Archive for the ‘Business’ Category
February 10, 2013 by Yuval Brisker
One of the great things about being CEO of TOA Technologies - an innovator, a fast mover, an up and comer of the first order, a rainbow of amazing, ambitious and creative people, customers and partners – is that you get to experience the great satisfaction, the pride and excitement that infects everyone who works for and is associated with the company when something significantly excellent happens.
One such milestone happened this week with Forbes’ recognizing TOA Technologies as one of America’s 100 Most Promising Companies. I can honestly say that I saw people standing a little taller, walking with an extra kick in their step, savoring the moment of accomplishment, of recognition, of being a part of a fantastic adventure. This is the fun part of every CEO’s job. I’m glad I get to experience it.
And recognition from the unbiased is more fulfilling, and this has undoubtedly been a great year of unbiased recognition for TOA: A few months ago Gartner named TOA a Leader in our software area; Montclair Advisors named us one of the top SaaS companies and much more. This particular recognition has a bit of a different flavor as it takes us back to the roots of the venture, to the original idea of solving a mass consumer problem in our case – the problem of customers waiting without knowing when a service or delivery person would arrive at their home – waiting sometime for hours, sometimes for days, frustrated and unhappy. But the beauty of our journey has been that our team has gone about solving the problem in a totally new and unexpected way – a way that’s led us to develop a complete, end-to-end solution for managing and empowering mobile employees, all in the cloud, and as a result, becoming a force in the new guard of enterprise software.
I think that one of the reasons that TOA was recognized by Forbes is that the basic idea of TOA, the basic problem we solve is just so easy to grasp – easier than most other enterprise software companies’ core missions. The idea that sparked TOA and the imagination of clients, investors and fans alike is a solution to the common annoyance of an everyday problem - after all, who hasn’t waited – pissed off – for something to be delivered or installed in their home? Everyone has, and so the end-user benefit is clear. So when recognition comes from a respected, popular business magazine like Forbes – in effect the defacto semi-official chronicler of ‘top lists’ in the world – it feels like we’ve come full circle, and the potential of the growth and emerging dominance of TOA to the worldwide consumer base ’waiting at home’ is now unequivocally clear.
December 27, 2012 by Yuval Brisker
Great article in the NYTimes yesterday about Google’s expansion into Microsoft’s last bastion of domination - the Office productivity suite for enterprise customers!
Since TOA has been using Google Apps from the day it was available to businesses (we are a Charter User, I believe) this is no real news for us or for any of our employees worldwide. We love Google Apps (Docs, Plus, etc) and can clearly see a future where we will not need to buy a copy of Microsoft Office for every employee and save not only a lot of money but a lot of hassle on many levels (storage, security, records, etc).
Google Apps and Docs are not just ‘Good Enough’ at this point – they are indeed great. It only takes using them for a few days to figure out why. Google is constantly, continuously and obsessively innovating…with no fear..Even if GDocs seems to ‘look like’ Word or Excel or Powerpoint… they are not…their power is in the little improvements and small but substantial thought that Google’s brilliant developers have put into everything…with the goal of making the user experience simple, easy, connected.
And yes…it’s that connection, the ability to easily and seamlessly collaborate with others, without needing help or user manual , that is the true Killer here…And collaboration here is not some pretty industry buzz word that no one understands or know how to use…At TOA we use Google Docs primarily for sharing documents and collaborating and we encourage it – from the CEO on down as the de facto standard. We’ve collaborated with 5 people on an spreadsheet at one time with people in 5 different parts of the world and 5 different time zones; I’ve written whole documents with two or more people looking and working on shaping text together simultaneously (I’ve even done that on a Delta flight at 30,000 feet working on a presentation with one of my marketing directors, who was sitting 5 rows behind me, we were both connected to airborne wifi, both on the same Google Doc, working together, being highly productive.. talk about Mile High Club…); I regularly collaborate with my executive team to speed the creation and completion of documents, etc. And now we use Google Plus Hangouts to do big video conference calls incorporating Google Docs and Videos and Screensharing…you name it. And with the greatest of ease…
If I sound like I’m a paid spokesman – don’t worry – I’m not…I just love audacity in innovation and a company that has a vision, steadfastness and no fear. No fear of failure. It’s a hallmark of Google’s approach to trying new things. Google Apps, Plus and Docs are getting better by the day, by the hour and I and my colleagues marvel at the constant and positive change: For me looking at Google Plus and Google Apps and Docs is like watching a time-lapse motion picture of a beautiful plant growing…you can literally see the evolution with your own eyes, as you work, with new great features popping up every single day…It’s truly awe inspiring.
