Epi 3: How Technical Applications are Changing Business Development – Matthew Segur, CEO of TimeSeries

Learn more about TimeSeries at: https://www.timeseries.com/

Find Matthew Segur on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-segur-4ab90b8/

JC: Well, hello everybody and thank you for listening to The Future of BizTech Podcast. I’m your host, JC Granger and I have with me today, Matthew Segur of TimeSeries – Matthew, thank you so much for coming on, and I’m very much looking forward to asking you some questions here. Tell me a little bit about yourself and your business here. Just kind of give everyone the quick 32nd overview before we dive in.

Matthew: Yeah, sure thing. And then firstly, let me say, thanks for the opportunity to speak with you today. I’m looking forward to this conversation. So Time Series, we are a rapid application development services provider. So in essence we utilize a well, the leading low code application development platform called Mendix. And we deliver consulting services to our client base, which varies across industries and delivering applications across those enterprises via that platform. And the reason why I call it a consultancy is that we bring not just the technical acumen or the application development acumen, but we also bring the business management consulting side of the equation as well, which is really integral to success of low code development. Cause you’re breaking down that barrier between businesses and getting all those parties to the table. So you need to have the acumen across both spaces to be successful.

JC: And let me ask you a question here. I was going through your website and taking a look at you guys for a while before, and I saw specifically something that caught my eye, which was your energy suite. Can you tell me a little bit about that? The smart app suite and cause I mean that, I feel like, you know, cause you specifically talk about climate change and things like that. And there, I’m very curious specifically about your energy suite product. What can you tell us about that?

Matthew: Sure. So that, I mean, well that even speaks to the origin of our company named Time Series. So when we go to our start, we you know, created a very novel basically a big data platform. So we took a valuable at the time we’re bleeding edge big data technologies and the, you know, open-source created a proprietary stack to be able to handle a sort of a new issue that was coming to bear, which was smart meter data, right? So, really large volume of fine-grained time series data. And so our company name time series and then that platform was successfully delivered in the energy utility marketplace. And then what we were getting was this ask out of that existing customer base, which was, this is great –  we can ingest this data, we can process this data. How do we then turn this around and actually generate information into our business, into our customer base and then take action on that?

Matthew: So we needed a way to do that. So that was sort of the Genesis to the smart apps suite, which was marrying up the Mendix rapid application development platform, which could, in essence, be that front end with this other advanced technologies on the back end or elsewhere that could be considered these smart apps. And we started to take that out to market around these various use cases and energy being one of those use cases, right? So how do you best manage that data? Communicate that into organizations and then take action, not at which was that. And then we’ve also started to extend that same thought process into other areas as well and other industry verticals.

Matthew: So, you know, we’re launching one in the Marine space, right? So Marine meaning like shipbuilding and that kind of thing. So, you know, what are their unique issues? How do you digitally transform that part of the industry? And then in essence, productize that. Now our smart up suite is not a product. It’s not a standalone SAS. It is an essence and acceleration module or templates, if you will, that quickly enable our client base into these use cases, right? So, you know, you still have to do customization. So you get sort of the best of both worlds, which is off the shelf, plus customization, all sort of wrapped into one package.

JC : That’s really cool. You know, I’m curious, you know, I talked, I talked a lot of CEOs in my line of work and I’ve always been curious as to that one defining moment or at least set that timeframe where you realize, holy crap, we’re going to make it right. Because everything before that was Holy crap, we might not make it, like the struggle is real. So can you, do you remember it, was there a defining moment or was there a timeframe where, you know, you went from being like, “I hope we make it, I hope we make it to like crap. This is it. Like, you know, we’re, we’re gonna, we’re gonna nail this”.

Matthew: It, you know, it’s funny, like, I mean, I guess you sort of have that thought every day in some way, right? I mean, you look at what’s happened recently with COVID-19 right. Again, you sort of question, do I have the business continuity of valuable to my organization to sort of survive this huge market change? I would say the defining moment, you know, outside of this Covid space which actually came fairly recently in our work with Siemens, Siemens is a very large organization. We’ve been, we’ve become a partner in their digital industry software space. We started that process last year and, and, and successfully brought that to conclusion and the latter part of 2019. And I think it was in that messaging and in those conversations were in essence, this global organization, like Siemens, which has been in this digital industry software space for, for, for so long and very successful on that validated what we were talking about, that it made sense to them that yes, there’s value there that yes, what you guys are doing are, is unique and can be brought into not only their customer base, but also other customers that they’re trying to bring into their fold.

Matthew: So I think that was really that defining moment and, you know, outside of the financials of course, but you know, it was that really that market validation that said yeah, we’ve got the right message and we’re in the correct space.

