We Interviewed Paul Hinz About Entando & Their Journey To Expanding Their LeadGen Internationally

Full Interview Transcription

Steven (00:00):
Hello, and welcome back. I'm Steven again, and today I'll be talking with Paul Hinz, the founder and CEO of Entando. Paul, thank you so much for joining us. How are you? 

Paul Hinz @ Entando
Thanks Steven. I'm doing really well. Glad to hear that. I thought we should just hear a little bit about you and, and your background and, um, how it led you to, to found this company. I grew up on, on a farm in Iowa, which is kind of fun because ultimately from there I, I joined the air force, did a bunch of different things. Um, ultimately was a commander in Turkey, which was interesting working on rebuilding the com systems there. But when I got outta the air force, I moved into the high tech it world actually was in solution architect for, or sun Microsystems during the.com days, ultimately growing up to be product manager and, uh, lead of a lot of the middleware software was there.

Paul Hinz @ Entando (00:50):
So I got a lot of experience with how companies were implementing web, uh, web applications and such. From there, I ultimately went to a couple other companies, did a startup that went big and then met my, a friend of mine in Sarnia. And we took his consulting company and turned it into a software company that was working on what he and I both kind of realized was the next generation of application development, how applications would be built by major enterprises. And we actually named it in todo, which is a Ardian word for what's next, because as we felt, this was really what was next in the software industry. 

So can you explain a little bit more about, um, the Genesis of the company and, um, yeah, I mean, you said that's a Sardinian word. Um, your, your friend and, and partner and founding, this was from SNIA correct?

Paul Hinz @ Entando (01:36):
Yes. In fact, his, his consultant company was in Sarnia, great region had some really smart people on it. They were doing great work, building things at companies. So they had experience on building things. So when we decided to build a platform that was focused on helping enterprises build application in this new way, that I'll talk about around Kubernetes, they already had a lot of real world experience. We founded the engineering there for a couple reasons. One cuz that's where the initial team was for. We wanted to leave a lot of the engineering there to actually build jobs in that region. SDIA is not a wealthy area. It allowed us to create some really good jobs that not only help build people's careers, but also, um, help them, um, have great paying jobs with us. And so we started there and now we're, we're, we're worldwide now, very unique origins.

Paul Hinz @ Entando (02:21):
It's interesting. Um, and current iteration, um, what does Entando do we see that the future of application development, particularly in the enterprise major enterprises will be around a concept called composable applications. A composable application is an application that is built from pre-built components, oftentimes reuse component. So if you think of an application that could be an E R P system, it could be a customer portal. It could be a, uh, business process management for your shipping department. These applications today are built as usually one solid application, even if there's different ways that inside parts are made as modules, they're not built with modules that are connected together. So we found it on this idea, uh, me and my, uh, founding partners, because we were seeing how applications were developed and the fact that both the infrastructure that companies were using to run them on, which is now Kubernetes, as well as the time it took to update, uh, and recompose with multiple team members was difficult.

Paul Hinz @ Entando (03:34):
Coincidentally, as we were defining this new idea, we found out that who's a major software analyst was proposing in a very big way that the future was composed apps. In fact, they have a stat which is really, uh, good for us. And it is that by 2024, they believe 65% of all new line of business applications will be built in this, this way on, on a composer application platform. And that's what Entando is. It's a composable application platform or an application composition platform, a different way to say it. So, and again, the idea is that you have team members that can build the modules separately. You then have a hub or a library of components that you can reuse across multiple apps. And then you have composers who people who usually are much more connected to the business unit that needs an application. And in a low code way, these individuals can pull from the hub, pull from the library and quickly assemble applications.

Paul Hinz @ Entando (04:32):
And then the ultimate benefits to this is one it's faster to get an application out because you can use pre-built components two, uh, it lowers the runtime costs. There's a big concern about everybody's moving apps to the cloud, but when you run them as these big large applications, they, they are cost a lot of money. So there's, there's a method which we can may be described later, but it, it allows you to drastically reuse the cost maybe as much as 70% of the runtime cost for your application and the third, which is probably maybe the most important, it streamlines your maintenance and updates. So the idea that if you've got a large application and there's a security bug in there and you only need to update one part of that application, well now you only have to update that one module and then redeploy, you don't have to touch the other stuff.

