Metrics that Should Matter to You in Looking at a Data Orchestration Software Vendor
At Openprise, we think a little differently.
We’re amused when data orchestration software providers boast to their prospects about the huge amount of money they’ve raised in their last round. We look at that, realize how much equity that team gave up, and conclude that it’s like going to a party and boasting about the size of your home mortgage. Who would do that?
Well then, what are the metrics that a data orchestration or data management provider should be sharing with anybody considering their solution? Here’s our view.
Net Promoter Score
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a straightforward way of measuring customer loyalty. With a mere two questions, companies can quickly understand how their customers perceive them and take action. NPS scores vary across different industries. The mean for software companies is 31. We measure this twice a year, and the Openprise NPS score is consistently more than twice the industry average. For a software buyer, a high NPS score is a good indicator of the kind of experience you’ll have. If the sales rep you’re talking with can’t immediately rattle off their score, either customer satisfaction (i.e., your satisfaction) isn’t very important to that company or they’ve got some issues they don’t want to share with you. Buyer beware.
Call it a “NASCAR slide,” a “logo garden,” or “an eye chart.” Just about every software vendor has a slide chock-full of customer logos. Unfortunately, those slides don’t convey anything about what those companies are actually doing with a vendor’s product, or if they’re even a paying user. However, revenue churn means something. Openprise has negative revenue churn, meaning that our customers are seeing such immense value from our solution that they’re expanding their usage at a great rate than the few that choose to leave. It’s not uncommon for an Openprise customer to start using our solution to orchestrate their business processes in their marketing automation solution, like Marketo, Eloqua, or Pardot, and then quickly buy the same capabilities for their Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics solution. Clean data is contagious. With any vendor you’re considering, you should always ask your salesperson to speak with his/her finance team under NDA to get the low down. High revenue churn means customers are dropping like flies because they aren’t seeing the value they were promised. Negative churn means customers are seeing value and are coming back for more.
When a company is growing, they’re often able to hire the best people away from their competition, they’re making their customers successful and retaining them, and they’re making further investments in their solutions. They’re proven winners in the eyes of customers and investors. Openprise’s revenue has tripled in each of the past two years. On the other hand, a company that isn’t growing and just laid off half their team to stay afloat isn’t going to be a good long-term partner.
What’s difficult about data orchestration is understanding the thousands of nuances and corner cases associated with any business process, like data cleansing, lead routing, and attribution. Building a simple product and sexy demo is easy, but there’s no shortcut to learning all the one-off issues of a given business process and the ability to scale. Openprise is currently actively managing over one trillion records in marketing automation and sales automation solutions. As more and more companies pick up the “orchestration” mantra, we know we have a multi-year head start. You don’t want to be the unwitting beta customer for another vendor that’s breaking a sweat just starting to climb that learning curve.
So, the next time a data orchestration or data management software provider boasts about some meaningless statistic, be sure to ask them about the metrics that matter to you as a potential customer. You’ll be glad you did.