Boomi CEO On Dell Partnership, M&A And Hyper-Automation Future

Boomi CEO Chris McNabb talks to CRN about being sold by Dell Technologies to private equity firms, Boomi’s hyper-automation vision and potential acquisitions ahead.

Boomi To Boom Via New Private Equity Owners And Roaring Innovation Engine

Boomi’s CEO Chris McNabb is striving to become a market leader in hyper-automation with innovation to enable “instant” connectivity between customers to “what they want” faster than ever before.

“We fully automated one country’s healthcare renewal cards during COVID in four days: the mobile app, human workflow, everything. So it was a no-touch digital transformation within a week,” said McNabb in an interview with CRN. “When I say, ‘Speed is everything,’—that’s a game changer. Because if people can’t renew their health card, they can’t get healthcare services during a global pandemic. … We’re now introducing intelligent connectivity where we can create and generate, in an automated way, connectivity to endpoints.”

The Integration Platform as-a-Service (IPaaS) superstar is now backed by private equity firms Francisco Partners and TPG Capital who are injecting new capital into the company to drive innovation, new hirings as well as some potential acquisitions, McNabb tells CRN.

“We need to continue to expand and grow this business in order for everybody: Boomi customers, Boomi employees and our new owners, to be successful. So a bigger Boomi is now here,” said McNabb, who has helmed the IPaaS standout for the past eight years.

At Boomi’s ‘Out of This World’ conference, taking place today, the Chesterbrook, Pa.-based company launched several new solutions to enable its hyper-automation vision including Boomi Event Streams, which is an event-driven architecture service that integrates event-based data into its platform to bring breakthrough speed and scalability to any hybrid IT environment.

McNabb talks to CRN about his company’s hyper-automation vision, new private equity ownership benefits, Boomi’s partnership plans with Dell Technologies, and his message to the channel partner community.

“[Boomi] is a tool that partners should have in your toolbox, and candidly, it should be on the top shelf of your toolbox,” said McNabb.

What’s a good Boomi hyper-automation customer use case?

We engaged in a project with the city of Amsterdam to improve and protect the safety of their police officers at large events. So what’s been built now, is what they call Blue Force Tracking.

They started at the largest soccer stadium in Amsterdam. The police officers wear biometric sensors in vests. So it monitors heart rate, breathing, whether you’re standing or been knocked down, any trauma, any G-force, etc. The analytics and data from the vests in real-time—shipped by our platform into a center—can determine whether the police officer is under duress or not.

If under distress, we’re also connected to the videos and camera systems from around the facility. So we can instantly, in an automated way, direct the camera that has that GPS location of that police officer’s vest, right to their vest. You can see what’s going on. And the system automatically deploys resources, other officers in this case, over to assist.

So when you talk about an integrated experience and engaging the way that they want: this is it. This is an IoT example where we’re protecting the safety of officers so now police officers can patrol as individuals with their partner maybe much further away than what would be normal—much more cost effective, but most importantly, much, much safer.

So now we’re bringing together video technology, we’re bringing together bio-measurement vest data from another vendor, we’ve got a network operations center (NOC) with monitors— all in real time. We know when something’s going on and we can deploy resources without any human intervention.

So when we talk about hyper-automation, intelligent automation, and intelligent connectivity—it’s all of these different things. When they come together in this way, it’s really a game changer.

With Boomi now backed by Francisco Partners and TPG, is there new funding to go after new employee talent and potential company acquisitions?

Yes. We are extraordinarily bullish on Boomi at the moment for those reasons. The way the acquisition [from Francisco and TPG] worked and the deal that was performed, this is a growth-oriented deal or investment thesis. We need to continue to expand and grow this business in order for everybody: Boomi customers, Boomi employees and our new owners, to be successful. So a bigger Boomi is now here.

Investments in Boomi really comes in three major areas that we’re working on right now.

One, we’re going to invest in our product and deliver more capabilities and have more engineers. That certainly benefits our customers. Two, we’re investing in our go-to-market as we accelerate this business. We need some more feet on the street. We actually need more customer success people so we can engage with existing customers around their continued journey in leveraging and growing within our platform to teach them new services and new things that they can do. So we’ll have more engagement personnel in order to be able to do that. And finally, the M&A side.

So you look at products, our go-to-market and at M&A—that’s where the capital will be focused.

What type of M&A is ahead for Boomi?

We’re always evaluating whether it’s a consolidation view by market share, or an incremental add-on to our time-to-market speed.

