Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

April 18, 2005

The Four Cs of Software Success

Mike Nevens

A new enterprise software industry will require new tactics to succeed in what will be an intensely competitive and efficient business.

By Mike Nevens, Retired Managing Partner, McKinsey & Co. High Tech Practice

The software industry has changed in the past few years in ways that are both subtle and profound. The dramatic boom and bust cycle that happened at the same time distracted attention from these more fundamental and permanent shifts. Those executives and investors that grasp the new fundamentals will profit handsomely. The key words to remember are: compelling; complete; confident; competitive. Let me explain each.

Last Chance for Software 2005 at $1,295!

Don't wait: register today to be one of more than 2,000 CEOs, VPs and VCs to attend what is quickly becoming the event of the year for the industry: Software 2005. The conference is next Tuesday and Wednesday, April 26 and 27 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The $1,295 rate admits you and two of your colleagues - but it expires this week. Registration at the door costs $1,595 - so sign up now.

Software luminaries such as Charles Phillips of Oracle, James Goodnight of SAS, Scott Cook of Intuit, Shane Robison of HP and Scott Kriens of Juniper Networks headline the insight-packed, two-day agenda. New features Funding Forum and Launch will showcase the latest, most promising software startups. More than 60 breakout sessions will focus on actionable topics such as sales, recruiting, offshoring and M&A. That's not to mention the ample networking opportunities and the trade show floor, which will be filled with new products and services of interest to software vendors. Visit for more information. We hope to see you next week!

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Who'll Get Siebel?

As George Shaheen takes the CEO reigns at the CRM vendor, talk of a sale is rampant. Take our pulse poll: which firm will buy Siebel? In last week's poll, visitors were split about enterprise software companies' Q1 performance: 40 percent said it was better than last year, and 40 percent said it was about the same as last year.

More Perspectives on Software Success

This week, in preparation for Software 2005, software business leaders examine various aspects of the conference theme, "Building Blocks of Success" in the Blog. Read it here.

Last week, the bloggers covered open source from a variety of perspectives. Be sure you saw all of the posts.

Post Your Enterprise Software Events

Software 2005 is not the only event left in April. Visit the event calendar to see upcoming events for software businesspeople, such as the Gartner Web Services Summit, this week in Los Angeles, and the and the SIIA's brown bag lunch on evolving standards from New York and via videoconference in additional locations. To post your upcoming event, simply visit our community page, click on "Want to post an event?" log in and fill in the event form. The editor will post your event shortly thereafter. If you have any questions, email

More at

Adobe pays $3.4 billion for Macromedia.
Read the enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Memento receives $3 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

Cisco buys Topspin.
Scan the list of last week's software M&As >>

Penny Herscher named president and CEO of FirstRain.
See who's made it to the top in our list of recent software executive appointments >>

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Parting Thought

"Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall."
— Stephen R. Covey

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group

Software 2005 Conference


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