Jedox today announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Liran Edelist as President of Jedox, Inc., where he will assume day-to-day leadership of the company in North America. Liran brings over 20 years of experience in the EPM industry, working previously as Jedox VP Consulting, as well as CEO of Actiview and TopIT. I recently had a chance to sit down with Liran, and get to know him better – here are some excerpts from our conversation:
How did you first find out about Jedox?
I had first heard about Jedox in 2011, when I was working with other budgeting and planning tools in my own company. I stumbled upon Jedox 3.1, which wasn’t necessarily the best solution at the time (it is today!), but was definitely the most forward-looking. Jedox, in my opinion, were the first to recognize that planning processes needed to expand beyond the finance department, and the software needed to evolve from an Excel-based tool to a robust enterprise platform with web capabilities, scalable securities, and so forth. Jedox had this vision 10 years ago, and there was nothing else like it in the market. I admit, it was a bit of a gamble, but Jedox’s vision sealed the deal and it proved to be the right decision.
Tell us about something you learned this year so far that will be game changing in the next year?
We learned that we’re in a great market and more companies are now starting to realize the importance of planning solutions. Whether they’re sales-oriented or FP&A, enterprise planning is becoming more of a must-have, as opposed to a nice to have, which will give a huge boost to Jedox and creates a lot of demand. Over the last year, we’ve made a huge step forward to meet this demand by shifting from on-premise to Cloud, and it’s quite impressive to see how many users and customers are moving to the Cloud. Our prebuilt solutions are also expanding to different industries and verticals to meet this demand, and there are enough of them now to merit a Marketplace where they can all be found. We’ve also got the best people in the market, and our solution is more mature than any of our competitors, so our innovation is focused more on the future, e.g., AIssisted™ planning.
What is the greatest challenge you’ve faced with the company?
The biggest challenge for us is the explosive growth of the company and the market itself and trying to keep up and scale accordingly – a good problem or challenge to have! Additionally, we always strive to make sure our customers are always happy, and to keep the work/life balance reasonable for our employees.
How can employees help drive long-term growth besides just doing a good job day to day?
Be cautious when you find yourself in too deep of a routine or comfort zone. Stop from time to time and evaluate what you’re doing, conduct a “self-audit.” Try new ways of doing things and new technologies, while always having the customer and growth of the company in mind. When you do stop and look around, look not only at yourself, but the market itself. How is it changing? What are competitors doing? How should you be innovating and where should you be looking – where are customers gravitating to?
What keeps you up at night?
I am the proud father of 3 children, but they never wake me up! Deadlines usually keep me up at night – we are always committed to deadlines and we stand behind them.
Why are you so interested in the FP&A (EPM) industry and where do you see it going?
I like the EPM/FP&A industry because it’s always changing and growing, which keeps it very interesting. The ability of advance EPM technology to support business growth in competitive markets is amazing and constantly evolving (as well as the competition). The other piece is the vision of enterprise-wide planning solutions: how do you make sure your budget aligns with KPIs and other strategic needs? How is it all connected with S&OP, incentive programs and what are the most significant business drivers to look at? Tying it all together is EPM, which is both challenging and fascinating.
What is one achievement or accomplishment that really helped shape your career?
I was always in the EPM market, but I made the decision to start my own company, which was my first big achievement. My goal was to bring real business value through technology, and I ended up merging my company with a large BI integrator, because I understood the need of BI and EPM/planning solutions to work together. Recently moving from the side of professional services in to software vendor, and my decision to focus more on business needs and business solutions was also significant in shaping my career.
In Liran’s free time he enjoys being with his family and finding new places to explore around New England, hiking in summer and skiing in winter.