So can I buy a company that fills a gap potentially in my platform that speeds our time to market? And/or can we combined capabilities that would enhance all of the services that are on the platform? If we had better artificial intelligence, [for example] that’s something that would improve our integration capabilities and workflow capabilities.

So those categories are the major sort of families or areas that we think about around M&A. Then we drill down into specifics and so on.

Boomi was part of Dell Technologies since 2010. With Dell selling Boomi off, where does your relationship with Dell stand today?

The transaction closed on October 1. We’re now officially carved out of Dell and owned by Francisco Partners in TPG. So all of that’s been completed.

When we talked about the relationship with Dell, before the sale of Boomi, Boomi was a wholly owned subsidiary with within Dell, which means we did everything at an arm’s length. They were, in essence, a channel partner to Boomi already. And one of our biggest and most strategic partners—and that’s going to continue forward.

In fact, the Blue Force Tracking example I told you about was also aided and facilitated by Dell Technologies and their field personnel. So that project came together with Dell and we’re looking to continue that strategic relationship with them go forward.

What do you plan on working with Dell on in the future?

There’s a number of things. There was just a Workspace ONE announcement from VMware powered by Boomi. So there’s absolutely going to be continued initiatives as it makes sense and as it’s valuable for our joint partners and customers.

What’s your vision for Boomi?

It’s around what we’re doing for intelligence, AI, or machine learning, to continue to introduce even more speed than what we provide. And then more automation and engagement.

At a high level, when we look at connectivity from a visionary perspective, it’s not about the number of connectors that somebody has. Boomi’s cloud today, connects to 180,000-plus unique endpoints across our 18,000 customers. You can’t hand craft connectors over the next five years—we have to find a better, faster way to do that. Our vision for that is to leverage intelligence. We’re now introducing intelligent connectivity where we can create and generate, in an automated way, connectivity to endpoints.

I’ll give a simple example. All the SaaS applications are coming out with API’s that have swagger documentation associated. We can interrogate that programmatically, look at that and allow people to browse that, and we can establish simple connectivity very rapidly for pretty much anybody.

So it’s not about having hand-built, handcrafted connectors that need to be maintained. Because at 400 connectors sure; 4,000 maybe; but at 40,000 you’re just not keeping up. So now when you get into this automated world, if you want the newer version of the connector you just regenerate and off you go. So its intelligence applied to connectivity so we can generate those things. Finally, what we’re going to call hyper-automation or adding intelligence to the workflow automation space.

What is Boomi’s competitive differentiation in the IPaaS market?

Our competitive differentiation is really clear in the market. One, we are a true cloud native company. We were built day one of creation as a cloud native software application, and that technology advantage has really carried us into a leadership position.

Two, we broaden out our platform. We have more services than our competitors. We don’t just do data integration from clouds and stuff like that. What we do on our platform, we do 6-times or 7-times that amount. We’ve got mobile app creation services. We’ve got workflow automation kinds of services. We’ve got eventing services, streaming services, and master data management or data hub services, data quality and prep services, and all the cloud integration stuff.

We do an awful lot of stuff on our platform right now and we’re the only one with that breath that’s there. It’s that breath that allowed us to enable the Blue Force Tracking thing from a single platform. We have all the human workflow with automation capabilities. … We can make it fully automatic. We can make it we can put it on a mobile device. We’re the only people out there that can do that.

Then three, our speed and ease of use. We’ve been known for that from day one and we continue to push that. We believe that differentiator is something that will drive Boomi’s product design and philosophy forever. We want you to be able to instantly connect people to what they want.

What’s your message to Boomi channel partners?

We have roughly 800 partners worldwide that are Boomi certified partners. There’s never been a better time to be a Boomi partner to be perfectly candid with you. We’re accelerating and growing very, very rapidly.

There’s over 18,000 existing Boomi customers out there looking for more help, looking for services, looking to expand on this platform, and looking for expertise. Not to mention that we have eight net new customers per day that we’re bringing up.

So if you’re in the channel and you’re interested in really delivering true digital transformation—in the form of digitizing, no-touch, automating and engaging in a way that people want to engage, and really adding value rapidly to a business becoming that trusted partner—this is a tool that partners should have in your toolbox, and candidly, it should be on the top shelf of your toolbox.

At the end of the day, [being sold by Dell to private equity firms] is a really, really good outcome for Boomi customers, Boomi employees and the Boomi business. Through leveraging the [these firms] experience, their sheer intelligence, what they’ve been able to do, their capital, along with our leadership team—we are really excited about what’s going to happen when we unleash Boomi on this market.