One Year In.
One Year In. by Derek Roos
October 1, 2019, will mark the one-year anniversary of our acquisition by Siemens, and as I took the stage in New York City this morning to explain how Mendix has become a key part of Siemens Digital Industries Software to more than 100 Industry journalists and analysts at the Siemens Media and Analyst Conference this week, I can’t help but look back at the past 11 months.
Last August, I wrote a blog explaining why I thought our acquisition by Siemens was the right step for our customers, our partners and our team members. We had spent the prior 13 years thoughtfully building out our technology and our team, and Derckjan, Roald, and I came to the conclusion that joining the Siemens Software family was the right decision to accomplish three clear strategic objectives to position Mendix for our next phase of growth:
- Accelerate growth even more
- Combine Mendix and Siemens capabilities to turn the tsunami of data into valuable real-world insights and actions
- Extend the Mendix platform and ecosystem to develop world-class industry SaaS solutions
So much has happened in the past 11 months, and I know many people are wondering what the acquisition has meant in practice, and what kind of progress we’re making against these objectives, so here’s the CEO’s perspective.
First off, when we announced the acquisition, many wondered how long we’d keep our autonomy. After all, in the vast majority of acquisitions, the company being acquired gets “integrated” quickly. The website and brand are the first to go. Then functions get new reporting lines. Competitors create FUD. We all know the drill.
“How will Mendix continue to make its customers successful and keep up its organic growth rate?” –many wondered.
As they say, the proof is in the pudding, and I couldn’t be happier with our progress because we have truly gained the best of both worlds.
Our customers continue to be successful and our business has maintained strong growth across all industries. Our rate of recruiting more Mendixites has accelerated since the acquisition, with 189 new team members joining our Company just in 1H2019. Mendix World 2019, our flagship customer event held in April, with nearly 5,000 attendees, was our best one yet, where we continued to set the pace for cutting edge capabilities in the low-code space with major announcements including Mendix Studio, Mendix Studio Pro, native mobile, 2nd generation Mendix Assist, the Mendix Data Hub and a host of industry-firsts. Our team’s product work led to our placement again as the Vision Leader in Gartner’s Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms Magic Quadrant. We also ranked as a Vision Leader in Gartner’s first Multiexperience Development Platforms Magic Quadrant. Finally, our brand promise expanded with the launch of our new design and “Go Make It” market positioning at Mendix World with our global community.
Where expanding geographically can become an infrastructure challenge, we were able to quickly start an R&D operation in Pune, India, by leveraging Siemens’ existing footprint that already had thousands of R&D team members. Where building out IT systems can take a lot of time and money, we have been allowed to leapfrog into Siemens’ IT roadmap and capability, which is already formidable. Our operational autonomy carries on, with a new CFO and CPO joining our ranks in the past six months, and our original management team continues to lead the way.
The list of positives is long and reassuring, and our mission endures – we remain focused on making our customers and partners successful, and on continuing to build out the best low-code platform in the world, bar none!
Going into our acquisition, I knew Siemens brought deep domain knowledge to us. But even I didn’t appreciate the potential sufficiently, and the past 11 months have opened a much bigger world for our team than we ever imagined. Much more than IoT. And much more than industrial use cases.
Most people don’t know that Siemens is a top-10 software business, with more than 140,000 customers running their mission critical processes on Siemens Software. The largest Automotive, Aerospace, Heavy Machinery, Oil & Gas and Retail enterprises across the globe use software from Siemens. If you drove in a car this morning, or took a flight recently, odds are Siemens Software had something to do with your journey. If you know someone who’s a mechanical, manufacturing, electrical or design engineer, they’re probably using a piece of Siemens Software every day.
In June, I had the opportunity to present to 1,000+ Siemens customers at their user conference in Detroit, and perhaps the most surprising learning for me was how intuitively these engineers grok model-driven development. I learned that engineers, who are natural problem solvers, are not hung up on the means to their end. They simply want the most effective path to results and were incredibly welcoming of our model-driven approach to software development. They are held back by the complexity of their existing systems: ERP data in SAP systems. PLM data in Siemens, PTC and Dassault systems. CRM data in SalesForce and Microsoft systems. Offline copies in .xls. It’s all locked up and hard to access, making cross-system collaboration very hard.
We found engineers with incredible domain-knowledge trying to build software. Most hadn’t heard of model-driven software development. We found people trying to access data in their core systems for consumption and collaboration in their engineering processes. We found people who had created masterful Excel documents offline because their core systems were too hard to consume or customize by their extended engineering and supplier teams.
Engineers are built for low-code!
That simple insight has shown us the enormous potential for what’s possible by the combination of Mendix and Siemens Software.
Which brings me to today’s announcement.
As this blog is being published, Siemens is announcing to the world that Mendix will become the primary application platform for all Siemens Cloud Solutions, giving their customers the powerful capability to create apps and share data on any device, anywhere, on any cloud. The software business at Siemens is on a journey to open all its systems through APIs, and we will make the data in all these systems accessible through the Mendix low-code platform. The Mendix Data Hub will become the primary way to discover and consume data and services from the Siemens systems inside Mendix, building on our already-leading integration capabilities with SAP. We’re also announcing a new layer of domain-specific app services, starting with services for digital engineering (3D, lifecycle, file management). And finally, we are integrating MindSphere IoT services with Mendix to create the world’s best, most open, and most scalable low-code IoT offering.
We’re going to bring all of this capability together to help customers create world-class, personalized experiences on top of *all* their existing systems and data. Siemens. SAP. SalesForce. Microsoft. IBM. Our customers will be able to consume all their data from any system, and develop great multi-experience apps for their customers, suppliers and employees. We have some very exciting news on the Mendix Data Hub lined up for November as part of this strategy, so watch this space!
For those who have been with us on this journey for the past few years, you’ll notice two things:
First, we are doing exactly what we said we would. We are staying focused on our strategy to continue winning in the low-code space so we can make all our customers successful. We’re maintaining our operating independence where it matters for our customers, and we’re leveraging Siemens’ infrastructure footprint and organizational capability where doing that will help us deliver our mission more quickly.
Second, our work with Siemens will serve as a catalyst for extending our platform with vertical agnostic services. Every single customer will benefit from the Mendix Data Hub. The app services we offer will leverage this infrastructure for all industries. Our continued investment in multi-cloud will benefit our entire customer base. Our SaaS solutions will be offered in a marketplace where all partners can integrate their offerings for subscription, no matter their vertical or industry.
We’re committed to maintaining our technology and market leadership in the low-code space. And to taking our platform to the next level by offering the industry’s richest set of services enabling our customers and partners to build the most powerful applications that define and optimize their own digital enterprise.
Co-founder & CEO