CEO and Chairman, 80-20 Software

"80-20 Leaders delivers crucial company papers to directors and executive via a web interface. . [This] cuts down on the substantial costs involved in preparing and sending large board packs, and gives executives 24-hour access to critical information."

Excerpts from an exclusive interview with Techieindex

1. What is 80-20's core area of services and what are its main products and solutions? What are the features and benefits of 80-20 Products and solutions in terms of increased ROI and enhanced productivity in IS organizations?

80-20 Software provides a comprehensive enterprise software solution for managing unstructured data. In fact, we refer to ourselves as the unstructured data company. Our products automate the process of capturing (from native authoring environments), categorizing, indexing, managing, retrieving and reusing nearly all unstructured content types from multiple storage repositories. Once content is captured and indexed, a single instance of that content (e.g. email, Office files, PDF files) resides and is managed in a virtual repository. Our solution is unique in its ability to address the total unstructured content lifecycle, from capturing and virtualizing content, to leveraging that content for reuse within other applications. Our main products are 80-20 Document Manager, 80-20 Leaders Online and 80-20 One Search. By allowing customers to reduce storage costs, automate the historically labor-intensive process of unstructured content categorization, and improve employee productivity through reduced search time, 80-20 has a strong ROI value proposition - a key to successful enterprise software sales in today's IT spending environment.

2. For the 2nd time running, 80-20 software has been selected by KM WORLD Magazine as one of the 100 Companies that matter. To what do you attribute this recognition and What, in your opinion gives you that edge over your competitors in this field?

80-20 Software is proud to be included in KM World's Top 100 Companies for the second straight year. Receiving this honor strengthens the commitment we have to our customers, partners and investors, and reinforces our goal of developing world-class, enterprise software products that help companies profile, secure and find documents across the entire organization.

3. What is 80-20 Document Manager and who are its target customers? What are its salient features and benefits to enterprise organizations besides helping them in managing various content types, such as email and email attachments, documents, Web pages, XML files, and rich media?

Addressing a very real need companies have for managing and storing critical business data, 80-20 Document Manager provides companies with an enterprise scale document management system to help manage all types of content - email and email attachments, documents, Web pages, XML files, rich media, etc.

Using a repository agnostic platform, 80-20 Document Manager supports the IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server and Exchange data stores. Its combination of features such as seamless desktop integration, simple administration, low cost of implementation and customization, deliver immediate and measurable cost benefits to companies through a reduction of document duplication and increased productivity.

Key benefits and/or differentiators of Document Manager include 

  • Enterprise-wide single instance storage

  • Storage of information in the database of choice

  • Tighter version control

  • Enhanced access control

  • Multiple-repository management

  • Seamless interoperability with widely used productivity tools and enterprise portals

  • A software developer's kit for developing custom workflow-based applications

4. What are the benefits 80-20 Document Manager offers to enterprise organizations in terms of enhanced organizational performance? How is 80-20 planning to leverage the availability of this product to enhance its market share at a time of increased competition and a slackened global economy?

Document Manager is able to deliver substantial ROI in the form of lower storage costs, higher employee productivity through reduced search times, and better corporate decision-making through more efficient knowledge capture. This ROI-driven value proposition is demonstrated by 80-20's rapid customer acquisition in the storage-intensive telecom industry as well as the knowledge-driven financial and professional services industries.

Key Benefits

Cost savings associated with single instance storage -- Savings in physical storage alone using 80-20 Document Manager's single instance store for unstructured data is in the vicinity of $330 per user, per annum 

Increased user productivity -- The solution provides users with a single-point search for all organizational information, regardless of its physical location. Managers will quickly recognize productivity gains associated with users immediately finding what they need.

Information integrity and security assured -- Our distributed architecture allows users to access and collaborate on information from anywhere in the organization, ensuring that document integrity, security, and recoverability is maintained.

Key Differentiators

Low cost of integration into existing IT infrastructure -- Because 80-20 Document Manager leverages standard database infrastructure, integration costs are kept low. Data is stored in a repository already in place at your organization IBM DB2, MS Exchange or MS Sequel Server. Training costs are negligible since IT personnel are already familiar with the system

Repository level configuration allows multiple business units to use the same servers -- Departmental systems administrators can define separate meaningful metadata classification schemes for each business unit repository but still provide an enterprise wide solution. Information can be profiled and searched on according to a department's relevant business processes as opposed to adhering to an enterprise wide classification scheme

Customization features allow flexibility in matching your business requirements -- Our CKO development kit lets you build information management applications that go beyond search and document management. A custom solution to handle functions such as faxing, scanning, web and complex business workflow integrations can be easily constructed

5. Top IT and other KM companies are increasingly trying to connect with their customers, prospects, partners and employees. The adoption of the Internet and web technologies have created new opportunities for organizations to add value to their existing enterprise applications. How will 80-20 solutions manage in delivering their information delivery needs?

80-20 products fully support web interface information delivery. In particular, 80-20 Leaders delivers crucial company papers to directors and executive via a web interface. This cuts down on the substantial costs involved in preparing and sending large board packs, and gives executives 24-hour access to critical information.

6. Mark Ross, CEO of 80-20 has stated that one of your goals in 2003 is to expand 80-20 Software's presence in key geographic areas and vertical markets where you already have a substantial footprint. Which areas and specific market segments are you targeting?

 Geographic areas we have a strong presence in include, 

  • Australia and New Zealand

  • U.S.

  • Germany

  • The UK

  • Norway, Sweden and Finland

 Vertical industries we have seen particular success in are, 

  • Government or Public Sector

  • Financial Services

  • Telecommunications

 You can see a partial customer list at, http://melrdspare/about/customers.asp

7. How does 80-20 view partnerships and alliances in providing end users with optimal solutions and creating advantages. What are the different kinds of partnerships Business Objects forms?

Customers are interested in solutions not technologies. We focus on partnerships that allow up to build complete solutions that solve our customer's companies' problems. The best strategy in my opinion is to focus on what you do best and find complimentary partners who are doing the same.

8. 80-20 has come a long way since its inception and has just been thru the industry's most bleak period. What are they planning for the future in terms of increasing their core area of technology and embracing newer technology that complements and supplements its existing range of products and solutions?

We see a major shift in the industry into Open System architecture. We've been systematically moving our architectures to support this direction. This trend will continue throughout 2003 for 80-20. We'll be making some big announcements around the mid-year time frame that pertain to this movement.

About Mark Ross
Mark has been involved with 80-20 Software since its inception, guiding the company through its earlier investment rounds with Intel Capital, and serving as a director since 1998. Mark took over as chairman of the board in 2000 and moved into the CEO role in March 2001. He oversees operations for both the Australian and U.S. offices as well as long-term strategic direction for the company worldwide. 
Mark brings more than 20 years of extensive technical and business experience to 80-20 Software. He has successfully built and sold numerous technology companies and has worked closely with other emerging technology businesses, particularly those targeting opportunities in the U.S. market. Until taking on the role of CEO of 80-20, Mark operated an investment company for up-and-coming IT companies in Australia.
Mark began his career in academia as a senior lecturer in computer science at RMIT University (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) and has published numerous technical research papers in the field of high performance computer architecture. He is the current chairman of the Advisory Board at the School of Computer Science at RMIT. Mark holds a bachelor of computer science with first class honors from Melbourne University. 


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