Product Innovation: The promise of cognitive technology to enable the Self-Driving Enterprise

An interview with Frederic Laluyaux, President and CEO of Aera Technology

Product Innovation: The promise of cognitive technology to enable the Self-Driving Enterprise An interview with Frederic Laluyaux, President and CEO of Aera Technology


This podcast interview focuses on product innovation in the enterprise business software that has the power to turn average companies into disrupters in their category. My guest is Frederic Laluyaux, President and CEO of Aera Technology.

He’s got more than 20 years of experience as a leader in the Enterprise Performance Management sector. Fred has built his career focusing on providing solutions that help organizations worldwide achieve financial and business excellence. Fred started his career in the area of CPM, otherwise known as Corporate Performance Management, leading ALG‘s global operations until it was acquired by Business Objects.

Product InnovationWhen Business Object was acquired by SAP he acted as the SVP and GM for SAP Applications for EPM, GRC, and Finance Line of Business.

He then became the President and CEO of Anaplan which he led for over 3 years.

That’s where he joined Aera Technology.

I got intrigued by the promise of Aera Technology – being the company building the cognitive technology enabling the Self-Driving Enterprise – hence I invited Fred to my podcast.

We explore how a variety of industries around the world are being disrupted, and why many traditional business software solutions are not up to par anymore. We discuss why many businesses need a different breed of solutions to rethink everything they do in order to thrive, not just survive in their market.

Here are some of his quotes:

I remember writing this paper one night, I worked all night on what is the next big wave post transaction automation. 

So basically, the massive wave of globalization fueled by the relational database and the ERP layer.

The next big idea is how do we tackle the big pyramid that sits on top of those ERP systems.

The question that I was asking myself is: Why do companies grow so deep, so fat, when they grow big? How are our decisions being made?

So I’ve been thinking about this for a long, long time, and really being convinced that the next topic would be delayerisation, organization getting flatter, more nuclear, as opposed to these big, rigid pyramids.

For that you need to enable decisions to be closer to the point of impact. For that you need to enable people to measure in real time the impact of the decisions that they have to take. There is a whole logical flow.

During this interview, you will learn three things:

  1. Why the way to survive as a business software vendor is to aim your product strategy at solutions that allow your customers to do things differently, rather than do the things that have not changed for decades a bit better.
  2. How solutions that are connected outside-and-in, always on, thinking, learning and autonomous in their behavior will create the winners of tomorrow
  3. To become remarkable as a software business you have to surround yourself with people that are not attached to the traditional way of doing

Next steps:

  1. Subscribe to my weekly musing on how to become a remarkable software business?
  2. Or subscribe to the Value Inspiration Podcast on your favorite channel