Realcomm | IBcon with Matthew Sheldrick – Qube Global Software
Matthew Sheldrick, Vice President of Business Development, was featured in an interview with Gerry Katzman on Conference Live on real time video stream
Gerry: It’s Matthew Sheldrick from Qube Global Software.
Gerry: Why does Qube Global make us smile?
Matthew: So many people get frustrated with technology. We put a lot of effort into the user experience, giving the user what they want. Being able to get what they need from the software easily without having to ask us or anybody else – we like to think that’s what makes them smile. If people don’t like the software, they don’t use it.
Gerry: To what do you attribute this feeling in the industry that you guys have one of the most user friendly platforms out there?
Matthew: I think there are a number of factors, the first one being that we’ve been working in this industry so long, we started and built the first one of these platforms starting in the late 1970’s and we’ve focused on that industry. We listen and understand what people are looking for and what they are trying to achieve when they interact with technology. I’d sum up as length of experience and willingness to learn from what people are telling us.
Gerry: What was one of the things that you heard two years ago that you said that we have to implement that and it exists now?
Matthew: The biggest one I think that’s changed – when business intelligence starting coming into these tools, you’d see a separate application being put over the top of a property management or an asset management app to deliver that BI capability. A lot of what we heard was “ok – I’ve got this neat BI tool but I still print in PDF because I’ve got to give it to a lot of people” and it is very expensive. So we took a step back and built all of that capability into the application in a way that you can roll it out to as many people as you need without having to worry about the cost of deployment. If more users need access to that and ask how do I do it, the cost component is not holding back that organization. Our approach is that the more people that touch our software, even if it is a tiny bit of it, the better it is for us – they move, they get good ideas, they give us feedback, all of those things have been good for us and that has been a big change moving away from those third party BI tools, to building it into the app so every user can take advantage of it.
Gerry: What is Qube moving away from and what is it moving toward?
Matthew: Moved away from the traditional, standard application with lots of customisations and putting a huge amount of effort into giving the end user the ability to personalise the application as they go, whether it is a desktop or whether it is the applications browser that can be accessed from any device. It is not just the fact that they can use it on any device, it is the fact that they can decide how and what they want to interact with, so moving from that rigid “here is the software that comes out of the box and this is how you’ll work to lets work the way you want to” and I think that is a big transition.
Gerry: So now that we understand that this is really where you guys are coming from as a software company, what are some of the offerings that are coming out and where are you guys heading with it?
Matthew: The big thing for us this year at Realcomm is that we are a global company, with offices in the US, Europe, the Middle East and we’ve just opened an office in Singapore but we’re just bringing our very successful property management products over that have worked very well in other parts of the world. We are introducing them here in the United States. Bringing in a new product to market, but it is not a new product so it’s almost like you’re getting the best of both worlds – proven in other markets and now we’re bringing it here.
Gerry: Why did you hold off bringing it here initially?
Matthew: Several reasons – there has been quite a bit of turmoil here in the US, there have been quite a bit of acquisitions, a lot of growth from one or two of the key players. We really wanted to see how that evolved. Also, we have been working very hard in terms of moving our product set into the new web 2 .net as we’ve talked about the BI technologies. We wanted that stable and ready to go before we bought it into this market and it is now well into that position. We’ve got a strong client-base on that new technology too, we’ve got over 1,000 clients as a company and we’ve moved a lot of them into that technology and it is ready for prime-time here in the US.
Gerry: Tell me about it – what is is called and what can it do?
Matthew: It is Qube’s property management and lease administration solutions – it really does the whole gamut of property management, from what is it, where is it and what do we own, through the whole leasing side – managing the leasing cycle, managing the whole accounting process, delivering best of class document management reporting and business intelligence. You’re having all those things not just in a single technology but in a single user experience so the technology stack is one thing but the user experience is common as well, so that sets us up as a little apart from some of the other folks in this space.
Gerry: Looking forward at some of the challenges over the next couple of years – what is Qube Global going to do to anticipate our needs and where are you going to take us?
Matthew: Good question – sometimes if you try and look too far ahead, things are moving so quickly – even two years out is hard to truly predict. I think the key component is trying to be more creative in terms of where people access these tools. I think the where and the how is going to be the next big thing, not just the functionality and the what. I think we’re going to want to see more and more self-service. Access to the right data is good but you’ve got to get the right knowledge – how do we get the right knowledge in the hands of the right people so they can make the right decisions – I think that is where a lot of the push is going to come from certainly over the next 12-18 months. If you asked me that question in another year, we’d add something to it that we don’t yet know because it is moving that quickly.
Gerry: Is there anything else that we should know about Qube Global for realcomm 2013?
Matthew: We’re fun people to work with. We’re very lucky and a lot of people have worked for Qube Global Software a long time – our average member of staff has been with us for 10 years, you’re not seeing a new face every 5 minutes. People seem to like working for us – if you go and speak to any of our staff, they have a passion for their job.