April 11, 2013 by Yuval Brisker
As a co-founder and CEO of an amazing and fast growing SaaS company, I have the honor of being part of many great moments – large and small - in the life of the company, moments that usually mark an interesting and exciting shift in our business. Yesterday was such a moment - a milestone for our business, the coming together of a lot of what we’ve been working towards over the years, but really much more than that. What really makes this moment so exciting is that, I believe, it is also a landmark representing the sea change that’s happening in enterprise software.
Telefónica, a global provider of telecommunication services, an innovator, has selected TOA Technologies to deploy our industry-leading SaaS field service management solution to their global mobile workforce – a deployment that is ultimately going to span 24 countries. This could well be the largest footprint of an enterprise cloud software solution ever. They’ve made this decision after carefully surveying the market of existing on-premise solutions vendors – and decided to take the bold leap into the future and select TOA.
Amidst my pride, I can’t help but look back to when Irad Carmi, my co-founder and our CTO, founded TOA with the idea that one day every company – extra-large, large, medium and small – would need, and be using, software like ours by being built in the browser and managed as a service in the cloud (and designed with a clear focus on the user, providing tangible total value and built for partnership). We never had a doubt that this day would come. Today is special – because when a company of the size and reach of Telefónica has come to the conclusion that nothing but a true, native SaaS solution would do. That’s big.
If we’ve been waiting for any single customer to signify the ‘Crossing of the Chasm’ of enterprise software – from on-premise to the cloud. This is the clear marker.
Why did Telefónica go for the cloud? What is the lesson here?
- Scale: A cloud solution represents scalability and the ability to grow without the headache of buying new hardware and managing the growth. Scale and growth are built in.
- Standardization: A cloud solution like TOA’s represents the best way for companies with a large geographic and operational footprint to standardize their business processes and customer experience.
- Reliability: The solution that we and other cloud software vendors provide is the most reliable of all enterprise software solution. It’s the lifeblood of our business – and without reliability, cloud software would not have a business.
- Long-term innovation: This is assured. Cloud software is service. It’s always current, always the latest version and always reflects the latest and greatest thinking of the developers who develop the solution.
Ultimately, though, it’s all about partnership and the enormously positive people who work with us and believe in our company and TOA’s solutions. Our global team is expert at forging professional, collaborative and lasting partnerships with customers. And these partnerships are further enabled through our software service which keeps us close. This gives all of us at TOA the opportunity to work with the business and technology leaders of great companies – and in this case an important Tier 1 telecommunications service provider with an incredible global reach.
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.
November 15, 2012 by Yuval Brisker
I’m always amazed how well Fred Wilson is able to convey the essence of being an entrepreneur.
Fred’s post from yesterday resonates big with me – as I am sure it does with many entrepreneurs and startup CEOs. That’s because one thing I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt is this:
Despite all the great ideas, the incredible technology, the fantastic energy and the amazing people who are an essential ingredient in the journey of founding and growing a company, there are always going to be challenges – HUGE challenges – and major obstacles. These will sometimes seem insurmountable. But at those moments, it is the power of endurance and perseverance that matters most – the true power of the entrepreneur. The ability to look beyond the horizon, beyond those situations and people who could stop you from continuing the rise, and come out of it to not just survive, but thrive and revel in the challenge, in the test of the moment and the great unknown.
The key is not letting anyone or anything get you down! To me this is the true secret of success – as Fred says: ”being able to withstand a lot and keep moving” – utilizing the most powerful weapons of all – optimism, vision, strong belief in the cause, camaraderie and a healthy sense of humor.
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.