JC: So where did, I’m curious, what, like, where did your, the idea come from? Like, you know, date day, zero before you started this, this company, when, you know, what was that, was there, was there some interesting story as to like, you know, you, you were out doing something and something happened you’re like Eureka, right? Like the light bulb goes off, you know, what was it that really got you started even to even create this company to even take that leap?

Matthew: Sure. So maybe just a little bit of history of work, Time Series guided star, which was in the Netherlands. And I was part of, I was a cofounder in another startup here in the ear, in the US and we were doing predictive analytics in the asset-intensive industry space, right? So like oil and gas process manufacturing, that kind of thing. And it was in that role as co-founder there and driving growth for the organization that I got introduced to TimeSeries and their founders over there. And it was in that relationship that what I saw that they were doing was unique and valuable, but really the opportunity came when it was like, hey, this isn’t happening in the US why is this only happening in the Netherlands? And to a, maybe a little bit of a broader space in Western Europe, you know, the US North America is a huge marketplace, so let’s get that going here.

Matthew: It was in that relationship, right? Which is, you know, network is so meaningful in any kind of business that really sort of presented that opportunity. Now I took some time to say, you know, what’s that market look like, what are the challenges you know, based on my own experience in that previous startup and said, yeah, let’s get this thing going. So, you know, let’s, let’s put this thing together and open the doors in the U S marketplace and give it a go, I would say, you know, certainly advantaged by having you know, the other partners with which to rely on. And but growing into a market that was, you know, brand new was certainly a challenge. You know, finding credibility is an instantaneous challenge, right? I mean, you know, Time Series, you know, we’re three years old, three and a half years old here in the US right. So nobody knew us before. So you get that credibility by, in essence performing, right?

JC: Ah, it’s a good point. And I, I guess I’m curious also, like, what are some of the big milestones that the company has gone through that you are specifically proud of yourself?

Matthew: Oh, sure. I would say our culture, the team we’ve built. And I think, you know, some of that was certainly by design, you know, I, I, I have a background in big management consulting firms. Right. And, you know, I worked with a lot of really bright people doing very interesting, innovative type projects and those organizations, but the structure of that organization was very top-down. Right. It was very military-esque. Right. You know, I’m in control, I’m in command, if you will.

JC: And I look at me, I’m the captain now. Right. 

Matthew: Great cultural references.  You know, and it was just like, it’s not that I pushed back against that, but I just thought there was a, you know, a better opportunity for an organization to be an essence, a little more, a lot flatter, right. Everybody gets idle and I have a title, but, you know, I have to sign certain things and I’m accountable for certain things, but open the space up to everyone involved in the organization and being transparent in that has been wildly successful for us. You know, everyone has a sense of, I don’t work for, I work with, you know, my leaders or my company. And that’s sort of, you know, I guess I’m really, really proud of that culture because it has served us very well. And not only in loyalty of employees, but their level of engagement, how they then engage and ultimately with our, with our clients, you know, they carry that culture with them into that space. And it’s been very successful and transformative for them and their professional growth. And seeing those people grow so quickly and becoming leaders themselves is a fantastic thing to see.

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JC: Well, I think it’s great that you put so much credence into, you know, your people. I’ve always been a big proponent of, you know, if you take care of people, they’ll take care of you, you know? And you can’t just say it, you know, you have to prove it, you know? And we have very little turnover here at our company as well. But that’s just, I think because people are, they’re happy, you know, because they have concerns and whatnot like you listened to them. Right. You know you can’t, no matter how long we’ve been doing this, I mean, how long have you been in your, in your industry? Just out of curiosity, roughly.

Matthew: Oh yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s been a long time. I don’t want to hide it.

JC: No, I’ve got, I’ve got the gray covenant here. Right. I don’t know if you can see it. I got some coming in here

Matthew: I’ve been in that space and the technology side of it now. I mean, this has been my entire career, right. It has been in this space, so it’s been a, quite a number of years and, you know, you see what works, you see what doesn’t work and, you know, you need to sort of put ego aside and really just open the door to ideas, open the door to criticism. Right. And, and also take risks. Right. but if you can share that risk with others of like-mind and they’re supported, then you know, it doesn’t necessarily become risky anymore.

JC: Well, I want to turn this conversation for our audience real quick here to more about, very specifically that, again, coming back to the energy part of this, of your company, I find that to be very specifically fascinating. You have a ton of things about your company, by the way that I think are great. But I really dialed in on the energy piece. So I have two questions. The first one is going to be, what is it that time-wise is doing now that is solving. And I guess to re, to go back a second, actually, what are the biggest problems that the energy sector is having right now? And how is timewise solving that? Like if I own a solar company or wind energy company or something like that, what am I dealing with right now that’s a problem? And I say, Holy crap, timewise can solve this. What is that right now?