Microsoft on the other hand just can’t seem to regain the supremacy that it once had…despite some of the nice things they are trying desperately to role out with Windows 8 and Windows Phone, they are late to the party and the consumers are not really biting…at this pace, ten years from now, if there is no brilliant unexpected big move…Microsoft could well be a shadow of its former self – while Google does not rest and continues to rise…innovating like crazy, ambitious like there is no tomorrow, vibrant and alive….I embrace that strong innovative spirit and phenomenal execution!
November 12, 2012 by Yuval Brisker
Two articles caught my eye over the weekend.
One speculates on Apple’s peak , and the other contemplates Microsoft’s potential resurgence with Windows 8 and Surface.
Apple ‘peaking’ is now a subject of grand speculation which almost borders on anticipation. This article lays out the rationale. It’s a pretty clear analysis that can be summed up with this quote:
“It’s baffling. Apple has a winning formula – perhaps the most successful business formula ever – yet it seems intent on changing it. The company has shifted away from Jobs’s laser-like focus on building the best and most complete user experience, and started putting its interests way ahead of those of its users.”
Of course, the Apple Maps debacle is at the center of the speculation that the company’s greatest days are behind it. The writer cites interesting clues: the quick release of the 4th Gen iPad on the heels of iPad 3 (the ‘new’ iPad) with no clear justification, the lack of innovation in the iPhone 5, the iPad mini (which Steve Jobs said he would never release), etc.
All of facts point to Apple’s desire to exploit the hype around its products to the absolute maximum – with no real regard for the customer. The assumption here is that that Apple want to grab as much revenue as they can before the world discovers that they have nothing left to offer.
The loss of Steve Jobs was clearly a momentous event. He was a founder and leader of such mythic status who had such immense creative talents and management abilities, a man who not only founded the company but engineered its rebirth, resurgence and dominance, and leaving the company at such an important time cannot be underestimated (and it wasn’t, of course). But it’s interesting that after all the endless stories about Jobs’ dominant presence in the creation and management of new Apple products, people are still surprised that the company could potentially be going through an innovation crisis now that he has permanently and forever exited the scene.
We need to look no further than Microsoft where Bill Gates stepped down as CEO over 12 years ago to see how long it has taken the company to find its footing. By many accounts, Microsoft seems to be moving in the right direction with Windows 8, reflected by excellent reviews and growing developer interest. With the kind of cash that Microsoft has and the continued ambition, you really can’t count them out. And, it doesn’t hurt that Steve Ballmer has a very strong link to and with the founder.
Yes, Apple is going through a profound re-alignment, digesting the magnitude of a founder’s death, adjusting to its relatively new status as the most valuable company on the planet (despite the unbelievable $200B loss in value over the past few months) and looking for its next line of innovation. But with the kind of hordes of cash they have on hand and continued ambition they harbor, I would say that the speculation of their death is premature.
But between these two debates, what is clear is that Microsoft may be on the verge of a rebirth itself, and the “timely” reduction in Apple’s cache may mean a major re-shifting of tech desire.
October 22, 2012 by Yuval Brisker
By focusing on invention and innovation and uncompromisingly pursuing the most advanced technology available today, the way of the future, our great company has always pulled and pulled ahead with this market in its wake for the last seven or eight years, like a big ship at sea.
Leaders never push. They pull others along, always staying out in front of the pack, confident in their sense of direction and their vision of the future. That’s one of the many reasons why I read Gartner’s newly released Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management with a combination of pride, of satisfaction and of gratitude.
Pride, because Gartner’s independent analysts have recognized TOA Technologies as a leader in this market and that just feels great. Let’s face it – it’s a momentous day for any company to be named a leader by the most respected and leading global technology analyst. It feels like winning an Oscar!
Since 2007 when TOA Technologies was first evaluated in the annual Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management report, Gartner has always commended our vision in the market; and this is still the case this year, as evidenced by our position as the most visionary vendor in the report. But now, by naming TOA Technologies a Leader, Gartner has affirmed that we have used and continue to use that vision to create a deeply impactful and long-lasting value for our customers, executing, realizing and delivering on the promise of leadership that our visionary status pointed towards throughout these years.
