Editor’s note: The following Q&A with Dutch software firm CXO-Cockpit was conducted by the Netherlands-American Chamber of Commerce Southeast as part of its monthly Member Spotlight series highlighting Dutch investors in the region. It is reprinted here with permission. Learn more about the NACCSE here or become a member here.
Wouter Born, the company’s Roswell-based U.S. CEO and global chief technology officer, responded to questions from the chamber:
NACCSE: What is your business industry category or specialty?
Mr. Born: CXO-Cockpit is a successful software company which started in The Netherlands 10 years ago. The company creates software to help senior executives at large multinationals better understand their financial data by using graphs and charts on interactive dashboards.
CXO-Cockpit helps executives to tell a better story of performance by offering collaboration, narrative reporting and predictive analytics. CXO-Cockpit opened its USA office in August 2016 from which it serves corporations like Facebook, Johnson Controls, Experian, Regions Bank and many more.
NACCSE: How do you describe your job to people outside the industry?
Mr. Born: As CEO for the USA and Global CTO of a Netherlands-based software company, my job is to spot opportunities in the market, drive our product strategy and deliver our product as successfully as possible in the USA.
NACCSE: Who are your main competitors and what differentiates you from the competition? What makes you unique?
Mr. Born: We focus on a specific niche: “Performance reporting for the Fortune 500.” In our niche the most-used alternatives are MS Excel and PowerPoint, which require a lot of manual, repetitive work from highly skilled team members. Not necessarily the best use of their skills! We also get some competition from generic (business intelligence) vendors like Qlik and Tableau, but since they focus more on operational, transactional analytics, we normally coexist.
NACCSE: How was the business started and how many employees does it have?
Mr. Born: CXO-Cockpit is a performance reporting platform created by CXO Solutions, which was founded in 2007 by enterprise performance management (EPM) and finance professionals. Frustrated with the lack of financial reporting functionality of the existing Excel- and BI-based tools, they developed pre-built and configurable EPM adapters and prepackaged reporting templates.
Our business has about 40 globally, 6 of those employees are in our Atlanta office.
NACCSE: How did you end up in Atlanta?
Mr. Born: The requirements for our new USA headquarters location were:
- Eastern time zone
- Good connectivity with Amsterdam
- Good local (Corporate HQ) market.
Atlanta matched these three criteria perfectly but, so did Chicago and New York. My Spanish Wife Raquel expedited our selection process a little by looking at the climate tables of these three cities and basically disqualified the other two. We got some great help from Your Expat Partner with finding a school and a home which made our relocation very smooth.
NACCSE: What is your number one business goal over the next year?
Mr. Born: Our goal is aggressive growth in the USA market. We want to extend our local market presence and reach out to the impressive list of corporations headquartered in Georgia.
We’d also like to grow further in the verticals where we have been globally very successful like banking using our references like Rabobank, NN and Regions Bank; airlines, using our KLM reference case, or retail food chains using our McDonald’s customer relationship.
NACCSE: What is the best advice you have received regarding doing business with the Dutch/Americans?
Try to find a great local team. You cannot serve large American corporates from Utrecht. You need people that understand your business and can take a local approach.
NACCSE: Any other personal information you would like to share?
Mr. Born: My wife Raquel and our kids: Lucia, 8, and Daan, 6, love it here. We are impressed by the quality of the American public-school system and having such a great Dutch school (De Molenwiek) in our hometown is amazing! I am avid cyclist and spend quite some time on the hills of the northern Atlanta suburbs.
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