Matthew: Yeah. I mean, the big thing for that is really, you know, look at it from like digitization, right. Or digital transformation of their existing business processes and what they have in place – legacy systems, right? The need to modernize you know, we’ve walked into, you know, organizations that are running like these old mainframes and, you know, cobalt and I mean, just like 30-year-old technology, right. Where the people to keep that part of their technology- portfolio operating don’t exist in the marketplace anymore. They’re all retired, right. They’re, they’re all in, you know, sitting on a beach somewhere. And so, you know, that’s their biggest challenge. So their, their, their operations, their business success has been hamstrung by, by technology. And they’ve got a lot of debt that they need to get over. Being able to rapidly address that by delivering applications very quickly and with a short ROI is, is incredibly valuable to those types of organizations.

Matthew: And then also creating technology that is also then future-proof right? I mean a rapid application platform like Mendix and building an app on that and delivering that, which is it’s rugged, it’s enterprise-grade, but, you know, and the platform has hundreds of readily available APIs, right? So we can connect to anything. So as other advanced technologies come to market and we can bring them to bear at a specific client, then we can easily do that. And the ability to iterate and quickly do that and make changes without having to scrap what you’ve done is also wildly valuable, right? So I think, you know, those, you know, traditional energy companies are really, their business model has changed, whether they’re in oil and gas or whatnot, right? I mean, they used to be very cash flush. I mean, it wasn’t that long ago, but a few weeks that, you know, in essence, the speculators have driven the price of oil to negative, right?

JC: It was like, it cost more to make the barrel than what was it

Matthew: It made me producers were in essence having to pay to take their oil, their product madness. Right. So the days of being cash-flush and throwing money at things is dumb, right? Like you just can’t do that. So now you need to be a lot smarter in your business decisions, right?. And it is, you know, as Forbes said, several years ago, every company is a software company now. And whether it’s an operations, how they go to market, how they engage their customers or clients, whatever. And that’s, you need to bring that to bear. And that’s, that’s the space that we really enjoy being in.

JC: So I think my last question then, and this is in this one, I really want to focus on a lot for me and you to go back and forth on here. So, you know, in the whole nature, of course, of the future of BizTech the title of this podcast, you know, you just described what you guys are doing now and how it’s helping the energy sector now. What’s Coming down the pipeline, Matthew, what can we expect from not just TimeSeries, but maybe even just your expectations for the industry in general. You know, I want to know first what timewise is going to be coming out with that can help, you know, if there’s any, any companies listening right now that are in the energy sector. I want them to know what’s coming down the pipeline from you guys, but then also, if you could tell me what you think just in general, it was coming down and how, you know, TimeSeries will change the industry and how other things are gonna be affected.

Matthew: Yeah, sure. I mean, the big advances is, you know, we’re moving from sort of business process applications to like machine-level applications and pushing parts of those processes as close to the edge as we can. Right. So some of our processing like say some of the aggregations that we may be doing outside, we’re now trying to push some of those aspects down to the edge. Right. So you’re an essence then having to deal with, you know, even smaller volumes of data that you’re having to push out and then to manage from a cost perspective. I mean, those are some of the things, I mean, I would say low code in general is from a general market perspective is in its infancy. You know, Forrester, Gartner, all these guys are pushing some great research around what low code is doing, not, and across the industry.

Matthew: Right. I mean, yeah, we do a lot in the energy space. We do a lot say in manufacturing, but we’ve touched, you know, insurers, we’ve touched a life sciences company, healthcare you know, all of those kinds of things. So low code is going to be something that is going to be coming more and more and more, not just relevant because it already is and it’s been proven, I mean, we’ve delivered enterprise-grade applications in the energy sector utilizing this, but it’s also going to be it’s going to be business essential, right? I mean, the market’s changed very fast. Business changes very fast, and you need technology that’s going to be able to respond to that in that same timeframe to have the flexibility, to have the capability across the enterprise to achieve that. Otherwise if you’re waiting, you’ve missed, right?

Matthew: I mean, time is money. Time is of the essence and that’s really it. I mean, for us as an organization, expanding into different markets, right? I mentioned Marine earlier, you know, that, that all came out of a client engagement and seeing there’s a whole industry here that is an essence right for modernization or digitization. So what are those common use cases that we could start to build applications towards, right? That would not be just applicable to one, but to many customers. And so we’re starting to look at that we’ve recently engaged in the construction space. So again, another industry vertical of which, you know, as all these other opportunities, right. So let’s, let’s see what those are and start to push product out into that space as well.

