At Allbound we’re more than just a software company. We’re a team of passionate individuals working together to change the way sales and marketing is accomplished in the channel. Our technology leader is #AllStar co-founder and CTO Kyle Burnett, a pick-up-truck-driving, t-shirt-wearing, animal-loving evangelist of simplicity, agility, and good-old-fashioned problem solving.
Hey Kyle, this might sound kind of strange, but what’s your view of the channel?
The channel is really just relationships. That’s all it really is. Whether the team is direct working in-house for you or they’re working for another company outside as a partner relationship, those are channels. They’re all just means of communication and sharing of information, knowledge and achieving goals.
I think the word I hear you say most often is simplicity. You’re always advocating a simple solution to even the most complex problems. Why is this?
The channel’s only as complex as the people working in it want to make it. Anything can be as complex as you want it to be. Or, it can be as simple as you want it to be. Our goal is always — it’s one of our core values actually — simplicity and agility. I think the fantastic challenge of being inside of the channel is that having distributed teams inherently means disconnect, which inherently means complexity. But, you can solve that by getting people connected, by getting them to collaborate and eliminating some of that complexity.
How do you get people connected and ensure they stay connected?
Starting with a great UX, a great interface that people will actually want to use and that they’ll actually have up on their machines and various media devices throughout the day, they’re instantly in contact with their partners globally.
That’s interesting that you immediately spoke about UX. How much does user experience shape the product that you and the Allbound team has built and continues to develop?
Our core mission is to create a product that mimics what people see in their everyday lives, the tools that they already want to just use and be part of.
OK, so what about email? I think it’s safe to say that email is probably the most actively used business tool, right?
All business professionals at the end of the day look at their email and take a deep sigh and are like when am I going to get this zeroed out or cleaned out. And there’s plenty of utilities that are trying to solve that, but you’ll notice no one really comes to a conclusion on how to solve the backlog of noise that’s just created by the ad-hoc communication style that email promotes.
Right. I know I have a ridiculous number of emails in my inbox, and I hate to say it but I sometimes find myself using it as a sort of content repository. So then I start folders on my computer or in the cloud to organize all of this content I want to be able to access when I need it.
An old-school technique is to take information out of offline systems and out of email and put it in a portal. This started a long time ago. As soon as the web started people were like, if only there was a place where people could get this information, and portals were born. And that’s really where PRM and technology inside the channel has existed and stagnated for the past 20 years is it’s just a series of portals.
So what’s the alternative to these stagnant portals?
There is untold amounts of technology that’s available at our fingertips to share with the channel that will not only allow you to bring everything together in one environment but will open up all kind of communication and possibility with technologies that previously weren’t really shared within the channel because the channel was just focused on portals, portals, portals.
Switching gears here, I know you’re actively involved with a lot of Allbound customers. Why is that?
It’s great when you get to just workshop ideas with them and come up with solutions to leverage existing technologies that they already have (as bad as this sounds for my business) without selling them something new. They don’t need a net-new solution to accomplish something when they already have an investment in a system that it does. Leverage us to leverage greater investments in your existing technology. And when they have these ah-ha moments that go off and they realize, ‘I already have the utility that does that!’ it gives me the chills and it makes everyone smile that you don’t have to – once again — add more complexity to a situation that never needed it to begin with. The solution was there all along.
As CTO and co-founder of Allbound, what are the key things that you (and your team) are focused on?
We’re focused on the business problem, we’re focused on the solution, and we’re focused on the customer. The technology means nothing if it doesn’t actually truly take care of something that the client needs. It’s a good day when I get to spend time with clients and really hear their stories and see what their day looks like and help them figure out how to make their load a little lighter. Knowing that we can make their day a little better and that they go home at night and have one less thing to worry about today — that’s a good day.
Any final thoughts to share about what differentiates Allbound from our competitors?
Previously in the channel companies made a lot of money off of selling complexity. Selling the idea of complexity meant you needed complex solutions, and we just fundamentally disagree with that and our technology proves that out every day.