Steven (05:18):
So there's no risk to everything else. So it's much, much faster and helps to have the, you know, faster updates and, and better security. You have mentioned a couple different, uh, you know, potential applications. And I, I, uh, I'm guessing that some of those are, are, you know, the types of customers that, that you're, you're actually seeing, but, uh, what types of customers get the most benefit from your software companies that have a large number of it systems that they maintain? And oftentimes that means they build or outsource building applications custom for themselves companies that are, you know, greater than 250 million revenue. 

Paul Hinz @ Entando
Yes, definitely a bit more than, you know, a billion revenue. The global 2000 are definitely a target. So large major enterprises are, are a target, uh, because they also, and this is the better way to segment it's companies that are adopting Kubernetes.

Paul Hinz @ Entando (06:06):
So companies that are adopting Kubernetes have have systems, they have I, it staff and they're looking to automate their applications most often. That means that the they've got a hybrid cloud environment hybrid cloud means, well, there's multiple definitions, five cloud, but one definition is they've got multiple cloud providers. So they're using Amazon, uh, AWS, they're using Microsoft Azure, they're using Google cloud and they probably also have an on-prem data center. And so those companies are implementing Kubernetes across that to kind of unify how with, you know, if you build the app to run a Kubernetes, then you can deploy it to any of those cloud. You don't have to write it specifically to Amazon and then think, oh wait, now we have to have a different way to write for Microsoft Azure. You basically write your apps to be on the Kubernetes. What we find is most companies that are implementing Kubernetes are having a difficulty in understanding how to build apps now in this new Kubernetes native of environment, mm-hmm <affirmative>, but we are coming into companies that are saying, Hey, we're kind of, we we're, we think Kubernetes really helps with this it automation, but now we're thinking about the dev side.

Paul Hinz @ Entando (07:07):
And so we come in and we can have a workshop. We can have a discovery day we need to do, and we've done MVPs to help them do initial projects to go do I like this methodology, this comp opposable idea, um, on Kubernetes specific projects though, there are some specific things that are popping up that are ING. And the first one that's very interesting is the modernization of legacy BPM systems, or let's just say traditional traditional, because some people don't like the word legacy. So traditional it. So Tipco, so we have one major customer, um, <affirmative> uh, and it was actually posted tonana and they had 25 million that they put into this, uh, business process management application and they wanted to modernize it. They didn't like the GUI. They thought it was, you know, it was part of a supplier portal. It was ugly and they wanted to modernize it well, to replace that 25 million infrastructure is way too higher risk because there's processing it down there.

Paul Hinz @ Entando (08:00):

You can't just go buy a new software, put it in there's things that have been built on top of it. So what they did is they came in and used Entando to build a new UX layer, a new supplier portal. And we used Entando to build basically the GUI part. And then we connected to the Tipco API. So we connected into those Tipco processes. Everything was down there was still the, and it was very successful project. And the reason the customers very happy about this is three reasons. Number one, really low cost. You know, the idea of the, the 25 million was gonna be a really big project to replace it. Mm-hmm <affirmative> ours was very, very, very low cost on top of that. Number two, it was really fast, uh, because we were again just free replacing the UX layer, not replacing all those predefined processes of how a supplier chain thing happens.

Paul Hinz @ Entando (08:47):
The third was low risk. So that in fact that was probably the most important that is that by just doing the GUI, you're not touching all of the definitions of those processes down there, but the other thing they got was, uh, it was front end code and backend code separation, which has a definition called well, it's not the only definition, but it's a definition of the strangler fig pattern. So I think it was Martin Fowler defined that who also defined microservices, but he had define the strangler fig as a way for companies to be able to modernize traditional application infrastructure in a stepwise fashion where you do one piece and then another piece and another piece. And over time you've replaced that, that traditional or legacy system. Um, and again, you lowered your rest. You probably lowered the cost, um, by stepwise very, very successful project.

Paul Hinz @ Entando (09:36):
So, so what we found then I think IDC told us about this. IDC has said that there's about four and a half billion dollars, uh, in it spend, that's been dedicated to modernizing these legacy BPM systems Uhhuh. So we're looking at a lot of companies that are having the same issue for GUI, but they're, they're really concerned about the risk to modernize. And so we can come in at this and DIC even has a term for it, which is, uh, experience overlay technology. It's difficult on the tongue, but it's the idea that, that you can modernize the experience layer the UX layer on top of big process. Another one, and, and this probably last one, that's probably good, but it's, uh, micro portals is extremely hot right now. And so companies are saying, we need a micro portal and I'll define it in a minute, but the, they come in and they'll use and Entando to quickly build a micro portal with some initial technology, or I should say initial feature set.

