Innovative Interfaces, under the leadership of its new Chief Executive Officer James Tallman, has begun to execute major changes to strengthen its position in the library technology industry. Innovative has expanded its management team to include a new set of executives with proven abilities in other sectors to take the company forward. In its next phase, Innovative intends to make major investments to transform itself into an “enterprise class library solutions company,” adopting practices and methodologies that have proven successful in other technology-oriented business sectors. These investments will also support new product development initiatives.
Tallman joined Innovative as its Chief Executive Officer in 2016. As we reported in the March 2016 issue: “Tallman comes to Innovative from Wolters Kluwer, where he served as the General Manager for Enterprise Legal Management. He was Chief Executive Officer of Datacert from 2008 until 2014, when the company was acquired by Wolters Kluwer. Datacert created the Passport enterprise legal management platform to help organizations manage legal risk and compliance.” This background informs Tallman's ambitious vision to bring Innovative up to a dramatically new level of performance in the way that it builds, supports, and sells software to a global customer base. According to Tallman, “Passport was the platform that transformed the Legal industry—it had the same kind of impact for Legal as discovery or ERM had for Libraries.”
Tallman has recruited individuals able to execute his vision of transforming the company “from a Library Management Software Company to an Enterprise Class Library Solutions Company.” He has tapped several of his former associates to help bring about an ambitious agenda to achieve results in areas such as increased customer satisfaction and business expansion. Tallman asserts that Innovative's products will be built “at the same level used to measure enterprise software providers across other technology sectors—we're talking about security, scalability, reliability, and flexibility here.”
Changes in composition of the executive management are not unexpected following the appointment of a new CEO. Although some of these appointments have been in place for a few months, the overall business strategy has progressively assembled over the first year of Tallman's leadership. The executive team of innovative includes individuals newly appointed, some who joined the company during the initial phase of private equity ownership under the leadership of Massana and some veterans who were in leadership positions when the company was led by its co-founder Jerry Kline. This mix of perspectives brings together elements of a new strategic focus on enterprise software development, knowledge of the library domain, and continuity with the roots of the company. Tallman explains that “the titles here reflect a reorganization of the executive leadership at Innovative— we've brought in new additions and we've refined roles for existing team members, and it's all about making sure we have the right folks in the right roles to execute on our corporate strategy.”
Innovative's new executive leadership team is larger than other companies in the library technology industry. Each position has been tasked with very specific responsibilities that support the company's aggressive business strategy.
Two of the current executive members joined Innovative when it was owned and managed by Jerry Kline. These executives can bring forward the knowledge and perspective of Innovative's unique history as the company moves forward.
Hilary Newman, now Senior Vice President, Client Success has been with the company since 2000 and has held a variety of positions, including Director of Software Engineering and VP for Implementation Services. Her current role builds on her extensive experience to lead customer operations.
Doug Randall, Vice President, Product Technology has been with Innovative since 1985, rising through the ranks of technical responsibility from tech support, to product manager, to his current role, where he'll primarily be focusing on the core Sierra platform.
First Phase of Private Equity Management
This group of executives joined Innovative during its initial phase of ownership by JMI Equity and Huntsman Gay Global Capital (2012-2016). Driven by priorities established in the new company strategy, many of these individuals have taken on new roles and titles in this last reorganization, which may be different from when they initially joined.
Leif Pedersen, Executive Vice President, Product Management and Marketing joined the company in 2014 and is responsible for shaping product directions in collaboration with Innovative's customers and partners.
Bill Schickling, Executive Vice President, Business Development joined innovative when it acquired Polaris Library Systems in 2014. Schickling was previously CEO of Polaris and led the development of the Galaxy and Polaris ILSs.
Marina Keating, Senior Vice President, Client Services and Support has been with Innovative since 2014 and has recently implemented a new model of customer support through “Customer Competency Centers”, which can support library customers at a global scale.
Aaron Terrell, Vice President, Engineering and Information Technology joined Innovative in 2013 following a number of roles related to quality assurance, information technology infrastructure, and security in high-tech companies, such as Salesforce.com and Alibris.
Bill Gadala, Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis initially joined Innovative in 2014 as Director, Financial Planning and Analysis and was elevated to VP in 2016. Prior to joining Innovative, he worked as the Finance Manager for FXalliance, a company offering financial services.
In support of Innovative's new strategic directions, a new set of executives has been added to the leadership team. These new promotions have not involved displacements or demotions of existing executives, but add a new layer of individuals with expertise and experience directly related to implementing the company's new corporate agenda.
Don Schad joined Innovative in 2016 as its Chief Financial Officer. Schad most recently worked as VP of Finance for Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions. Schad is responsible for developing investment strategies for expanding Innovative's global operations.
Roger Leitner, Chief Operating Officer, who joined Innovative in 2016, is responsible for a broad portfolio of company activities, including “consulting services, managed services, data center services, implementation services and customer support.”
Chris Fields recently joined innovative as its Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Fields co-founded DigiContract in 1999 and served as its CTO. Datacert acquired DigiContract in 2001 and named Fields CTO. Fields became CTO of Wolters Kluwer's Enterprise Legal Management division in 2014. He comes to Innovative with a track record for building large scale open systems platforms, a central focus of Innovative's business and technology strategy.
Shaheen Javadizadeh, Executive Vice President, Global Sales is responsible for “the expansion and ongoing training of the Innovative Sales and Account Management team.” He joined Datacert in 2011 as its VP of Strategic Markets and continued in a similar role for Wolters Kluwer's Enterprise Legal Management division.
Kory Knell, Vice President, Client Operations comes to innovative from JMI Equity, where he was a Senior Associate. Knell is responsible for producing “operational improvements that are focused on client satisfaction and success.”
Alice Cameron, Vice President and Corporate Controller is tasked with ensuring that Innovative's financial accountability meets the expectations of enterprise-class companies. Areas of responsibility include timely invoicing and payment collection. Cameron previously worked with Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions as Director of Accounting.
Hal Brandom, Vice President, Human Resources joined Innovative in 2016 and is responsible for the recruitment, training, and development of the company's personnel. Brandom comes to Innovative with personnel experience in the financial services industry.
Akin Adekeye, General Counsel for Innovative since 2016 is responsible for Innovative's “transactional, compliance, regulatory, and litigation activities.” Adekeye was Associate General Counsel at Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions (2012-2015).
This new executive team has been working behind the scenes for the last few months. Their strategies are extremely ambitious and will require considerable resources to achieve. The next year will be critical for Innovative as it works to implement its vision, and future issues of Smart Libraries Newsletter will report on any major events or accomplishments in this next phase of business for Innovative.