Kevin Bisson, Ipswitch's new CFO, was the guest on last week's CFO Thought Leader podcast to discuss his new role and the skills he's bringing to Ipswitch.
Part 1: 351: When it Was Time to Lead (Part I) | Kevin Bisson, CFO, Ipswitch
Part 2: 352: The Founder's Partner (Part II) | Kevin Bisson, CFO, Ipswitch
Ipswitch has recently had an exciting new addition: Kevin Bisson, our new CFO who joined the team this past summer. Last week, Kevin was the guest on the CFO Thought Leader podcast to discuss his journey from a bachelor’s degree in accounting to several CFO positions, as well as why he likes to stay within the technology industry.
Kevin’s interest in finance started in high school where he picked up an affinity for accounting. However, after graduating college and working in an accounting firm for a few years, Kevin decided he wanted something more out of his career. He went back to graduate school to study finance and ultimately got an MBA as well. Now, after working as a CFO for four previous companies, Kevin has landed at Ipswitch where he brings a significant background in technology and a focus on predictability.
Throughout his career, Kevin has maintained an interest in technology, especially software. Technology promises growth, and that is exactly what Kevin hopes for from his career. Kevin uses his position as CFO, coupled with his knowledge from past experiences, to help companies make better financial decisions that will lead to increased shareholder value. Here at Ipswitch, one metric he is paying particular attention to is maintenance. A significant aspect of Ipswitch’s success is the retention of customers. Kevin says that high retention rates are accomplished- and improved- by both positive customer service and positive product experience. In order to monitor this, it is essential to have a way of measuring the journey of each customer.
What does that mean? Every customer starts with some basic, initial interaction with Ipswitch, be it clicking on our website or spotting a social media post. Customers who have an interest in and a need for our products will then continue their journey with Ipswitch through research and evaluations, to eventually end with purchasing the product. Kevin suggests that finding a way to quantitatively measure this process will make product sales more predictable. This predictability not only increases confidence in the success of the company, but it also creates value for shareholders.
Kevin has an extensive background in SaaS (Software as a Service) companies. SaaS offers a unique opportunity for businesses to fully maintain their own software in the cloud, without having to spend extra money on hardware. Kevin finds SaaS options beneficial because, compared to on-premises software, SaaS allows for this quantitative measurement that is necessary for predictability. Ipswitch is not entirely SaaS, but it is headed in that direction.
Kevin is looking to integrate certain aspects from his SaaS background into Ipswitch- especially this measurement of the flow of leads. After all, the real value of a product lies in the software, which can be updated as soon as improvements are made, rather than the hardware that is only replaced as needed. However, this transition from tracking hardware sales to planning software sales can be a complicated process. Kevin has been an exciting addition to the Ipswitch team and we look forward to the insight he provides and the improvements he continues to make.