How did Patrick Grady manage to build his service when others have failed? How did he draw in big-name customers? In addition to his forceful personality, 10 years in high-tech venture capital gave him extraordinary access. In the early development phase, for example, senior technologists from Ariba, BEA, BellSouth, CommerceOne, Genesys Labs, Palm, and Sun got together once a week to advise him on architecture. That lends some credibility to Grady’s claim that his platform will become “the global de facto standard for how you describe and discover and deliver and transact for services.”
IW: Why are you coming out of stealth now?
PG: The only way I would come public with this in detail is when I could establish proof across three areas. One, that I could build the entire stack: the integration layer for suppliers, the orchestration layer, the application layer, a real platform that could scale -- which we’ve done. Two, the initial application alone would yield very large subscription dollars in the enterprise and midmarket and would allow me to build a very large business on its own -- which we’ve done. Three, this ecosystem that I’ve been positioning from the onset would actually begin to take root …. Now, I’m a pretty calculating guy; if I’m launching now, it’s probably not much of a leap that there will be other partnerships in the not-too-distant future.
IW: I can see that the cost-control potential of your service would make it attractive to the business side. What’s the pitch to IT?
PG: Take a company like Cingular. It had 15 disparate applications before we walked in. They just bought AT&T Wireless. Talk about a heterogeneous hair ball of applications! All of those can be sunsetted now and migrated to one on-demand application. They don’t buy it, they don’t maintain it, they don’t support it, and because it’s all Web-services-based, they have forward migration.