Wouter Born, CEO USA and Global CTO of CXO Software was recently interviewed by The Netherlands American Chamber of Commerce. The NACCSE is a non-profit member based networking platform between Dutch and American businesses and aims to make the ties between these two countries and their companies even stronger through services, events and other networking activities.
What is your business industry category or speciality?
CXO Software is a successful software company which started in The Netherlands 10 years ago. The company creates software to help senior executives at large multinationals better understand their financial data by using graphs and charts on interactive dashboards. CXO Software helps executives to tell a better story of performance by offering collaboration, narrative reporting and predictive analytics. CXO Software opened its USA office in August 2016 from where it serves corporations like Facebook, Johnson Controls, Experian, Regions Bank and many more.
How do you describe your job to people outside the industry?
As CEO USA and Global CTO of a Netherlands based software company my job is to spot opportunities in the Market, drive our product strategy and deliver our product as successfully as possible in the USA market.
Who are your main competitors and what differentiates you from the competition?
What makes you unique?
We focus on a specific niche: “Performance reporting for the Fortune 500”, in our niche the most used alternative is MS Excel and PowerPoint which requires a lot of manual, repetitive work from highly skilled team members. Not necessarily the best use of their skills! We also get some competition from generic BI vendors like Qlik and Tableau, but since they focus more on operational, transactional analytics, we normally coexist.
How was the business started?
CXO Software is a performance reporting platform created by CXO Solutions, which was founded in 2007 by EPM and finance professionals. Frustrated with the lack of financial reporting functionality of the existing Excel and BI based tools, they developed pre-built and configurable Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) adapters and prepackaged reporting templates.
How many employees does the business have?
Our business has about 40 globally, 6 of those employees are in our Atlanta office.
How did you end up in Atlanta?
The requirements for our new USA HQ location, were: 1. Eastern time zone, 2. Good connectivity with Amsterdam, 3. Good local (Corporate HQ) market. Atlanta matched these 3 criteria perfectly but, so did Chicago and New York. My Spanish Wife Raquel expedited our selection process a little by looking at the climate tables of these three cities and basically disqualified the other two. We got some great help from Your Expat Partner with finding a school and a home which made our relocation very smooth.
What is your number one business goal over the next year?
Our goal is aggressive growth in the USA market. We want to:
1. Extend our local market presence and reach out to the impressive list of corporations headquartered in Georgia
2. Grow further in the verticals where we have been globally very successful. E.g. banking using our references like Rabobank, NN and Regions Bank, Airlines using our KLM reference case or retail food chains using our McDonalds customer relationship.
What is the best advice you have received regarding doing business with the Dutch/Americans?
Try to find a great local team. You cannot serve large USA corporates from Utrecht. You need people that understand your business and can take a local approach.