On Monday I started a new job as the Chief Marketing Officer here at Productiv where we’re focused on quantifying, unlocking, and driving new levels of productivity from SaaS applications for our customers. I’m very excited about this move for a lot of reasons, and I thought I’d share why.
I’m naturally drawn towards category-defining companies with a bold vision in a time of clear industry inflections points. And having spent several early career years in IT, I have a special place in my heart for technology that empowers that organization to have a bigger impact on their companies. It’s what made Netskope a natural fit for me nearly six years ago when I joined as employee number 28 and the second marketing hire for the organization. Netskope had the audacity to tell IT and Security teams that they could embrace Shadow IT and today is leading the industry beyond the CASB category to redefine how security works. Prior to Netskope I was with Zenprise where we took on the proliferation of mobile devices and empowered organizations to embrace the BYOD trend. Zenprise was at the forefront of what would become the EMM space and was bought by Citrix in 2012.
With Netskope’s continued success and trajectory, I wasn’t actively looking to join a different company. Then I met Jody Shapiro, CEO of Productiv, and started to learn about the challenges they were taking on. After several conversations I realized that he, Ashish Aggarwal, and Munish Gandhi had collective experience to pull off the bold vision they had set forth. Productiv had also teamed up with Accel, a VC firm who had participated in every round with Netskope since Series C and so I knew that they would have an intimate understanding of the size and importance of the problem space that Productiv was pursuing.
The problem Productiv is solving is not a small one: Organizations across the globe have adopted the cloud at such a rapid clip that the average organization is using more than 1,000 cloud applications to unlock new levels of productivity and competitive advantage. The flip side, however, is that much of this adoption has been led by individuals and business units without IT’s knowledge. The problem is compounded by a natural propensity of users and vendors to rapidly experiment with features, licensing tiers, and contract terms. Want to roll out a new feature? No problem — a vendor can release it to the product instantly. Want to upgrade to “premium?” An end user can activate it with the click of a mouse and swipe of a credit card. This “have it your way” approach is great for end users, but it’s a massive challenge for IT to make sense of, let alone take the responsibility for managing. Basically, when organizations moved to the cloud, IT’s ability to be the owner, manager, and optimizer of applications became severely hindered. Productiv gives all of that back to IT so that they can truly drive the benefits organizations wanted from the cloud in the first place. They do this by providing real-time engagement insights that help organizations drive greater cloud application savings and value.
Another thing that I recognized quickly in meeting the Productiv team is the strong commitment to culture and how much effort had already been put forth in defining it. Several years ago a former CEO drilled this home for me as I was leaving to join another company. “People, culture, and timing … these are the things that matter… overlook them at your peril” he said. Productiv oozes their culture and I’ve felt it in every interaction. You can read more about the culture here, but one of my favorites is the “Stay Human” tenet for reasons that keeping things light and fun at work is critical to surviving the pace of a startup (and it’s pretty much the only way I know how to roll).
For these reasons I couldn’t resist joining Productiv. It’s very exciting to be on the ground floor again with all the possibilities that brings and the opportunity to build a team. In that regard, yes, we’re hiring and growing quickly! If you’re interested in building a cutting-edge organization and shaping and leading a category of enterprise technology that will help IT leaders quantify, unlock, and drive productivity, please have a look at our job openings or reach out to me directly. Otherwise, I look forward to talking more about Productiv in the future, so stay tuned!