Friday, February 27, 2004
Interview with Chris Capdevila, CEO of Logical Apps
Chris Capdevila is CEO of Logical Apps (www.logicalapps.com), an Irvine-based company providing business rule and workflow software solutions for Oracle applications.
BK: What does Logical Apps do, and what are your products?
CC: Logical Apps delivers business process management solutions for Oracle Applications. Faced with rigid applications, organizations today are forced to perform "system surgery" on their applications to meet their ever-changing business requirements. With business rules and process flows buried in lines of code, it's a costly undertaking for a company to modify their applications and takes up hours of precious IT time. Our solutions remove this complexity and minimize the development resources required to alter business rules and process flows, giving organizations greater application flexibility and agility. We currently offer three products in our suite. AppsRules, our flagship business rules engine product, enforces sophisticated business and security rules. A key capability in AppsRules is the ability to ensure accurate data entry through advanced data validation and security rules. This is essential for preserving the integrity of a company's data. AppsRules also includes advanced auditing and accountability rules, enabling users to provide a complete audit trail of any changes a user makes to sensitive information. Addressing the internal control gaps existing in Oracle Applications will be increasingly important as companies comply with corporate reporting and internal control assessments imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley. Our newly announced product, AppsFlow, automates business processes and accelerates the creation and maintenance of workflows without the complex programming normally required. With AppsFlow, we've developed a process rule layer into the Oracle Applications that tightly integrates with Oracle Workflow. AppsFlow integrates with AppsRules, providing systemic oversight into business policies and procedures so users can automate their business processes and validate business rules with one solution. AppsCreate, a robust custom configuration engine that allows rapid development and deployment of J2EE web applications, will be generally available at the end of the quarter. Additional product details will be announced then.
BK: It looks like your company is pretty tied to Oracle--what's your relationship with Oracle, and how has that worked?
CC: Logical Apps partners with Oracle on many different levels. We are Oracle Certified Solutions Partners, members of the Oracle Portal Partner Initiative, and Oracle 9iAS Partner Initiative. Through these relationships, Logical Apps has been able to leverage technology and resources available through the partner channels to develop, deploy, and continue to enhance our products and solutions. Although we promote the values of application flexibility and agility, Logical Apps and Oracle are both dedicated to ensuring organizations realize the benefits of their applications.
BK: What's the history of the company, and how did you decide to found the company?
CC: After years of consulting on major Oracle Applications projects, co-founder, Paul Brunskow and I, became disillusioned with standard industry practices. We observed that many Oracle customers were experiencing shortcomings with their applications, and were requesting similar solutions. Our response was prepackaged solutions designed to address these "gaps," and could be implemented for a fraction of what it would normally cost for consulting services.
BK: I understand you are self funded--what was the process you used to fund your business without external investment?
CC: I'm proud to say that Logical Apps has been profitable since its inception. Our growth is primarily driven by sales of our software, balanced with a focused professional services organization. With an estimated install base of 18,000 globally, the Oracle Applications market represents a huge opportunity for our products. Additionally, we project a substantial increase in product sales as Oracle's existing customers upgrade to the latest release of the Applications, and publicly held organizations implement our solutions in response to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
BK: How difficult has it been to develop your software while also maintaining a professional services organization, and how have you managed this?
CC: Actually, it has been an ideal situation. Our Software Development is tightly integrated with Professional Services. The two groups leverage significantly from each other's efforts. Besides providing the capabilities to install and maintain our products, our Professional Services division also generates valuable customer feedback which directly influences future product enhancements and solutions.
BK: What is your company's biggest challenge?
CC: Our biggest challenge is educating the Oracle Applications user base . We are tasked with overcoming the idea that an agile or flexible application is simply not achievable. I believe that our products and solutions prove otherwise. Clients are constantly amazed when we demonstrate the ability to tailor their Oracle Application to meet rapidly changing business needs, without compromising Oracle support or being impacted by patches and future upgrades.
BK: Finally, what have you found as the most important element of keeping your company profitable?
CC: The individuals that make up Logical Apps are key to this and keeping them focused on fulfilling our vision has been an essential element to our continued profitability. Everyone is focused on the same long-term goal of creating an organization that we can be proud of, and with this comes a very sincere understanding of everyone's impact on the profitability of the organization. Profitablity has come as a result of those dedicated individuals understanding how their specific roles effect our corporate performance.