the stage for discussion (view David's slides) at the Channeling the Big Data Tsunami Summit on February 17th. Presenters addressed questions such as how can we handle the onslaught of waves of data hitting our servers and crashing our systems and how can we develop deeper insights and more profitable businesses?

Over 150 attendees learned about the new opportunities and challenges that big data and analytics provide. They heard from successful data-driven businesses and heard presentations on how to plan for the impact on their organization's infrastructure and personnel.

Top analysts and thought leaders discussed the state of big data, business leaders presented infrastructure solutions in data capture, management, analytics, visualization and storage and CEO's shared experiences in healthcare, mobile advertising and financial services.

The event closed with Rapid Pitch Presentations from Suresh Gopalan, Founder and President of ReSurfX, David Kedmey, Co-Founder and President of EidoSearch and Nick Lim, CEO of Sonamine.

Read More:The Data is Coming! The Data is Coming! by Lawrence Schwartz in TokuView
View Video Interviews on SiliconAngle.tv
Presenters included:
- David Reinsel, Group VP Storage, Semiconductors & Pricing, IDC - View David's Presentation Slides
- Paul Brown, Chief Architect, Paradigm4 & SciDB
- Rock Gnatovich, Senior Vice President/COO, TIBCO Spotfire
- Suresh Gopalan, Founder & President, ReSurfX
- Colin Hill, CEO, President, Co-Founder, GNS Healthcare/Via Science
- Kipp Jones, Chief Architect, Skyhook Wireless
- David Kedmey, Co-Founder and President, EidoSearch
- Nick Lim, CEO, Sonamine
- Luke Lonergan, VP & CTO Data Computing Products Division, EMC & co-founder Greenplum
- Rajesh Nair, CTO, DegreeC
- Mike Stonebraker, Professor, MIT
- Adam Towvim, Senior Director, Business Development, Jumptap
- Bob Zurek, VP, Product Strategy, Endeca

David Vellente of Wikibon conducted interviews with Thomas Hopcroft, CEO of MassTLC, David Reinsel, Group VP of IDC, Professor Mike Stonebraker of MIT, Luke Lonergan, CTO of EMC Greenplum and John Partridge, CEO of Tokutek.

Keynote PPT slides coming soon.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mass Technology Leaders Join Governor Patrick on Innovation Economy Mission to Israel and the UK

(Photo credit: Matt Bennett/Governor's Office).

A coalition of the state's leading business executives and senior government officials will take part in the Massachusetts Innovation Economy Partnership Mission 2011 to Israel and the United Kingdom. The coalition will explore growth opportunities within the Commonwealth's innovation-based industries and areas of common interest between the state's established and emerging partners in Israel and the UK.

The mission will focus on business expansion, job growth and collaboration during industry forums, company visits and meetings with Israeli and UK business leaders and government officials in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, London and Cambridge. The Massachusetts delegation will arrive in Israel on March 7th, and depart the United Kingdom on March 17th to return to Boston.

"Massachusetts is an unparalleled leader in the global economy and a trailblazer for the nation. To continue to compete on an international level and create new jobs here at home we must look outward to new markets, and position Massachusetts as the North American destination for business growth," said Governor Patrick.

Today there are nearly 100 companies with Israeli founders or Israeli-licensed technologies in Massachusetts. In 2009, these companies employed nearly 6,000 people and generated $2.4 billion in direct revenue for the state. Local firms exported over $180 million worth of goods to Israel in 2009 and, at 12.35 percent, the United States is Israel's largest source of imports.

There are currently 478 companies with UK-ties in Massachusetts. Of these, 225 UK-owned companies in the state employ 40,100 Massachusetts residents. Additionally, 253 Commonwealth-based companies have established operations in the UK. Massachusetts companies exported over $4 billion worth of goods to the UK in 2009 and the United States is the UK's second largest source of imports at 9.74 percent. For two years in a row, the UK has been the largest market for Massachusetts exports.

Like Massachusetts, both countries boast thriving technology sectors and the opportunities for collaboration and investment are significant. The UK's Information Communication Technologies sector is the largest in Europe, and employs over a million people.

Over the last two years governors and top officials from 21 states have led trade missions to Israel and the United Kingdom, a clear indication that our counterparts consider these efforts to be wise investments for their businesses and citizens.

