Interview with Paul Giobbi, President, Zumasys Inc.
Paul Giobbi has been investing heavily in the MultiValue market. His company is simultaneously a vendor, a VAR, and a master distributor. Paul took the time to have a sit-down with us and talk about the next steps planned for his company.
IS: You've invested heavily into MultiValue, buying jBASE, buying AccuSoft, partnering with Ladybridge on OpenQM... What do you see as the Zumasys's role in the future of MultiValue?
Giobbi: We have also have a partnership with Rocket. What interests us is the wonderfully powerful, customizable applications which are already out there. We feel that a lot of the Pick market wisely passed the client-server revolution. We don't want them to miss the Software-as-a-Service revolution. Because they didn't do client-server, N-Tier, and all of that, they are actually better positioned than some to move to SaaS.
IS: What does moving to SaaS mean?
Giobbi: Our strategy for the last ten years was to grab those Pick systems and move them to the cloud. We want to do much more now. We want to give them single-signon, rental licensing, browser-based access, and session persistence. As we do that, the applications look and feel just like any other SaaS. Pick is, in our heart, the best application platform. People choose apps like Salesforce or NetSuite because they are presently the best. Not because of the database or tech behind them. We are able to add the plumbing to interlink our Pick applications with other SaaS apps. That lets people manage financials on NetSuite but manufacture or handle inventory on Pick, for example.
We don't have to move their applications to the cloud to do this. It does make it easier, but most of our clients are running Pick on local hardware while still benefiting.
IS: What was Zumasys at the start?
Giobbi: Sixteen years ago, we were an infrastructure company. We did virtualization, storage, and remote access technologies.
IS: How did you get from there to here?
Giobbi: Ten years ago, we launched a cloud platform. Pick has always been a part of what Zumasys does. We've found that the applications, our client's existing applications, are what drive business. We bought jBASE and AccuTerm to get closer to those applications, to better serve our customers.
IS: What's on the roadmap? What are you looking to do next?
Giobbi: Executing on the SaaS strategy. That's why we needed to own a database, to adapt jBASE to be multi-tenanted. We already knew how to do that in D3. We are looking into multi-tenancy with OpenQM as well.
Releasing 5.5 of jBASE was a necessary step toward building our future. The new release, 5.6 is even bigger: REST, a graphical system manager — for backups, monitoring, license control — and native data encryption. If you think about what jBASE did originally, it was a liberator of Pick. It had more options for integrating other software. We want to keep liberating Pick from a marketing and engineering standpoint.
IS: How did you get started in MultiValue?
Giobbi: I was testing dumb terminals for my dad's business, which is now part of Epicor. I was a grunt. Then I moved into sales. I sold ad space for Spectrum in the '90s. I moved out of the Pick market. And my experiences with the ISV market, working for Jones Business Systems, connected me with my partner Joe Cupp, who passed away a few years back.
All of that led me back to Pick. In a way I never really left. I was only out of that market for a year or two.
IS: Tell me about Zumapalooza .
Giobbi: Zumapalooza started as a free user conference 10 years ago. Initially the goal was to simply connect our customers with our engineers and we have our engineers lead all of the breakout sessions. Nowadays, it draws over five hundred people. We provide education about infrastructure, cloud and of course our MultiValue solutions. Zumapalooza will be held on May 15-18 at the M Resort and we invite all MultiValue users to attend. With our event and our products we are trying to bring energy and enthusiasm to the market. And it is resonating.