Secrets of a Successful SaaS CEO

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August 18, 2019
Thought Leadership

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is seen by many to be the future of the industry. Gartner predicts[1] that 80 percent of software providers will move to on-demand, subscription-based models by the end of 2020. And KBV research forecasts[2] that the SaaS market will reach $185.8 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 21.4% in that time (though, of course, your mileage may vary).

But growth comes with its own challenges and nothing is certain.

So what does it take to succeed? Let’s turn to Dan Latendre, Founder and CEO of Igloo Software.

Dan was recently named one of the SaaS industry’s top 50 CEOs[3] by The Software Report (TSR), placing him #8 in the Growth Leader category. Igloo has also been recognized in Deloitte’s 2018 Fast 500 rankings[4]. And, we’re proud to say, the firm is one of our portfolio companies.

Taking intranets to the next level

Igloo has created a next-generation intranet platform that brings together people and resources to solve the challenges that matter most to today’s mid and large-sized enterprises. Importantly, they want to inspire employees to be more connected and engaged in the workplace. Fundamentally, the company is on a mission to build a better way to work.

Unlike many intranet applications, Igloo accelerates its customers’ time-to-value with pre-built, configurable solutions based on its real-world experience with thousands of intranet implementations. Combining technology with expertise, they help customers go further, faster.

The critical importance of people

Of course, having an outstanding product is just one part of the growth equation. Another critical factor is effective leadership. And that’s where Dan and his team excel.

Dan’s inclusion on TSR’s ranking came about directly from nominations and is a reflection of his strengths across the report’s key ranking criteria: “integrity, intellect, drive, emotional intelligence, organizational culture and operational skill.”

It’s by combining these hard and soft skills that Dan is able to galvanize his team around the firm’s business strategy. But “strategy” is perhaps one of the most overused (and misused) words in business today. So what does it actually mean at Igloo?

Four keys to a winning business strategy

The way Dan sees it, winning business strategies have four key elements[5]:

  1. You need a great vision for everyone to drive towards
  2. You must surround yourself with fantastic people
  3. You need leading-edge technology (and a commitment to remaining at the forefront of innovation)
  4. And you need strong operations and frameworks to make it work in practice with customers and partners

It’s a focus that’s led Igloo to deliver explosive growth. In fact, the business surpassed one billion monthly interactions on its digital workplace platform in 2017 and it now has users in over 80 countries worldwide.

But great leaders are never satisfied with how things are. So in 2018, Dan turned to Frontier Capital as a partner to provide capital and support to further build the company’s sales and marketing operations, expand its distribution channels, strengthen its partnership with Microsoft, and expand its presence in the North American market. (Exactly the kind of challenge we love.)

Learn more about Igloo

[1] https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/moving-to-a-software-subscription-model/

[2] https://www.kbvresearch.com/software-as-a-service-market/

[3] https://www.thesoftwarereport.com/the-top-50-saas-ceos-of-2019/

[4] https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/fast500-winners.html

[5] Taken from Dan’s LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danlatendre/

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