From day one – Irad Carmi, my co-founder, and I and our people have led by focusing on invention and innovation. Why? Because we just love technology. And we love the business of technology. Plain and simple. The “new” does not scare us or inhibit us. In fact, it excites us with the possibilities and we are attracted to it with a deep curiosity and profound existential sense of glee. From the moment we met we were pulled by the latest, the newest, the riskiest and the fascinating - hungry to explore it, understand it, use it, exploit it in the most positive sense of the word.
This passion for the new and the business of the new has clearly paid off. Together with our great Technology Center team headed by Alexey Turchyn, we invented time-based, predictive, self-learning tools for managing mobile businesses and we’ve continually added new innovations to enhance the functionality and user-friendliness of our solutions. We embraced the mobile Internet and smart devices when there was almost no bandwidth, we championed the browser and HTML5 as THE platform when others were developing Windows mobile applications and no one dared to go there, and this year we became the first in our market to provide truly device-agnostic mobility, location-based services and context-aware collaboration bringing mobile, social and cloud together, democratizing connections and the flow of information for everyone in an organization.
I don’t believe that a new product is innovative just because it’s new. To me, innovation is about continuous exploration – a continuous quest for invention – and breathing in the world of technology deeply and taking it to new heights. Gartner calls the wave that we are witnessing today “the Nexus of Forces” – the convergence of mobile, social and cloud-based technologies. I agree. It’s clearly driving a huge secular shift in the way the world does business and it’s touching everyone. TOA Technologies has embraced these ideas early and totally, delivering solutions that build on those notions and heralding a future of fully mobile, truly collaborative and totally automated, optimized mobile business processes.
I feel a sense of satisfaction, and that satisfaction comes from the fact that Gartner affirms our ability to execute our vision and more importantly execute on our promise to customers. Because it’s one thing to have a vision…and it’s a whole other dimension to make that vision consistently come to life – to convince executives around the world in a multitude of countries and languages to buy into the vision and the technology wholly, and then execute the plan and make that vision real. This goes to the very heart of our commitment to our customers. They trust us to deliver exactly what we promise – and the technology is NOTHING without the delivery. And we have delivered 100 percent of the time. With our position as a leader in the Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management, the world now knows what our customers know and have known all along – that we have smart, dedicated people and processes that diligently focus on delivering on our promises to each and every business partner that chooses to work with us. Without compromises.
But above all at this moment, I feel gratitude – gratitude to the people of TOA Technologies. A company is like a person – it has deep and indelible character. It reflects a collective soul and a collective effort, and it succeeds only with the talent, the mindfulness, the heart and the hard work of everyone working there. TOA Technologies has great character – it is the work of many, many people – a worldwide team. And this recognition by Gartner affirms our good character and the great global partnership – a partnership that goes beyond borders, beyond the myriad languages that we speak at TOA and the cultures we were born into, a partnership that embraces a shared vision, a shared passion for creativity and a perseverance with one goal in mind – creating something great.
It is our people’s imagination, their focus, their dedication and their hard work that has made this real, and Irad and I have the great good fortune to share our vision with these – the most talented, mindful, hearty and hard-working people I have known.
Even though we are celebrating today, much more hard work lies ahead. The tech industry is a continuous, intense race. And, as anyone who has ever been in a race knows, the leaders always have to expend the most effort if they want to stay ahead. Followers slipstream along in the wake of the frontrunner, avoiding risks and allowing someone else to set the pace. Leaders don’t have that luxury. As a mentor of mine once said to me:
“In the tech world, first you run fast, then you run faster and then you run even faster still.”
So it goes…
To our employees, customers, partners, board members and investors who have supported and collaborated with us every step of the way – I say thank you! I promise that we are determined to keep running and keep leading.
NOTE: The above is my personal view of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management, 2012, focusing on what it means to me to be a company leader in this market. While my commentary is well informed it is solely my opinion and though it based on an ongoing dialogue with Gartner’s analysts and my understanding of the market, the only definitive opinions on the report are those of the authors of the report, who researched and published it. My opinion is not a substitute for speaking to Gartner’s analysts directly.