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August 5, 2013

Q&A: Driven by data

Phil Pead, president and CEO at Progress Software, talks to CBR about what he has seen during his 25 years working in the software industry and how Progress Software will continue to develop by being "driven by data."

By Claire Vanner

How has the software industry evolved and how do you think it will continue to develop in the coming years?

Oh, where to start? In 25 years the industry has moved from computers being the domain of the few to the domain of the billions. Software has moved from computer languages to interpretive languages to productivity languages. Today almost anyone with an idea can write software and create an amazing product. That is especially true of the new Progress platform – Progress Pacific.

What are the main challenges you have faced since becoming CEO of Progress Software and how have you dealt with these challenges?

Progress has an incredibly rich pedigree in the application development market and the company had shifted away from that core competency. Last year we refocused our company to build on our pedigree and to take advantage of the rapidly growing cloud computing market.

You previously stated that Progress Software’s ambition was to become a leading Application Platform as a Service provider. To what extent do you think this is being achieved and what do you think the company can still improve on?

Our vision is that Progress powers the rapid creation and deployment of powerful business applications that are driven by data and unlimited by device or cloud. The key message here is "driven by data."

There are many platform choices for developers today but there is only one that focuses on seamless data integration as a key attribute. In a world of exploding data sources and relentless competition, seamless access to data is a critical differentiation. Progress Pacific is a unique productivity platform enabling rapid application development with data access as a core component

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Any company that is not constantly improving is standing still. We continue to enrich our platform and we are singularly focused on making it the platform of choice.

How does new programme Progress Pacific complement your portfolio of offerings and how has it been received by the market?

The response has been fantastic. There is an immense energy from our customers and partners who over the last 6 months have seen amazing technology released from Progress.

Progress Pacific integrates the power of a browser based development environment with the seamless data integration and collaboration provided by ‘Progress DataDirect’, the simple creation of complex business logic with ‘Progress Corticon’ and the integrated workflow of ‘Progress BPM’ combining to deliver one of the richest, most comprehensive cloud platforms in the market today.

What do you put the company’s recent positive financial performance down to?

Progress is a profitable company generating solid cashflow with no debt. In fiscal 2013 we are focused on executing on our vision and building a foundation for future revenue growth. Our renewed focus on our core capabilities together with our recent technology announcements have resonated with partners and investors alike. We are proud of our performance to date.

Which regional markets and industry sectors will be your focus in the coming years?

Today Progress derives approximately 54% of its revenue from outside the US. We will continue to focus on expanding our market share in the US and growing our emerging markets.

Progress Pacific is a horizontal platform enabling all industries to take advantage of the power of rapid application development to meet the needs of an ever changing competitive environment.

What plans for future product/service development do you have for Progress Software?

To lead in the platform as a service marketplace requires that we deliver a rich and highly functional platform where developers can rapidly create powerful business applications that are driven by data.

They must also be free to deploy on other platforms or devices of their choice. For us to do that we will continue to add enhancements and create an environment where Progress Pacific is the platform of choice for software artists that want to change the world.

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