Tell Us About Attivio and What Makes It Unique?
Peter Lee, a Board Member at Attivio, explains how they have pioneered a way to bring contextual relevance to any kind of information search, which has allowed Attivio to be recognized by Gartner and Forrester as one of the leaders in the information search space. The development of Attivio garnered the attention of ServiceNow, which acquired Attivio back in October of 2019. It’s now being fully incorporated into the ServiceNow suite of products so that as customers come into the workflow, they’re able to see everything associated with the customer records.
Tell Us About the Ingredients of Attivio’s Success
Peter says the key ingredient to Attivio’s success has been Stephen Baker, their CEO, and his management team. In Peter’s eyes, Stephen has done a phenomenal job of adapting to the market by formulating a strong value proposition to customers, on top of gathering amazing reach.
Through Stephen and his team’s leadership, Attivio has been able to land high-value market segments within the financial services industry, along with a high client retention rate.
What Drew You to Attivio?
In Peter’s former life as Executive Vice President at TIBCO Software, he worked as a partner with Attivio. To Peter, it was clear that TIBCO’s capabilities had a hole within the world of unstructured data, which is where Attivio shines.
Peter and Attivio forged an early working and early go-to-market relationship through talking to clients about a joint value proposition of data visualization plus contextually relevant document search. The positive responsiveness from customers blossomed into the relationship Attivio and Peter Lee have today.
What Are Some Challenges and Successes You Had to Navigate as A Board Member?
Like all Board Members, Peter defines some of his biggest challenges as a tightrope. Board Members provide an independent perspective through their years of experience in previous lives, but it’s truly the management team running the business at the end of the day.
Peter shares his take on how to navigate this balancing act, “I think as a board member, particularly as Chairman Of The Board, you want to be involved heavily enough in the business that you’re completely aware of what’s happening in the market, what’s happening with customers, what’s happening with the team and at the same time need to be distant enough to let the Chief Executive and his team execute.”
What’s One Piece of Advice You Can Offer to Entrepreneurs?
Peter shared, “Everyone makes a ton of mistakes. As an entrepreneur, launching a company with a solid product-market fit, your degrees of freedom are very limited and lots of decisions that you make may look like two-way doors, but may, in reality, truly be one-way doors.”
How Did You Choose Gesmer?
Attivio was in what Peter describes as “a bit of a crisis with a legal conflict that had been surfaced by one of Attivio’s counterparties.” In the beginning, Attivio believed the situation to be very clear-cut in their favor, yet, came to require some real independence and expertise. There was much more of a “grey zone” than initially anticipated. Through this, Attivio found Gesmer as a firm that could quickly mobilize the right people into the right places.
Peter continues to explain, “we’re blessed with one of Gesmer’s partners, Kevin Peters, who did a fantastic job in reacting, getting deep into the issues, stepping back and taking the time to deliberate and to form a very balanced perspective for us. Ultimately, what I thought was just outstanding is promulgating continuously kind of the answers in the envelope. This is a settlement case. This is not a litigation case and that’s in everyone’s best interests. And Gesmer has been phenomenal in helping to orchestrate that outcome.”
What Value Has Gesmer Provided You and Attivio?
“We can measure that value in quite literally millions of dollars in avoided costs. So, the stakes were high. This was a claim of a breach of contract that had the potential to escalate into a pretty serious matter,” Peter describes.
With Kevin Peter’s “extremely defensible, simple and intuitive” negotiating position, the team was able to point out many of the weaknesses of the party that instigated this claim. Through this, Kevin was able to undermine the plaintiff’s confidence that they had an easy road paved ahead for them.
Why Go with Gesmer?
Peter shares, “I appreciated Kevin despite the fact we wanted everything yesterday, Kevin managed expectations exceptionally well. You aren’t going to get it yesterday. This is an issue that requires some meaningful research. You’ll get it when the research is done because that’s when the best advice can come. I think that all those things wrapped into a very good person with a nice sense of humor and a wonderful communicator is a rare and special thing to have. So, we’re delighted with Kevin Peters and Gesmer, and would look forward to having an opportunity to work again because I know it will come up with a great outcome for us.”
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