JC: And, you know, for people who, you know you know, climate change is obviously a big topic right now. I mean, it’s, it kind of always has been in a sense, but, you know, it’s come to its peak, you know in the recent past here because you have, you know, basically you have previous administration’s current administrations that have different views, right? So the country’s very divided on their views of climate change and whatnot. My question is, and I guess this would be a vital one here for everyone. How, what direct link do you see between timewise and how that could, because again, like I said, you do work, you know, you work in Marine, you work in construction and you have the energy sector one as well. Do you see a direct link in any way of what, where your company and how it contributes are effects and overall, you know, like if every industry, if every company in those industries were to adopt what you do, would that change things?

Matthew: I would say, are they measuring that or are we measuring that right? I mean, I certainly get a better part of my career in that space. You know, I will say that, yeah, I think we are having an impact and, and we will continue to have an impact as you improve operational efficiency. You ultimately reduce the footprint of that operation overall, right? But you know, what’s interesting about energy is that, you know, you need energy to produce water. You need water to produce energy, and you need both of those on the food side of it, right? So you get this huge nexus of space. So yes are we affecting climate change? I think we are in a positive way by improving the process or operational efficiencies at our clients and I don’t know if anyone’s measuring that.

Matthew: I’d certainly be curious to see if anybody would want to put it. I mean, they’re certainly measuring the dollar ROI, are they bad impacts from say, you know, carbon footprint or whatever? You know, maybe not maybe some of them are, I mean, some of those companies, you know, do have sustainability programs. But I like to think that we are making that difference. You know, if we have an application in the energy space that a group that improves great efficiency will absolutely right. I mean, that’s, that’s less loss of energy or in that type of thing. So, yeah, absolutely.

JC: I think that’s great. Yeah. And, you know, there have been a lot more people trying to make those connections and pull that data, especially carbon footprint, right. Reducing carbon-footprint is a big deal and you’re right. You make a great point when you operate, when you make your operation more efficient – you can do you become leaner, right? You could do a lot more with a lot less, and that’s the entire point of reducing the carbon footprint. So no, I agree with you. I think it’s fantastic. For our audience, is there anything I haven’t asked you that you think would be beneficial to the people listening about either yourself or the company?

Matthew: I don’t mean to Self-Promote like this, I would say, you know, with this whole COVID thing, right. Speaking of climate change, right? You know, obviously, you know, climate change is going to result in new and interesting or novel diseases entering the market – that’s a symptom of the overall issue of climate change. You know, I would say let’s, you know, let’s be thoughtful, let’s think beyond the self think of, you know, it takes a village, right – that old phrase in what we do particularly now.  We’ve had a political environment that’s been difficult and one that’s been a rife of conflict. You know, I think now this sort of exposes the weakness of that conflict and the importance of continuing to work together and thinking of broader, you know, thinking of as a part of something bigger and so I would just like, you know, people to take that into consideration and be thoughtful in what they do, whether it’s, you know, their own job, how they interact with their colleagues or employees. And that kind of thing is, is to sort of take that community view. Right?

JC: Absolutely. Listen, Matthew, I greatly appreciate you coming on the show here today. If people wanted to get hold of you or your company to try to learn more, or maybe hire you for your services, how would they get hold of you? What kind of contact information are you able to give?

Matthew: Yeah, of course you know, timeseries.com, so all one word there. And then you can also reach me at Matthew Seger, Matthew.Seger@timeseries.com. I’m happy to have a conversation about you know, those modernization or digital or technical debt problems that people are having and how we can potentially bring our expertise to bear and solve those. So, thanks.

JC: Absolutely. Thanks for coming on the show.

Matthew: Thank you, JC.

JC: Well, thank you so much for listening to another episode of The Future of BizTech. I hope you got great value out of our discussion today. If so, be sure to subscribe to my podcast and rate it five stars. This helps the podcast jump in the ratings to help other techies like you and I find it too. And remember, if you own or work for a B2B tech company and you’re looking for highly targeted hot leads delivered to your inbox daily, my agency Infinity Marketing Group can help. We’ve been in business since 2010 and have helped hundreds of companies just like yours make millions of dollars in marketing and lead gen ROI. So be sure to visit our website at www.infinity, M as in marketing, group.com. That’s infinitymgroup.com. Or you can email us at info@infinitymgroup.com, or you can call us at (303) 834-7344. We look forward to talking with you and I look forward to you listening to my next episode of Future of BizTech.

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