In a standing room-only opening keynote at the JMP Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco today, C3.ai CEO Thomas M. Siebel described how four decades in the information technology industry have shaped his perspective on business leadership in the 21st century.
Siebel was interviewed by Pat Walravens, JMP Securities Managing Director, Director of Technology Research, and Senior Research Analyst – and one of the foremost software analysts today. Their mainstage fireside chat covered a range of topics including Siebel’s experience at Oracle, building Siebel Systems, the genesis of C3.ai, and what the company is accomplishing today as it drives digital transformation at many of the world’s leading organizations.
Asked for his perspective on what’s changed over the last 40 years, Siebel explained that the way people work today is drastically different than when he founded Siebel Systems, one of the fastest-growing software companies in the history of the information technology industry with 8,000 employees in 32 countries and annual revenue exceeding $2 billion when it merged with Oracle Corporation in 2006. In the 1980s and ‘90s, the employee base consisted primarily of baby boomers who shared similar perspectives and sources of motivation, Siebel noted. Today, companies are composed of baby boomers, Gen Xers, Gen Yers, and millennials – creating a richer and more complex tapestry of values and goals.
The corporate world is at a critical juncture, Siebel added, as three disruptive technology vectors converge: AI, IoT, and elastic cloud computing. This convergence is driving digital transformations that change everything about the way products are designed, manufactured, sold, delivered, and serviced. It changes the nature of customer relationships and the very nature of work. CEOs must mobilize their workforces to embrace digital transformation as a matter of competitive survival, Siebel concluded.
The JMP Securities annual technology research conference matches institutional investors and financial sponsors with senior executives of leading publicly trading and privately held and public companies in industry sectors including software, communications infrastructure, security, and industrial and energy technologies. This year’s event was held February 26-27 at The Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco.