‘We want to be your transformation partner’: Boomi CEO Chris McNabb

On the first day of the main Boomi World event, the CEO laid out the company’s vision, and, joined by Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell, laid out how Boomi customers can both expand beyond integration on the Boomi platform, and leverage the other Dell Technologies companies.

Dell Boomi CEO Chris McNabb onstage

LAS VEGAS – Dell Boomi kicked off the main event of their customer conference here with a keynote in which CEO Chris McNabb – joined later by Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell – emphasized two themes that went above and beyond the traditional emphasis on the virtue and efficiency of their core iPaaS [Integration Platform-as-a-Service] offering. McNabb emphasized the abilities of the Boomi platform beyond integration, and how it serves customers well in a total business transformation story. McNabb and Michael Dell then both emphasized Boomi’s value working with the other Dell Technologies companies, to provide even broader solutions.

This is Boomi’s second customer event, but their first on a grand scale.  Compared to last year’s event in San Francisco, this year’s Boomi World, at a much larger Las Vegas venue, was significantly larger. Michael Dell, who did not make an appearance last year, also was a headliner in this year’s opening keynote.

One message which has always been at the forefront is around Boomi’s commitment to innovation.

“People come to these events to learn tips and tricks and new ideas but we have found that what they enjoy the most is the customer stories that have led to success,” McNabb told the audience. “You hear story after story about what our customers are doing with our platform, and how they are able to innovate.”

McNabb said that in their early days, Boomi made a major breakthrough reducing the time it took to do a Salesforce integration down to 30 minutes.

“That now seems like an eternity,” he said. “It’s now a three-minute problem. We have a vision where it should occur in seconds, but that’s for a future statement. Boomi continues to push the envelope on speed.”

Olive Perrins, Service Strategy Manager at UK-based media company Sky came onstage to discuss why Sky went with Boomi.

“We looked at a few iPaaS solutions, but we didn’t want to just digitize what we already had,” she said. “We wanted to move into something transformational, to connect all of the underlying data sources, and process them with intelligent algorithms.”

Throughout Boomi World, the company has steadfastly emphasized that their platform goes well beyond its core integration functionality, meets this requirement by  providing data quality [Hub], next-gen EDI management [Exchange], API design and management [Mediate] and workflow automation [Flow]. McNabb doubled down on that in the keynote.

“Integration is only one piece of the puzzle,” he emphasized to the audience. “Our platform does much more than data integration today. The possibilities on our platform are unlimited.  We are much more than your integration vendor. You need to look at Boomi as your transformation partner.”

McNabb said that an IT ‘to-do’ list crushes the ability to be agile and transform.

“Our product vision is all about how we plan to help you with the length of your ‘to-do’ list, by let Boomi do it for you,” he said. “We are now ready to take it to the next level. It is our vision for integration platform 2.0 – to not have the request enter your ‘to-do’ list, to have customers be able to do it themselves.” That vision involves further deepening the amount of intelligence in the platform, and continuing to evolve from vision-based UIs to voice based UIs.

McNabb also emphasized that Boomi is a key part of Dell Technologies, which has positive implications for Boomi customers.

“We are one of the strategically aligned businesses in that community,” he said. “Many of you likely think of Dell as an infrastructure maker. However, through the merger with EMC, it has transformed its business to be a strategic transformation partner for each of you. It’s not just infrastructure. It’s also software and services.”

Michael Dell came on stage with McNabb in a fireside chat format, and he emphasized what has been a recurring theme this year, that Dell has a singular capacity to help customers who are simultaneously engaging in four big challenges: digital transformation – which gets the most attention; IT transformation, which is getting to multi-cloud and figuring out where workloads best belong;  workforce transformation; and security transformation.

“We have an unparalleled ability across all four transformations,” he stressed.

Michael Dell also addressed where Boomi fits in the overall Dell Technologies strategy.

“We see the digital transformation as the tip of the spear of our overall strategy,” he said. “How you connect everything together and integrate everything is unbelievably important. What Boomi does and what Pivotal does with Cloud Foundry is integrate. This is a big unsolved problem, especially as the data tsunami is just beginning. It’s why we can’t find customers who don’t need it.”

Dell drew a parallel to when Dell was using the Boomi platform itself as a very early customer.

“We couldn’t find any customers that didn’t need it, so we decided that we should buy this company,” he said.

Dell also shared some additional thoughts with the audience.

“Your data is more important than your applications,” he said.

“We believe that in the next 3-5-7 years there will be a massive buildout in edge computing,” Dell noted. “A lot of it will be distributed computing being even more distributed in the future.

Finally, Dell stressed that human-machine partnerships make the world better.

“The news focuses on bad things that happen, but there has been enormous progress in the world, and a lot of it has been driven by technology.”