By Gennifer Biggs, security, storage, and managed services editor
A first impression can be an iffy thing. You can hit it out of the ballpark, or miss your mark entirely. For new Autotask CEO Mark Cattini, the pressure was on at the third annual Autotask Community Live partner event in Miami to make a strong, and positive, first impression. In my opinion, he hit a walk-off homerun.
Despite taking the reins of the company nearly six months ago, Cattini hasn't been in the public eye except fleetingly. So when the partner event focused on him Monday morning during the keynote, it was the first time Cattini stood in the spotlight as the Autotask CEO. With his quick wit and charming British accent helping things along, Cattini quickly delivered a few key messages, including: we are investing heavily in our product, and we are keeping our promises to you in 2011.
When I sat down one-on-one with Cattini, I ask about the difficulties of transitioning a highly popular founder into a board chairman's role and himself into the CEO role. "I really feel that any time you go through this kind of process, it really comes down to not just words, but actions," Cattini replied. That means taking the time to listen to customers, set internal priorities and principals in place, and develop a clear plan for the future — then delivering on all those elements. "We are embarking on a multiyear journey, we've got a 36-month plan, with the goal of significant growth — more customers, a better product, and better service."
With nearly 2/3 of the Autotask team of 200 dedicated to the product (engineering and service), the company is absolutely clear on its investment in its business automation tool with the outcome of simplicity and performance. "I hear often how much untapped value there is in our product, so we need to continue to make it easier for our partners to use this tool, and continue to educate them proactively on going deeper with the product," he says. That means education such as the technical training boot camp held the first day of the event, and refreshed content in Autotask Academy.
I asked Cattini to gaze into his crystal ball and tell me what we'd be talking about during the 2012 Community Live event, and he answered immediately: "We'll have delivered on everything we promised this year." Included in that list are multibrowser support, a simplified tool, and increased levels of service and integration. "The bottom line is our customers' vote with their checkbooks each month, and they expect value every day they use our tool," says Cattini. "We want to make sure we are delivering."
To hear what CEO Mark Cattini had to say about Autotask goals for 2011 and beyond, click below.