MON MAY 05 2014

Why I Started Aviso

by K.V. Rao

After two years of hard work developing a product with a set of phenomenal early customers, I am excited about coming out of stealth mode and publicly launching our company. I would like to kick-off my blog by answering some questions that folks have been asking me: Why Aviso? Why now? Why us? First, why Aviso? Aviso was borne out of necessity! A strong need for better tools for my colleagues and I to make critical decisions around growing revenue for our businesses:
  • It was borne out of the anxiety of trying to extract signal from so much noise in the information systems I had access to, and preparing for Monday morning sales meetings on Sunday night, weekly executive staff meetings and quarterly board meetings;
  • It was borne out of the desperation of staring at spreadsheets hoping they would produce some insights/signal to aid my decision making; and,
  • And finally, Aviso was also borne out of the recognition that I needed better software solutions to avoid some of the pitfalls of making decisions swayed by emotions.
Second, Why now? The good news is that the in spite of the limitations of current enterprise software products like CRM and ERP systems, they have one redeeming feature, they all store tons and tons of information, including maintaining a record of the past. Access to these reservoirs of data allows us to learn from the past to make better decisions about the future.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana, The Life of Reason

The proper techniques to extract value from this data (often very noisy) requires advanced mathematical frameworks, and enormous computational power to perform billions of calculations computing all possible trajectories/scenarios. Previously, these computations would have cost millions of dollars. Today those same computations can be performed for a few dollars because of advances in cloud computing technologies. Third, Why us? Because my co-founder, Andrew Abrahams – who retired as the head of quantitative research for JP Morgan Chase after 15 years -- and I like to work on hard problems for which solutions can have high impact; and because we believe that proper use of mathematical frameworks can drive better behavior, better decisions, and help every enterprise make smarter bets to grow their revenues. With our two decades of experience in high performance computing, simulations, analysis, and quantitative finance, and the two years we invested in developing our Total Revenue Intelligence solution, we believe that we are well positioned to help every enterprise improve how they make decisions that impact revenue and performance. By combining machine learning techniques with portfolio management frameworks into a cloud application, our vision for the future is that every enterprise will use Aviso for their critical revenue decisions: from setting expectations with their Board and Wall Street to optimizing how their business allocates resources, makes pricing decisions, and drives sales performance. We are off to a good start with an incredibly talented and hard working team, some great early adopter customers (FireEye, RingCentral, Saba Software, Damballa, Replicon and Zuora), and incredible investors, VCs: Shasta, Cowboy, Bloomberg Beta, First Round Capital, and CEOs/CFOs of leading public and private companies: WebEx, Jive, Informix, Vantive, Netsuite. This is just the beginning, and we have big aspirations to drive alignment, confidence and improvement around all aspects of revenue in the enterprise.

A few smart decisions and a lot of constructive collaboration will improve confidence - and confidence is the “secret sauce” of growth.

Jamie Dimon, CEO JPMorgan Chase in 2013 Annual Report Letter to Shareholders

Now that we are out of stealth mode, you will read, see, and hear from us a lot in this blog, and in other forums and we welcome your feedback, comments, and suggestions.