Interact: CEO George Schlossnagle’s Opening Remarks

John Pinson
Oct. 12, 2011 by John Pinson

Welcome everyone to our inaugural Message Systems users conference. We’ve reached a critical mass point, where we have customers all over the world – recognized global brands – using our products to drive their businesses forward in fundamental ways. So this event is a happy milestone for us.”

Interact

When the idea of Message Systems was born over a decade ago, it was impossible to imagine being in a room like this, surrounded by customers, partners and staff; diverse in cultures, roles and markets. This is an entirely different reality than I could have imagined.

Having gone from our a simple vision of trying to make better tools to make our own lives easier in regards to scaling and managing mail, to a 100+ person company with h customers on every continent except Africa and Antarctica, and a portfolio spanning a wide variety of tools and multiple modes of communication; I’m particularly proud that we still manage to stay true to our goal of making communication more effective for everyone that takes part in it, be they enterprises, services providers or end-users.

One of the founding beliefs of Message Systems is that the accumulating expertise of our customers is immense. This may sound obvious, but I think in many ways it is revolutionary, and I think it builds on our consulting background. This has influenced the way we build products and approach the market in ways that have been instrumental to our success.

The open architecture of our products, our extensive APIs and scriptability, as well as the immense power of our configuration system are all rooted in the belief that you will want to use our products in ways that we haven’t foreseen. And that we should be ready for it. This is a two way street, of course. To have solutions like that exercised to their maximum capability, developers and implementors need to truly understand what their business problems are, and how the relevant technologies apply to them.

This conference strives to be a petri dish where we can all learn from each other, understand where the market is going and foment ideas for how to stay ahead of that curve, both on a technical and business front. It’s also an opportunity, both for people new to Message Systems as well as those that have been with us for a while, to take a deep dive into the technologies and learn about products new and old.

Those of you who know me personally know that I strive to be a pragmatic guy. For a CEO, that may or may not be a character flaw. Vision without an implementation path is not very interesting to me. And so one of the goals throughout this conference is that we help tie vision to things that are achievable today. Whether this is discussion about channel agnostic messaging strategies, or protecting your brand and network from fraud and abuse, or creating functional dialog with your customers – I want to make sure that everyone leaves here not just with a vision of what can be done, but a sound foundation on how it can be done.

Similarly, a huge motivation for this conference is selfish. I want to learn about what you’re doing with our technology. From the very beginning, one of the most important drivers for our development process was seeing what customers did with our products. So we can be stronger with what do and drive better products into the market.

And of course the final objective, which shouldn’t be overshadowed, is to celebrate our mutual successes. This is an awesome venue and we’ve got some very fun stuff planned. I don’t think any of you need a reminder to have some fun, but just in case: all work and no play will make anyone a dull boy. So, welcome, and please enjoy yourselves at Interact 2011.

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