Bloomreach Executives Look Towards the Big Picture
By Erika Jones
July 10, 2019
#brconnect19, B2B, B2C, BloomReach, BloomReach Connect, commerce, Digital Experience, Digital Experience Market, DXP, Headless, Hippo CMS, omnichannel, open source, Roadmap, Video Content
To read our BloomReach Connect event recap, click here.
During our time at BloomReach Connect 2019 in gorgeous San Francisco last month, our CMSC Media team was given the privilege to host a series of exclusive video interviews to absorb knowledge and insight from the leaders and innovators who attended the two-day digital experience conference. We are pleased to share these conversations with our audience and provide an inside perspective at what's happening within the content management industry by those who know it from the front lines.
CMSC Media had the opportunity to sit down with five key members of the BloomReach executive team to discuss everything from new positions to value propositions.
Raj De Datta – BloomReach CEO and Co-Founder
We began our interviews with Raj De Datta, BloomReach’s CEO and Co-Founder. After taking in Raj’s keynote speech earlier in the day, I was thrilled to speak to him about what seemed to be the primary take away of, “delivering unique, distinctive, connected experiences.” It was evident that BloomReach is keen to stand out from the crowd and be known for offering something that sets them apart from the competition. “If you don’t deliver unique experiences, it’s really hard to stand out,” Raj tells us in the interview.
BloomReach is looking to the future and continuing to focus on creating an experience-cloud that improves the customer experience. When asked what challenges are facing the industry and how BloomReach is prepared to address them, Raj felt that companies must engage in a significant undertaking to successfully reach their customer experience goals. Raj added that BloomReach’s core focus is to “help [their clients] deliver the kind of magical and measurable digital experience that they want to and pave the way for that to be a lot easier than it is today.”
When it comes to the future for BloomReach, they are intent on a headless experience-cloud which enables their clients to communicate with customers across any of the various channels that are being used today. “The technology platforms of the past have made it very hard to talk to [customers] in all those different ways [such as mobile, voice, Alexa, IoT, and apps],” says Raj. “With a kind of headless experience cloud, the idea is, let’s offer a combination of services that are AI-powered ... in a way where you can then go out and speak to that customer in any way that he or she wants to interact with you. You can build the kind of really innovative experiences that touch him or her emotionally, and build that connection.” It’s apparent that Raj truly wants to see BloomReach used as a tool for connective experiences in our digital age.
Darren Johnson – BloomReach Chief Revenue Officer
Building on what Raj has to say about challenges facing the industry, Darren Johnson filled us in on BloomReach’s position in the market. “We are very focused in the market. There is a lot of confusion in the market; there is a lot of disruption in the market. So, we are navigating through it, but taking advantage of it at the same time,” says Darren.
As for specific issues, Darren remarked that ‘noise’ in the market is their biggest one. “The challenges our customers have are [also] our challenges, and a lot of it is just noise,” said Darren. “There are so many venders coming out and trying to solve these big problems [which is to] transform digitally and offer a better experience.” To Darren, BloomReach’s high-priority mission is, “cutting through the noise.” BloomReach is combatting this ‘noise’ by maintaining incredible customer relationships and concentrating on being the best at what they do. Darren also mentioned that they place considerable importance on platform partners like Elastic Path, Commercetools, BigCommerce, and SI partners who—when united with BloomReach—work together seamlessly to provide the best possible outcome for customers.
Dave Pomeroy – BloomReach Chief Financial Officer
Dave Pomeroy is a newer addition to the BloomReach team, but his experience goes back many years, and he has been an essential collaborator with some huge players within the tech industry. With a resume showcasing the likes of Yahoo, Microsoft, and Apple, Dave arrived at BloomReach committed to embracing the responsibility to oversee administrative functions and help scale the business.
Dave told us that, “having software suites that can bring [marketing, online, and retail] together and make them more efficient is actually part of my inner-being for being here.” It is clear that Dave has confidence in BloomReach’s future potential and says he wants to help BloomReach (who celebrated their tenth anniversary earlier this year),“build a company that is sustainable for ten more years.”
When asked about future success and offering best of breed solutions, Dave shared that, “we’ve been spending a lot of time making sure the front-end CMS and the back-end of the AI-driven services work as one, and [that] will really propel us into the market and be a differentiator for us as we move forward.”
Arjé Cahn – BloomReach Chief Technology Officer
Arjé Cahn has connected with the team here at CMSC Media a number of times over the years, and we have been especially interested in the story of BloomReach acquiring Hippo CMS back in 2016 which made BloomReach a complete DXP platform. We had previously spoken to Arjé about how they (BloomReach and Hippo) innovated on the joint platform in that time, and we were eager to find out how his role has expanded since the acquisition, as well as being named CTO of BloomReach in January. “In the new role, I have taken on the entire product organization, so I am now responsible for experience manager as well as the search and merchandising product and, you know, bringing that together as our BRX cloud product,” said Arjé.
Arjé has a background in AI, having studied it in the 1990s, and an early goal of Hippo CMS was to use AI for personalization in experience management. When asked about BloomReach’s road map progression, Arjé said, “to take our search component, and the content management capability, and turn our AI machine learning optimized search engine into a search platform that we can then leverage for any kind of experiential problem.” Arjé made it clear that moving forward, BloomReach is absolutely working on using AI and ML for optimization.
Xun Wang – BloomReach Chief Development Officer
Xun Wang likens his CDO role to that of a “Senior VP of Engineering”. Xun was appointed to BloomReach as CDO to lead and scale the company’s engineering team earlier this year. He is passionate about technology and innovation and has an in-depth knowledge of BloomReach strategies. “Our technology growth is centered around making sure that we are competitive in the market using strategies,” said Xun.
Xun told us that a principal focus and strategy of BloomReach is adopting open-source technology. “Open source is the fundamental technique that gives us an edge because it is leveraging the development and capabilities of the whole world.” Open-source allows for the use of many different technologies in coordination with each other. “…all of the open-source technologies that we go and place together and innovate on top of [many open-source technologies] to bring us this special sauce that is BloomReach intelligence.”
From our conversation, I got the feeling that Xun has the big picture in mind and has all of the steps already laid out with how to get there. Xun expressed that, “between those two strategies of leverage, as well as having the presence—a strong development presence outside of Silicon Valley—we think that gives us [BloomReach] the ability to go and invest in real innovation [and] that gives us competitive advantage.”
From these exclusive executive interviews, it is apparent that the C-suite at BloomReach all have similar goals in mind. The team made mention of scaling while still ensuring the best DXP for all of their customers. Between that, and leveraging AI and ML technologies, as well as working with their partners, BloomReach’s future is looking brighter than ever.
Erika Jones is a Tech Reporter and Content Marketer with CMSC Media. Erika enjoys combining her creativity with her technical skills through graphic design. She has a background in communications and marketing and has a flair for social media and content creation. Erika is an avid traveller and enjoys seeing firsthand how technology connects us all in business and pleasure.