In 2014, after I had transitioned out of Aster Data/Teradata, I met my friend Amit Sinha for chai in Palo Alto.
Amit and I had gone to undergrad together at IIT Bombay (1995–1999), then we took similar but different routes. I went to Stanford; he to Berkeley. I went to work in creating a company from scratch (Aster Data in 2004); he went to work at a $100B company (SAP in 2004). I entered the database market wanting to create new value and new use-cases around Big Data (Aster Data SQL-MR); he entered the Database market wanting to create new value and new use-cases around Fast Data (SAP HANA In-Memory Data Management). When I was reaching my audience to establish the value of Big Data — showcasing use-cases, integrating solutions, educating users — he was doing the same for Fast Data.
And we both succeeded! It’s now conventional wisdom across all industries that Big Data and Fast Data are vital and transformative technologies.
And yet we took similar but different routes in establishing this wisdom.
Aster Data, as an emerging leader, didn’t have industry-wide reach. We had to work with technology, SI and ISV partners such as Teradata, Tableau, Microstrategy, SAS, Informatica, Dell, Hortonworks; analyst agencies including Gartner, Forrester, IDC; and influencers to gain access to their audience, channels and credibility.
SAP, as an established leader, already had industry-wide reach. And yet, Amit chose to work with technology, SI and ISV partners such as HP, Cisco, Accenture; analyst agencies including Gartner, Forrester, IDC; and influencers to gain access to their audience, momentum and credibility.
And so on that day in 2014, in Palo Alto over chai, we discussed how modern marketing is a lot more than “direct-to-user” marketing. Companies have to reach their audience via a mix of direct channels, strategic go-to-market partners and marketing agencies. Even though everyone agrees and wants to work together; we both remarked how hard it was to activate these networks. And we asked, “Why?”
We spent the next two years researching “Why?”. We spoke with marketing leaders at over 75 companies. We heard anecdotes about successful and unsuccessful projects. We heard about missed opportunities. We heard about successful opportunities that established new relationships around technology transitions (converged storage, cloud platforms). We built a library of those anecdotes. We analyzed patterns. We went back with questions. And then the idea of WorkSpan crystallized in our minds.
We now understand that the reason it is hard is because there is no software helping marketing teams execute their projects when their work spans company boundaries. We now understand that there is no software for a company to discover initiatives at their go-to-market partnerships nor at marketing agencies; there is no software helping marketing teams align on goals and results; thus there is no trust in relationships
Mayank Bawa and Amit Sinha at WorkSpan
We built WorkSpan to bring trust back into your go-to-market partnerships and marketing agencies. We built it as a Marketing Network; a consolidated solution to activate the full potential of your business connections.
And we made sure it works for you — whether you are an established leader or a future leader; whether you are a vendor or a reseller; whether you are a global agency or a boutique agency — because the network is incomplete without you.
I smile when I think this happened because Amit and I took similar but different routes.