Parallels Summit 2012: Q&A, Birger Steen

So in terms of growing the ecosystem to one that can carry a $1 billion business, I think we've made more than a year's progress in a year.

It's often said people are the biggest asset of any successful business, can we expect to see more hires either independently or through acquisitions?

People are certainly key to any software business. I think we have made by and large all the acquisitions that we really need to scale now.

We brought in a world-class vice president of HR, which is obviously key to people acquisition, and a world-class general counsel. This is behind the scenes stuff but it's important to building the company.

We've also more than doubled our investment in the support. We've moved from being largely software-centric in our approach develop the bits, compile them and throw them over the wall to the customer to much more of a complete solution provider.

Our time to resolution for support incidents has gone down by a factor of four in the last 12 months, which I think is quite a step change. And we have aggressive targets to continue to optimise the support experience.

As a result of adding so many new customers to Parallels Automation System, the ability to deploy the system has become a bottleneck. Our consulting team and professional services team are completely maxed out. We are investing, probably doubling the investment, in that side of the business year-on-year.

Over the last half-year, we've seen a lot more in-bound interest from systems integrators and other players in the overall ecosystem who are coming in and helping us deploy the platform. Whereas before we had to go out and charm them and evangelise to them. Now it's a little bit the other way around. They come knocking and want to work with our platform, which co-incides very nicely with having moved some of our best resources over into that field to work with SIs. We've seen that could be a constraint to our business growth.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.