Paul Hinz @ Entando (10:27):
And then, because again, this modular composable idea, that initial thing could be an MVP. And then you can add additional modules over time as you have time to develop them. So that's been very popular and again, what's a micro portal. So micro portal is very popular because the original idea of a portal was the and think of a banking portal or, or an employee portal company was to be a central place that would include everything that this person or this user would need. And those were difficult projects because you had to get so many people to coordinate. It was such a big project and you had so many things to integrate in and the requirement gathering was difficult. So time at times it would just fail. Micro portal says, no, don't do everything, do some limited thing. So either have a micro portal for a, it's a, for a specific feature set, a specific user base, or maybe it's limited in time.

Paul Hinz @ Entando (11:21):
So going backwards limited time could be a micro portal for a project. You're gonna go build some app, you know, build something, uh, a project. And so you have a cross-functional team on that. So you, you have prelim micro portal to serve that group of people. You might also have a limited user, uh, like maybe it's a manager portal micro portal, and it's got all the tools and a communication that's needed for managers in a company. So it's a very limited set of people it's just for managers. And a third one is that limited feature sets. So that could be like, um, uh, uh, employee onboarding micro portal. So all it's used for is for onboarding employees. So those kind of concepts have become very popular for implementing within Entando. Because again, you can build an MVP very quickly and it's composable, so you can add additional things over time.

Paul Hinz @ Entando (12:11):
And we actually have some, um, out of locks components to make that really quickly, or you can develop those quickly as well. Another major customer is, uh, uh, as their Chito, the Italian army, and they did one project list, then two, then four, then 10. And so now they're implementing their own hub so that they can reuse it across all of their applications. So they're standardized and it, it was so a cool idea. They started showing it to the Navy and the air force, and now those, uh, departments also want their own hub. 

Uh, I think some of the benefits are, are obvious, but, uh, it may be sort of not a service that companies generally, um, I don't know, think about or, or are aware of, you know, how do you market, how, uh, Paul Kleen and, and Pitchit, uh, how have they helped you with that aspect of the business?

Paul Hinz @ Entando (12:55):
So, uh, I think for the marketing, it's good to look at our overall company vision and one thing Walter Ambu and I did. And if you remember, part of our vision was to create jobs in low income area. We did that in Sini, we're now doing other areas. And the other part of the vision was to really create a way to help, uh, partners, solution and graders or systems integrators to develop new revenue and new customers around the idea of composable apps. So if composable apps is really this major future and Gartner is heavily, uh, believes that it is then these SI will be looking for somebody that can help them understand that new model and what we can do and what Pitchit is doing, is helping us to create a DemandGen engine for composable apps. So we're looking, we're using Pitchit we're using them and they've come in and helped us with how to rebuild our market automation system, which is on HubSpot, how, how to look into our CRM system, how to use other systems to reach out and nurture for contact customers, uh, how to do nurturing with those prospects.

Paul Hinz @ Entando (14:01):
And ultimately though, as those, those, uh, uh, contacts and opportunities come into our engine, our demand generation engine, we can feed them down into our own sales, even more importantly, into our SI our solution integrated partners. So we can develop, um, a demand gen engine. So part of it is technology, but part of it is really building this demand gen engine around composable applications and helping to enable SIS not only to learn and adopt the technology for their customers, but to give them the leads and prospects so that they're, they're increasing their revenue. So it's, it's been very important and Paul Kleen and the team are much more expert than we are. They've been able to not only come in and help do actually things. So they put their hands on. They're not just consultants. So they're helping to define the policy of what we do, helping to get the systems implemented and then ultimately helping to train our team so that we can go forward in the future, uh, and maybe manage these systems ourselves.

Steven (14:57):
Yeah. Um, that's an exciting place to be. And, uh, thank you for, for coming on and, and explaining all of this. Um, if people would like to learn more or are interested in getting in touch, uh, with in Entando, um, yeah. Where can they go? 

Paul Hinz @ Entando
The easiest thing is probably go to Entando.com and there's a, you know, call to action at the very top. Right? You can click that button and then the message will get to me. Um, or you can email me directly, certainly open to that. It's paul.hinz@entando.com. 

All right. Well, yeah, Paul, thanks so much for, for coming on and, uh, all the best to you and the team. 

Paul Hinz @ Entando
Thanks, Steven. Yeah. Thanks. You.