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.
September 20, 2012 by Yuval Brisker
San Francisco, September 2012.
If you’re not here in San Fran at Dreamforce X on these last days of summer 2012 then you might not be able to fully grasp the enormity of the shift that has happened in technology for the enterprise. Talk about a sea change!
This has got to be the most energetic, enthusiastic, and future looking event in business technology ever. The buzz, the feeling in the air of great optimism and excitement is absolutely breathtaking. The number of people is huge, the atmosphere is infectious and we not only feel at home here – we feel complete. Everything that is being talked about here – Cloud, mobile, social/collaboration and bringing the customer into the loop of active information as has been an integral part of TOA and ETAdirect from Day One. Here it’s all coming together. Visit our show twitter feed at twitter.com/toatech or twitter.com/letsunin.
May 12, 2011 by Yuval Brisker
Today, TOA announced that it raised $17.2M in a Series D lead by Sutter Hill Ventures with the participation of Tim Draper, Fort Washington and existing shareholders Intel Capital, Draper Triangle Ventures and private investors.
It’s an exciting moment for us - as we look at the rapidly evolving technology market and see only opportunity at every level and I want to talk a little bit about that.
First and foremost this is about extending TOA’s leadership in cloud-based on-demand enterprise Software-as-a-Service – or what we call “eSaaS“.
Secondly – it’s about maximizing the potential of mobile internet and mobility applications.
And third – it’s about taking advantage of the opportunity of the awakening global market for mobility applications for mobile employees – a previously sleepy market that has been undervalued and underinvested in to date.
1) eSaaS – TOA has near perfected the art of enterprise SaaS. Enterprise SaaS is NOT just about a web-based solution or producing software that’s accessible via a browser – Enterprise SaaS or eSaaS (as I like to call it) – is about something completely different. It’s about:
- integration – and the availability of the sophisticated tools to allow for the complex interweaving of SaaS with legacy software systems with ease. Emphasis on sophisticated and ease! Without these – there is no chance for a SaaS solution to be viable for the large enterprise.
- flexibility – the ability to provide a solution that has the kind of malleability to literally morph with the clients’ business and respond to the ever changing business and technological environments that is the reality for most enterprises – definitely OUR clients and their businesses.
- reliability – as we witnessed a few weeks ago with amazon web service big event – providing a system that is 100% there for the enterprise is NOT easy and doing so is a huge responsibility and needs a high degree of expertise. This is not easy to come by or easy to deliver. Don’t let anyone fool you. TOA does it with expertise.
- scalability – the ability to support huge distributed businesses with high volumes, and to continue to support their growth into the long term
In 2004 – when we launched TOA and the first version of ETAdirect, we took enormous inspiration and even guidance from Marc Benioff – we bet our future on many of the ideas he espoused and beyond. We knew that it would be risky to go after the big enterprises with SaaS and that many IT departments would look at us and think that we were out of our minds to try and provide a system for them from outside their firewall. But the tide of technology is relentless and things have definitely moved in our direction. SaaS is here to stay and more – 10 years from now – it’s going to power the majority of businesses – not only small but medium, large and extra large. We made the right decision at the absolute right time back then to bet on SaaS. Betting on eSaaS as the next frontier was betting beyond SaaS for the SMBs – and it has given us the experience, the expertise and the track record a software company MUST have in order to successfully sell to large enterprise IT. We are excited about the many amazing new things that we are doing and will be unvaling in the coming months and years.
eSaaS is different from regular SaaS in very many ways and as software is delivered more and more via the SaaS model – the needs for eSaaS solution to replace the old legacy enterprise software solutions that run businesses today and in the past – will only grow and become dominant and only way – and TOA is well positioned to expand to meet the challenge and the opportunity.
2) This is about mobility and the Mobile Internet – maybe if you were living in a cave in Tora Bora (which obviously you weren’t) you might not be aware of the real revolution that is happening in people’s lives. Everyone is connected in multiple ways via multiple devices and many channels. The smart-phone and the tablet is in its infancy as a business device and TOA is well positioned via its early adoption of the smart-phone / iPad as THE platform of choice and a completely browser-based application to take advantage of many new developments that are here and coming soon. Mobility is king and device and platform agnostic apps will lead the way to the many platforms we intend to make the most of our early leadership providing eSaaS via the mobile Internet to millions of users worldwide who do work in the field. Those users are the same users who have iPhones and Androids and use them addictively in their personal lives. They expect nothing less from software when they go to work – and yet in many (or most) cases they are still using antiquated systems on antiquated platforms on antiquated devices. Opportunity abounds.
3) Lastly, this is about the needs of the global market of mobile employees – the mobile workforce management software market has been around for a long time but has been, to date, underserved and undervalued – the convergence of many of the trends that I described above provides a real inflection point for a market that has seen little change in the past decade. TOA’s solution has a patented predictive technology and an approach and completeness that provides relevant and transformative value to the many satisfied customers and users it serves. We want to bring that to every enterprise that has people working in the field. They all deserve the best. The market of mobile employees is huge and they deserve TOA and we intend to bring it to every corner of the globe.
Thanks to Andy Sheehan from Sutter Hill Ventures who showed immediate and unflagging enthusiasm for us and our vision- I know he sees what we see. Thanks also to Tim Draper for his great intuition and continued inspiration. A big and special thanks to our long term supporters at Draper Triangle Ventures, Early Stage Partners and Intel Capital, as well as the private investors and friends who saw the vision from day one and have stuck with us from the start. Lastly – I want to thank our immensely dedicated employees and our great customers – this just validates what they already know.
As Jeff Bezos says: It’s Always Day One!