Council President & CEO Tom Hopcroft and the following executives from MassTLC member companies will be participating in the business delegation: Jaime Goldstein, Partner, Northbridge Venture Partners; Gary Gottlieb, President & CEO, Partners HealthCare; Michael Greeley, General Partner, Flybridge Capital Partners; Brian Halligan, CEO & Founder, HubSpot; Tom Heiser, President, RSA, Security Division of EMC; Diane Hessan, CEO, Communispace; Andy Ory, CEO, Acme Packet; Steve Papa, CEO, Endeca; and Dr. Ido Shoenberg, MD, Chairman & CEO, American Well.

Read full press release.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Building a Community of the Right Followers

Alan Belniak, director of social media at PTC and new co-chair of MassTLC's social media cluster, hosted the social media cluster for a discussion on "Creating a Large Community of the Right Followers" on Thursday, February 10th to discuss building a community of the right followers. Christopher Penn, VP of Strategy and Innovation at Blue Sky Factory, as well as co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee weekly marketing podcast, gave a terrific presentation on how to curate a good network or community of the right followers for your business.

A few key takeaways are below and definitely take a look at Christopher's community building flow chart on how to build and maintain a community. Great stuff!

1. Getting started -- have an initial seed group of people -- find people that are influential in their own right and encourage them to join and participate

2. Everything you know about sales and marketing can be used to create a community -- start with outbound -- good old fashioned email to invite them to the community. Then of course, the social mechanism needs to be built in.

3. Invite people like crazy- email, social sharing. Do something within the social network to feed them, provide them content

4. Valuable content is more difficult to create than you think -- a good rule of thumb, if you didn't learn something, it isn't valuable.

5. Provide some type of exclusivity -- it is tough to resist being in the club. You don't want to share everything. One method is you can see all content but to comment, you have to be a member.

6. Authority -- be the authority in something!

7. Be careful with using a public platform to create your community (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc), they can easily be taken away from you. Transition them if possible to your private community but use incentives (not necessarily monetary) to do so and expect that you are going to lose a good percentage in the transition.

Watch for upcoming social media seminars focused on integrating social media tools to meet your business goals.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sales Compensation for a SaaS Business

MassTLC SaaS members braved another New England storm for a lively discussion on sales compensation in a SaaS environment led by Liz Cobb, sales compensation consultant, and Brad Coffey, Director of Business Operations and Strategy, at HubSpot. Highlights are below and the presentation can be accessed via slideshare here.

Discussion topics included sales compensation basics:

1. Compensation follows the strategy
- Know your goals - Revenue, growth, profit
- Understand your company stage - Startup, repeatable growth, maturity
- Design your sales strategy - Organization design and job roles; Consider other job roles - not just your outside sales folks

2. Reps follow the money
- Does your plan communicate the strategy?
- Motivate what can be controlled by the rep
- Provide frequent feedback- $ & #s

3. Creating a comp plan

Liz highlighted that payout timing is critical - align it as closely as possible to the motivating event. The key events for motivating: make sure reps have control of the event, make the compensation competitive, communication the plan clearly, reward in a timely fashion and provide real-time visibility to results and how payments were determined. Also, be sure to view compensation across job roles so you can check for fairness and alignment - from the sales manager to sales rep to service. And lastly, make sure managers are aligned with the team quota.

Once the plan is out there, it is important to assess the plan and make sure it is motivating. Two tell-all graphs include:

1. Pay for performance - tight alignment

2. Attainment Distribution - how to set quotas and monitor, look for a nice bell curve

You want a team of winners - 60-65% of group should be at or above quota

There was a quick look at organizations that sell both SaaS and on-premise products. Be sure to confirm your strategy as a company and avoid having the same person selling both!

Brad followed Liz by offering considerations from the real world. One of the most important lessons HubSpot learned was they had to shift their model to pay on predicted LTV more than MRR. This worked for awhile however LTV calculations are unclear and often a lagging indicator. Over time they have shifted their model in an attempt to schedule longer term contracts, extended clawback deal up to 6 months.

Hubspot lessons learned:

- Align sales compensation with the needs of the biz
- This will change over time
- This includes churn and LTV
- Analyze each rep like a thin version of the your entire company
- Leverage SaaS benchmarks to ensure you're on track - then hit the gas!

Stay tuned for information on a series of breakfast seminars from the group focused on running an efficient SaaS business model. If you wish to be further involved in the planning of upcoming sessions, please contact Christine Nolan at christine@masstlc.org. Thanks to all who attended and joined in the discussion!