Mavenlink, a cloud-based project management company that had recently raised $39 million in series D funding from Goldman Sachs, announced a suite of major enhancements to its resource management solution earlier this month. In an exclusive chat with Techseen, Ray Grainger, CEO and Founder, Mavenlink and former Global Managing Partner at Accenture, speaks about the innovations in the project management solutions industry, the brand, and the future of the sector, Excerpts:
Techseen: How is Mavenlink’s project management tool different from its peers in the market? Does it have any specific feature that stands out?
Grainger: Mavenlink is the only solution specifically designed for the $3 trillion global services industry. With Mavenlink, services organizations can plan and deliver project work, manage financials, effectively allocate resources, and collaborate with distributed teams and clients—all on a single platform. Services businesses are measured on margins and utilization, and we help them improve these metrics by tightly coupling all of these critical areas of their business.
Techseen: In the wake of the Atlassian-Trello acquisition, do you feel the project management industry is moving towards an era of consolidation? If not then why?
Grainger: No. I think integrations will be more common. For example, Atlassian focuses on a very specific area of project management. Specifically most of their users are in the software development space. Mavenlink, on the other hand, focuses on the services industry, which has wide ranging and different needs, some of which include software development. For those use cases, we offer a great integration with Jira.
Techseen: You stated that the approaches and solutions for the $3 trillion services market have become inadequate. What is your reason behind the statement? What does the industry need?
Grainger: The services industry needs a comprehensive lifecycle solution. I have worked in services for my entire career, and I speak from experience when I say that the nature in which services are planned and delivered is very different today. Services are being delivered across geographic and business boundaries. Not to mention how fast projects are moving.
Today the coordination costs are incredibly high in services. Reducing your fragmented technology environment and streamlining your business is the only way to ensure your financial success. Services leaders are looking for new operating models that allow them to better connect, orchestrate, and optimize their businesses.
We believe this is propelling us into what we call the Service Level Economy, a pivotal transformation happening now that will have major implications to how the world conducts business.
Techseen: In your research you say that 84.6% firms have diversified their offerings. With the current market state, does diversifying help? Or does a niche offering help a company in your genre grow?
Grainger: In services, breadth wins. It is what delivers growth. The hardest thing to do is acquire the client. Once you have a trust of the client, being able to serve them with broad range of services is how you grow. Herein lies the challenge, growth is actually a dilemma for services organizations. To deliver an increasing variety of services you need a specific set of skills that you many not have.
Techseen: What are the challenges or roadblocks that you have face as a services industry player when it comes to client acquisition?
Grainger: The biggest roadblock is not having the services offering and talent that lines up with your clients needs. That’s why it’s so important to have long and enduring client relationships. The only way to do that is to be swift and responsive in the way you develop and deliver your services offerings.
Techseen: What is the next big thing in the services industry? What role do you see Mavenlink playing in the future?
Grainger: The next big thing in services, will be more and more work delivered virtually. Project-based work will increasingly be delivered through a network of service providers, coordinated by one firm.
The result of this will be more choice for clients, more transparency, higher client satisfaction, and the ability to deliver on client outcomes quickly.
The winners will be the firms that become exceptional at vetting outside talent, engaging them in context of client work, and managing their services supply chain really effectively. Mavenlink will be the technology venue that allows these modern services organizations to operate across the world.