July 9 by Neil Wu Becker
Last Friday, Apttus received the 2019 Pathbreaker of the Year award at a tech conference in Goa, India. Attended by hundreds of business leaders and members of the academic community, Goa’s Chief Minister Pramod Sawant presented the award to Apttus’ General Manager of India Operations, Ashish Shah.
It is the latest award for a company that has won many of them over the past years. However, this is not just another tech award acknowledging great tech. There are macroeconomic implications that make the award special for Apttus’ customers as much as the company itself. If you dare imagine, or if you’re the more logical sort and simply use deductive reasoning, I’d argue you can extend farther than the immediate Middle Office space and make an even more significant connection between being named a pathbreaker for a broader global universe.
Let me explain.
The award committee considered multiple factors in making its decision to award Apttus:
• Customer testimonials;
• Acknowledgement from industry analysts;
• Market leadership year after year;
• Innovative use of technology to solve long-standing business problems.
In Apttus’ case, the award committee noticed how Apttus solutions overcome business problems that have existed for decades and have been glaringly magnified since the emergence of enterprise software categories like CRM and ERP. More to the point, the committee focused on the manual, disjointed and inefficient processes slowing down a company’s ability to maximize and accelerate revenue generation.
The keyword here is Revenue.
For enterprises, these decades-long limitations have prevented the realization of unfettered, frictionless revenue generation. The larger the company, the larger the consequences. The larger the consequences, the larger the lost opportunity cost for industries and economies as a whole.
Rhetorically speaking, how much revenue can a multi-billion-dollar company actually generate if their manual, old-school CPQ, contract management and revenue management processes are suddenly automated and enhanced by machine learning and artificial intelligence? What would savings in execution time do to a company’s actual productivity and subsequent revenue yield? Growth rate? Operating margin? Product margin? CAC?
How would such modernity affect buy vs. sell stock ratings or growth stock vs. value stock perceptions for public companies? How would modern revenue processes affect stock prices, P/E ratios and shareholder value?
As CEO Frank Holland says in Apttus’ press release trumpeting the Pathbreaker of the Year honor, “This award is validating in that it acknowledges our effort to fulfill pent-up demand for an automated, AI-driven state of revenue and legal operations for market-moving companies in the Global 2000 and Fortune 500. We take this Pathbreaker of the Year award seriously. We truly feel this is a win for our customers as much as Apttus itself.”
Therein lies the Pathbreaker of the Year award’s special meaning to Apttus. We’re hoping customers see this award as validation for their faith in Apttus, not just our faith in ourselves or our own corporate pursuit of brand glory. After all, our company and customers have been partnering for years to create, move and lead a Middle Office Quote-to-Cash market that did not exist 13 years ago.
At Apttus user conferences many customers will recall us proclaiming on stage that anyone and everyone who can digitally transform enterprise revenue and legal processes is in the room. There is no one outside who can help us. It’s us or no one. So over the years, we have worked diligently side-by-side with customers to problem-solve and address commercial challenges that no one could tackle previously.
But there’s more to the award than a reflection of our partnership with customers. Let me put this brokerage’s potential in even greater, more sobering context. Let me get to the ultimate point.
Of all the digitization occurring within enterprises today – from front-office to back-office functions – one could argue that the most important set of processes that must be digitized, automated and modernized is the process set involving revenue generation. After all, if you’re a for-profit business, revenue is your atomic unit. It is the lifeblood that fuels your business’ existence. Without revenue, you have no business.
So not to dismiss the value of digitizing contact management, human resources, talent acquisition, supply chain, or other front- and back-office functions, but if you aren’t focusing on modernizing your Middle Office ability to generate and acquire revenue at a greater yield than what you thought was possible, then you’re leaving money on the table. Lots of it. You’re stunting your growth and wasting energy on secondary or even tertiary priorities, much to your shareholders’ chagrin and your competitors’ relief.
At Apttus, we deliver solutions to the largest enterprises in the world. Positively influencing the revenue growth for Global 2000 or Fortune 500 companies carries monumental implications for bellwethers, Dow Jones components and market leaders of the world’s economies, especially when all of them are scrambling to survive, let alone lead, in the one Darwinistic umbrella economy that overarches all national economies – the digital services economy.
That’s why this award ultimately represents more to us than just corporate acknowledgement or our brokerage with market-leading companies over the years. The implications of what our customers and Apttus can do together are more grandiose.
We honestly believe that we’re not just evolving market-moving businesses, we’re evolving market-moving businesses so they in turn can evolve their industries. By doing that, our customers are evolving global economies. This is why Apttus exists.
That’s why the presence of government leaders at the awards event last week is far from coincidental. That’s why Chief Minister Sawant’s decision to take time from his busy schedule and acknowledge innovative business leaders like Apttus is so significant. A healthy public-private partnership in any country drives economies and raises the human condition. India, which is in the midst of a nationwide Digital India initiative based on this very notion, clearly understands such an opportunity. The United States and other countries around the world do as well.
So is Apttus proud yet humbled in receiving this award? Absolutely. We’re thankful. Very thankful. We’re thankful for the Global Knowledge Research Foundation and Knowledge Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Goa, India. We’re thankful for Chief Minister Sawant.
But most of all, we are thankful for our customers who have built the Middle Office Quote-to-Cash space with us. Thank you to our customers for driving the next generation of our world’s commercial experiences and reshaping the age-old human bartering process of buying and selling in the digital services economy. You are more than Pathbreakers of the Year. You’re Pathbreakers of the World Economy.
We continue to pave the path we’ve broken in so it’s faster, smarter, better. And, based on the commercial and economic implications of modernizing revenue yield realities for the largest multinational companies in the world, we should carry bold expectations that are not just limitless, but borderless.