As we announced earlier today, Charlotte Software Systems is now Ariaal. Beyond a rebranding, the change reflects a renewed business focus, together with some significant operational changes to make it happen.
The Legacy Model
I founded Charlotte Software Systems in 2009 as a premier provider of OEM embedded analytics components. At the time, advanced analytics was nearing mainstream adoption, and Big Data hype was just starting to form. After spending the previous decade in the trenches with innovators and early adopters deploying custom solutions, it was refreshing to see a mainstream applications starting to take hold.
In order to catch the analytics wave, our strategy was to focus as much as possible on core platform development. That meant empowering trusted industry solution partners to promote and deliver our technology to end users on our behalf. Sometimes we came forward to serve as technology gurus or to support early product deployments, but for the most part our formula was to let partner companies take center stage.
Motivation for Change
The “Powered by Charlotte Software Systems” model served well through the 2010’s. Now as we approach 2020, it’s clear that the landscape has changed.
I sometimes joke:
20 years ago people thought we were aliens. 10 years ago people scratched their heads and asked, “What is that?” Now people grab us by the shirt and say, “Give me some of that advanced analytics!”
Some of the trends we observe in this new landscape include:
- Everyone wants advanced analytics, but not everyone know what it means.
- Many vendors claim to offer advanced analytics, but few deliver truly powerful analytics solutions.
- Consolidation of independent software vendors has dramatically reduced the number of alternatives available to customers, which has eroded enterprise vendors’ desire to innovate.
I believe this last point is critical, not just to our own business, but also to the analytics industry in general. Some might argue that consolidation represents a natural maturation of any advanced technology. Even if that argument holds (and I’m not sure that it does (or should...)), now is not the time for advanced analytics to ossify. We are still in an exciting, vibrant, and innovative era for analytics technology. Customers win when vendors compete on technology innovation and product quality, rather than on market power and data lock-in. There must be a different way.
Pillars for a New Model
It became clear last year that our company needed to embrace two strategic pillars in order to prepare for a new analytics landscape entering the 2020’s. The new Ariaal represents our commitment and execution on two fronts:
- Establish direct relationships with end users; and,
- Foster a movement promoting the advantages of best-of-breed software for large enterprises.
Ariaal strives to be the antidote to underwhelming enterprise software products.
Ariaal helps our users not just to meet expectations, but to excel. We help everyday users make better decisions faster. We deliver easy-to-use and well-focused analytics products, enhanced with superior customer support, tailored user experiences and constant product improvements. We integrate smoothly into existing IT infrastructure with the smallest possible deployment footprint.
We don’t want to control your data or lock you into our analytics stack.
We do want you to have many available technology options, and we’re happy to compete in a healthy vendor landscape. It is our opportunity and responsibility to raise the bar for advanced analytics in general, not just for our own business.
Taking the Stage
Shifting from behind-the-scenes to center stage will require us all to assume new roles. After 9 years of the Charlotte Software Systems OEM model, it’s time to embrace what’s next. The engineer in me doesn’t mind operating behind the scenes, but at the same time it’s exciting to step onto the stage in a more visible role. I look forward to sharing our journey, and seeing others step onto the stage with us as well. Check out our new web site and stay tuned to the Ariaal in Action blog to learn more.
Anybody out there want to wish us to break a leg?