Paul Houghton joined the Akumina board of directors earlier this month. Houghton, who lives in Atlanta, GA spent 23 years at Microsoft leading sales organizations in the enterprise, small and medium sized customer segment as well as the government customer segment. He worked throughout the U.S., in China and Australia before leaving the company in 2011. Houghton was most recently President of the America’s for SITA – a multi-billion-dollar company that designs, delivers and operates sophisticated business solutions for air transportation and government customers globally.
Paul recently sat down with The Buzz to discuss his role on the board and the opportunity he sees at Akumina.
Buzz: What it is specifically about the Akumina business opportunity that made you interested in joining the board of directors?
Houghton: One word – enabling! There are three things that are true in business today;
every organization must maximize the return on the IT systems they invest in, all employees are being asked to do more with less, and software developers have to find ways to leverage their skills for cloud and mobile applications. The Akumina digital workplace platform enables all of those things to happen in the SharePoint, Office 365 and .NET spaces. There are tens of thousands of organizations and hundreds of thousands of professionals that can realize immediate and long term benefit by adopting the Akumina platform.
Buzz: What aspects of your past experience do you think will be most relevant to your role on the Akumina board?
Houghton: My 28 years of work selling, delivering and supporting business value-based, technology solutions to enterprise customers is where I will bring the broadest range of impact. More specifically, working in Australia, China and South America I have developed a clear appreciation for “thinking local” in both product features, customer engagement and government relations. And while I have been out of Microsoft for 5 years, I am still passionate about the company and excited to be part of their partner eco-system.
Buzz: Where do you see the cloud services market heading and how do you see Akumina fitting in to this broader market story/direction?
Houghton: When you look across the range of cloud services, software as a service, and specifically enterprise business applications, is one of the fastest growing segments. This will continue to be the case as more and more applications move to the cloud and cloud services in general take hold globally. The Akumina platform increases the value of these enterprise software services/applications in two ways. First, it delivers a content management environment that allows business users and IT to easily leverage the data from applications and present it in an integrated and contextually effective view. Second, leveraging cloud development best practices Akumina provides a platform that allows developers to easily create rich, cloud based applications leveraging SharePoint and Office 365 with the capability to integrate into other enterprise business application services.