Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Conversation with John Marrah

I spoke with John Marrah this morning about his taking over as President and CEO of ProfitCenter Software. Two major themes came out of the conversation:

1) John sees on-demand solutions as the "dominant strategy" going forward for multi-channel commerce applications, since they eliminate the need to maintain a staff to worry about tuning the database and load balancing and server maintenance and other routine issues of systems maintenance. Users can just concentrate on running their business. He believes that PCS is the dominant player in the on-demand category.

Fair enough. But what about implementation issues?

2) John acknowledged that that was the big challenge facing PCS. They have 35 companies who have signed on, but only five that have gone live so far. Another five or six should go live in the next three months. But it is a priority for him to make implementation more robust at PCS. To that end, they have hired about 20 people in the last few months (some managers, some implementers), and have 12 openings to fill (some in New York, some at their Florida location – John will be working out of both). And a couple of new key executives are heavy-weights with “strong experience” in the enterprise software and direct commerce/multi-channel commerce world, specifically Dominique Laborde and Les Johnson (see previous post).

John was also excited about the potential for leveraging the object-oriented architecture of the PCS platform to make the product “more mature” very quickly, adding functionality into the product set for things like a gift registry, standing orders, or continuity management without having to program everything from scratch by inheriting functionality from other parts of the program. “It is truly amazing what you can do when you don’t have to rebuild functionality multiple times and maintain it multiple times within the application. By taking advantage of the object-oriented architecture and developing functionality and managing it in one place, you get huge speed and maintenance advantages.”

I will be spending a day at PCS in the next couple of weeks and will let you know what I think first-hand. Meanwhile, with "new blood" pumping through its veins, the company has the chance to become a much stronger player.

Comments? Please use the Comments function below this post, or click Discuss PCS & Escalate for our ad hoc discussion board.

1 comment:

Lloyd Merriam said...

Anyone who still doubts the eventual dominance of vendor-hosted applications over self-hosted ones need only consider Donny Askin having bolted from CommercialWare to head up OrderMotion, and now John Marrah defecting to the PCS camp, to see that the writing is indelibly on the wall now.

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