Christopher Port has been a part of the Dell family for the last 14 years, and we’re thrilled to have him continue his tenure as Dell Boomi’s first COO. Chris is already quite familiar with Dell Boomi and as a director within Dell’s corporate strategy group, he led its acquisition in 2010 and was responsible for post-acquisition integration and growth. He was most recently a GM within Dell Software’s systems management group and one of the first Dell Software team members. In the following post, Chris discusses what it’s like to be back at Dell Boomi as COO and how his new team plans to help the organization meet the challenges of the next few years.
How does your background set you up for success at Dell Boomi?
When people ask me to define the culture of Dell, the one word that always comes to mind is “entrepreneurial.” It may be surprising given that Dell is a $55 billion company. However, whether it’s your career, a particular job function, or the solutions we deliver, Dell still fosters an entrepreneurial spirit, and I believe my career is a representation of that. I started in operations, moved to our venture capital arm, which morphed into our corporate development arm. I then had a role negotiating deals with some of Dell’s largest customers and transitioned from that to a corporate strategy role, which ultimately led to spearheading the acquisition of Boomi and spending 15 months supporting its integration into Dell. After a stint as a general manager within Dell Software’s systems management group, I’ve returned to Dell Boomi as the COO. Net, Dell has enabled me to dive into a myriad of functions which has provided me with a great foundation and is a perfect fit for continuing the entrepreneurial spirit and growth agenda we have within Dell Boomi.
What makes this an exciting time to be part of the Dell Boomi family?
Growth is exciting—since joining Dell Boomi, we’ve scaled the business more than 80 percent CAGR year over year. We have the best product on the market and the strongest customer-first culture I have ever been a part of. But what’s also exciting about being back at Dell Boomi is that we have the opportunity to dramatically accelerate our growth around the world. Our biggest challenge within our team—which encompasses Services, Support, Customer Success and Finance—is to enable our growth over the coming years. That means adding as many customers in this time as we did in the first five years post acquisition—while ensuring we have an infrastructure in place that will scale with a multi-hundred million dollar company. This infrastructure is a function of the people, organizational structure, processes and toolsets we will put in place over the next couple of years. We have the best people in the industry and we have to ensure they have access to the tools and processes to enable customer success.
How is the industry evolving?
Another aspect our team is helping our customers embrace and drive is the consolidation taking place across the iPaaS, API management and master data management (MDM) markets. We have expanded our core integration platform to address these growing customer needs and we’re beginning to see our competitors make acquisitions to expand their offerings. I think the result is that we’re going to see the types of problems an iPaaS provider is expected to solve will expand to include API management, and MDM.The ultimate winners will be the vendors that are able to provide a single, completely unified platform that can address all the necessary use cases. Although we are currently far ahead of our competitors in delivering this capability, we need to extend our lead by continuing to rapidly scale our worldwide teams across support, professional services and customer success to help our customers grow and succeed.
How has this evolution affected Dell Boomi’s customers—what are they telling you?
I believe our industry is still in the early stages of a huge tipping point, as large global 1000 companies accelerate their cloud adoption. CIOs at these companies are beginning to take a stand, stating they’re not going to renew their licenses for legacy on-premises applications and middleware, and will instead go to the cloud in a very big way. In fact, we recently had the CIO of a Fortune 100 company tell us he is adamant about moving his entire organization to the cloud for the application environment and that any business unit that isn’t using Dell Boomi for integration needs to go through him. We are in about 25% of the Fortune 500 and as these customers and their IT groups are pushed to accelerate their cloud initiatives and answer to their internal customers who expect increasing speed and agility. iPaaS adoption will increase and our ability to scale with this growth is vital.
How do you plan to continue driving customer success?
From a management perspective, I am focusing on getting the right organizational structure in place to support doubling our customer base and providing our people with the processes and toolsets they need to excel. We take a very pragmatic, data-driven and customer-centric approach, and I think this creates a very clear story about how to proceed. The COO organization is really the customer success organization at Dell Boomi, and customer success is pervasive across everything we do today and tomorrow.
What do you feel is the secret to Dell Boomi’s success?
Our team is the most customer-centric team in the industry and this customer-first culture is the foundation of our business. One aspect of returning to Dell Boomi that makes coming home particularly enjoyable is the number of customers that proactively reach out to tell us how Dell Boomi is impacting their organization and how much they love working with our teams. Ultimately, my organization is responsible for customer success and we have the most interaction with our customers. So when we hear from customers that we exceeded expectations and positively impacted their organization, that’s the best way for any day to start or end.
It’s really a terrific time to be at Dell Boomi, and I look forward to discussing more about our progress in future posts.