Since September 24th, Andy Boulton has been managing the UK operations of EASY SOFTWARE. The former head of consulting and support at Oracle is a recognized expert in the software industry. In an interview, he talks about his goals for EASY UK, his personal leadership style, and how the ECM industry will develop.
1. How did you get to EASY UK?
I’d just completed my previous role with a leading UK and Ireland systems integrator and as I was wrapping things up there I took a call from an ex-colleague of mine, Dieter Weisshaar – who had just joined EASY SOFTWARE in Germany as EASY Group CEO, and who was looking for someone to join the EASY UK subsidiary to take a leadership position there.
I met with Dieter who talked me through the company, its history, its products, and his vision for the next three years. And it quickly became clear to me that EASY had a very strong offer to the market – both in terms of its current product portfolio and the new products that are due to be released, plus its unusually strong and loyal customer base. Very quickly, my decision to join EASY was made, as the new role provides me some great opportunities to be part of what is, evolutionarily, the next step for EASY; to help it globalise into a single company across the world.
We’ve got multiple subsidiaries, but I think there’s strength for the company and for our customers and partners if we can work more as a whole, like One EASY.
2. What are your objectives as CEO of EASY UK?
My objectives moving forwards:
a. Deliver a profitable 2019.
b. Build a platform from which we can build sustainable growth through 2019 and beyond.
c. Grow the number of ‘reference’ customers significantly; build a portfolio of ‘customer stories’ based upon EASY software and services.
d. And make the UK, EASY’s best performing subsidiary!
3. Why did you choose to work in the IT industry?
I had several job offers when I left University; IT was the best paid and so I followed the money.
4. Which app did you recently download at work?
Uber – An example of great customer service.
5. And which app did you recently download at home?
FlashScores – an app that notifies me of all of the goals scored by my beloved football team – Leicester City, in real-time.
My recipe for success: Coach your team so that it is the best it can be.
6. How do you think will enterprise content management evolve over the next few years?
Analysts see that the ECM marketplace at about $8bn currently with a growth rate in double digits. So it’s a sizeable market and growing – and I think that growth is only going to increase, as companies and governments experience increased regulatory and competitive pressures (GDPR would be a good example). This pressure requires companies and governments to review how they can make incremental improvements and EASY solutions can be part of the answer. I also believe that will be critical for vendors to communicate their value propositions in a more intimate way; and tailor their value propositions more towards specific industries, government departments or customers.
For me in this new role and new sector, what we need to try and do is bring ECM to life. What are the stories? What are the use cases where ECM, in whatever form it’s taken, has driven real value for that customer? So I think we need to start to change the language, if we can, and bring ECM to life with specific stories and use cases.
7. Which technological megatrends do you think will play a special role in our industry?
All I can say about that is: Cloud, Cloud, Cloud…
8. What do you think will be the biggest challenges for companies in the digitisation process in the next few years?
Do Nothing. It is too easy for companies to ‘do nothing’. Maybe because they do not have available budget, maybe because they do not see the need. In either case, it is up to the vendors to create that compelling need, in the eyes of the customer, to act; and act now. But history has taught us that doing nothing is NOT the option (e.g. Kodak, Sun Microsystems…)
9. Control or trust: What is a manager’s recipe for success?
a. Develop your team to be the best they possibly can be. Coach, coach, coach!
b. Recruit the very best talent that you can.
c. Bring diversity into your team.
d. Metrics – use data to help decision making.
10. Last, but not least: What do you do on a Sunday?
Play golf (badly) or go out on my MotoX bike.
Crisps or chocolate?
Wine or beer?