While I wasn't the most prolific blogger at Oracle, I did post on a regular basis to provide insights into the product strategy and direction. You can check out some of my previous posts. So now that I'm kicking off my blog at another home, I figured that I'd take a few paragraphs to answer the question that seems to be first and foremost in the minds of many of my colleagues and friends: Why did you decide to join Keste?
My reasons were two fold: one professional and one personal. I'm going to start with the personal drive and then I'll provide the professional choice.
I'm a California native and except for me venturing down to the Southland to attend UCLA, I'm a bay area native as well. So when my wife and I discussed moving to another country in a few years, we became very excited. But we both knew that to drive product strategy and to be geographically removed from the core team members would spell disaster for the product and would lead to a very ineffective management chain. We knew that I would need to move out of the product area and into the services field. Once we came to this conclusion, I looked inside and outside of Oracle as we expected to some how land in Europe in a few years with our family.
This brings me to my professional choice for joining Keste. I had been working with the team from Keste for over 4 years in all their cutting edge work on WebCenter, UCM, SOA, Fusion Middleware, and Applications. I knew that above all other partners, they invested early in learning the new WebCenter product even when it wasn't ready for widespread usage. They had sharp, dedicated engineers join the onsite and off site beta programs. They provided direct feedback from early projects that they started when no one else was yet using the product. Then they showed consistent success with early adopter customers to make them quickly successful. The reason for their early successes were three fold: 1) Exceptional technical product knowledge, 2) Practical project scoping for quick wins, and 3) they had really smart people on the team at every position. These core assets are brought to every project and lead to the biggest references around the WebCenter product.
In addition to the technical investment, I quickly learned that they obsess on the customer's goals as their singular focus. Keste takes the time to build a long term relationship with each and every customer. The focus is not on volume and profit, the focus is squarely on the customer. Don't get me wrong, their is a focus on pipeline and profit, but if you focus solely on the customer, the other two have a way of taking care of themselves.
So when I talked to Howard, Sri, & Ken about joining the company, it was a very quick conversation. Keste has unmatched technical expertise that takes a long time to acquire, has a customer focused approach to project delivery, have implemented solutions that are unachievable by any other partner, and pays close attention to detail to make sure the projects are delivered on time and under budget. With the combined expertise at Keste and the opportunities for new business in Europe, it was the easiest choice I ever made!