VIDEO: Interview with G2Link at Dreamforce 2012

Uploaded by AriaSystemsInc on 20.09.2012

Hi, I’m Matt Coolidge with Aria Systems and I’m sitting here today with Ed Sullivan
who is the co founder of Aria Systems. Ed, welcome.
Thanks Matt, happy to be here. So what do you think of Dreamforce this year?
I know we’re early on but some kind of major trends that might be jumping out, or are bigger
than years past as always. So the thing that hit me in the face walking
in here, is that it’s at least double the size of last time I was here, the prior year
or the year before. The other thing is certainly the buzz and the discussion around cloud,
what is the cloud, where is the cloud, who’s in the cloud. And I’m actually proud that
with Aria, we were innovators in the on demand, SaaS, cloud model, putting our application
truly in the cloud from our very founding. So I think that begs an interesting question.
So you founded Aria Systems in 2003, how did you view the cloud as it was then vs now.
And is this the trajectory you envisioned for Aria. How have things played out, then
and now. We chose to put it out in the cloud at the
time to do like a pure service model with everything hosted because we saw a bunch of
trends moving in our direction. And those trends not only continued to move in our direction
but accelerated. For instance, to be able to buy bandwidth “buy the drink” whereas
when we started, you had to buy your Internet access separately from everybody else. Here
is the Aria internet access vs. we’ll take a burstable gigabyte and pay up and down based
on how much we consume vs. having a committed revenue number for it.
Absolutely. And all those trends are accelerating. Storage
is going down, bandwidth is going down, processing is continues to go down. So it’s kind of
an exciting time. I think we’ve hit the inflection point of singularity being able
to put more and more stuff in the cloud. Yeah. I mean, I think Salesforce was certainly
a pioneer, Aria was right there early on. This being Dreamforce, one question I have
to ask here too is the connection between CRM and specifically Salesforce and what Aria
Systems is doing with subscription billing and management.
So it’s always been an interesting problem to solve when people think about how do I
get customers, and how do I get them on and get them paid. Aria solves the get me paid
part. Salesforce at first started out solving the how do I get customers, who are my customers
and what do they do. And what’s interesting about what Aria facilitates is the recurring
model, whether it’s recurring revenue or recurring process model. But it’s a different
animal than a lot of what Salesforce is used to dealing with. And the growth of the subscription
economy is accelerating maybe not as fast but pretty darn in parallel with the cloud.
And what you need to adopt a business model in the cloud is much different than an on
premise model. The combination of Salesforce, Aria and the connector, being able to pull
data in, pull data out… It used to be in the enterprise sales model about getting a
customer one time and maybe upselling them. Now in the subscription economy you have to…you
own that customer forever. So you have to make sure you understand all the interactions
that are going to occur through the lifecycle of the customer. And that’s where I think
it’s really an interesting pairing with Aria and with Salesforce.
So what are some of the major deployment challenges that you’re seeing today with customers.
You know, I’m a new startup or maybe an established enterprise and I’m launching
a new product offering. I need to get my billing solution in order, I need to figure out what
I’m going to do, am I going to build something on premise, is it going to be a DIY, am I
going to contract it out. What are some of the trends you’re seeing there, in terms
of the challenges and how they’re overcoming those challenges?
I think the big challenge that most companies that are starting up or are going through
growth, is that they look at billing as a…they try to make it a credit card problem. Well
I need to do recurring credit cards. Or they try to make it an invoicing or accounting
problem. I need to do recurring invoices. They don’t really appreciate how complex
all the interactions can be. I think some people tend to trivialize the problem or completely
punt, and try to build it themselves. So, in both cases at scale, you end up getting
in trouble. It’s not compliant, it doesn’t scale and it’s not cost effective.
So I think with that in mind, and you may have already answered part of this here, what
are some the major features you’d say sets Aria apart from the market. Why should I choose
Aria when I want to implement a subscription engine?
Well one thing I talk about a lot is what differentiates Aria apart from our competitors
and even the credit card processors, if there’s no bill, if the service is free, Aria still
adds a tremendous amount of value. So signing customers up, turning things on, turning things
off, tracking usage. If the service is free or part of a platform or something else, Aria
still adds a lot of value. So that’s one key way to understand the differentiation
of Aria over anybody else in the industry. If there’s no bill, the other guys don’t
add value. And I think that’s key to us. We understand the entire lifecycle of the
customer, not just how did you get the customer, or how do you get that credit card, the cash
from the credit card into my bank account. But what are all those high frequency interactions
and long handle time interactions. That we’ve built them in the system, you can customize
and configure it, and it’s done inside of Aria. It’s not something you have to worry
about. Ed, thank you so much for taking the time
to stop by here. Hope you enjoy the rest of the show. Really appreciate it.
Thank you Matt.