Aatish Dedhia Comments on Vision, Roadmap and More at Zycus Horizon


Earlier Monday morning, Zycus CEO Aatish Dedhia shared his firm’s vision and product roadmap in a speech that could have been taken in one of two ways by the audience.

On the one hand, Aatish came off as highly conservative, offering almost a “fast follower” perspective on building out his firm’s suite of products on a modular basis that sounds identical to peers.

But on the other hand, Aatish dove into the core of Zycus’ technology and innovation outside of simply modular areas by showing the “how” and not just the “what.” And it’s the “how” that stands apart, like a "card-based" user experience that is quite different from others in the market to unified free-text query search that is closer to a procurement-centric Google than anything we’ve seen (albeit with enterprise security, permissions and workflow).

Aatish began his talk by noting his goal for Zycus was to become, “the top global procurement suite alternative to ERP,” a vision he first shared in 2009. He believes that success will come from focusing on a number of key areas areas including:

  • Delivering a comprehensive product suite
  • Insuring ease of use
  • Responsiveness to customer needs
  • Maintaining agility
  • Growing with trust
  • Investing in customer responsiveness

Aatish noted that, “As Zycus grows, we do not want to be like the competition” and that “our customer is our conscience.” Release schedules are now monthly, thanks in part to a 250-person engineering team, he said. And “suite” is clearly at the core of what this team is focused on. (More on this later in subsequent posts and analysis.)

Distilling what Aatish shared, I can break my take on Zycus’ vision and approach into five themes:

  1. Take advantage of financial independence. Without an outside board and investors, invest and build for the long-term versus the next quarter or year.
  2. Stay focused on the suite vision. But not just modules – Zycus believes what matters is the suite overall and how the sum of the pieces exceed that of the individual assets alone. Said another way, put the overall user experience first and how the user behaves rather than how the user simply launches and interacts with modules. This is an important nuance that helps differentiate Zycus.
  3. Give equal weight to strategic and transactional functional investment in development. This stands in contrast to other suite peers, which tend to emphasize one area – often transactional procurement – over the other.
  4. Build on core technology and analytics strength. In other words, put information and data at the heart of the suite and modular experience throughout and surface these innovations in subtle ways throughout the user experience.
  5. Build killer yet pragmatic features that shine when using them. Zycus' high-level PowerPoint and vision statements may look like a “me too,” but the execution of the solution and roadmap is unique indeed. The combination of listening to customers based on use-case, functional and product levels (and not following the market) and some pretty significant engineering/R&D horsepower is yielding some fascinating results even if PPT alone does not do it justice. 

Stay tuned as our live coverage of Zycus Horizon continues as we drill into Zycus’ vision and capabilities.

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