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Private Equity Technology Podcast Profile

Private Equity Technology Podcast

English, Finance, 1 season, 56 episodes, 1 day, 4 hours, 12 minutes
At the core of every business either owned by or being evaluated by Private Equity is technology. Yet many in the Private Equity world don't have a grasp on the magnitude of impact that technology can have on their investments. The Private Equity Technology Podcast will explore the inner workings of the technology applications and people running your potential acquisitions or portfolio companies, providing you another lever to pull as you look to maximize returns. #privateequity #tech
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Episode 55 - Code & Co.

We're back with another episode on the state of Tech Due Diligence. This time we're joined by Dan Bender and Lukas Ingelheim, founding partners of Berlin-headquartered Code & Co, who perform Tech Due Diligence around the world. We cover some basics of tech due diligence for those of you unfamiliar, discuss the differences between US and European tech diligence, and look into the future to see how tech diligence is evolving to help PE firms create value. You can learn more about Code & Co. here:
1/31/202336 minutes, 47 seconds
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Episode 54 - Verdane

In private equity, it is becoming widely recognized that technology-enabled growth and innovation within portfolio companies is a major spur to productivity and value creation. The mechanisms through which technology is developed, adopted and used in production are complex. How are private equity firms handling the evaluation of technology-enabled growth pre-acquisition, and how are they then helping their portfolio companies execute once acquired? As we've highlighted in past episodes, approaches vary. One approach that has been gaining momentum is the creation of an in-house team of technology experts to assist in everything from diligence to execution. Verdane, a European private equity firm that has taken this approach of building out a team of in-house, specialized technology experts, is the focus of today's episode. Verdane has even named this team: Elevate. Within Elevate is CTO Henrik Berg, today's guest. Henrik talks us through the formation of Elevate and how the firm leverages his team.
8/10/202240 minutes
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Episode 53 - Triton Partners

Triton Partners, the large European private equity firm, has long understood that optimizing the technologies that run its portfolio companies can bring meaningful value to its investments. Anders Thulin joined Triton 6 years ago as its head of the firm's digital & technology practice. He and his team are engaged in due diligence as well as execution, helping to uncover opportunities that others may be missing.
3/29/202242 minutes, 27 seconds
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Episode 52 - West Monroe Data Diligence with Doug Laney

Our guest this episode is Doug Laney, Data & Analytics Innovation Fellow at West Monroe and author of "Infonomics: How to Monetize, Manage, and Measure Information as an Asset for Competitive Advantage". Doug discusses why "Data Diligence" should be added to your ever-growing list of diligences and opportunities for monetizing the data that exists within your organization. Links: + Doug Laney: + Infonomics:
1/17/202228 minutes, 51 seconds
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Episode 51 - Incline Equity Partners

Having technology experience and leadership within Private Equity firms is becoming increasingly critical – people with the resilience, speed and partnering skills necessary to drive growth by leveraging technology. Incline Equity Partners provides a glimpse into it has chose to tackle this challenge. Our bet is that PE firms start to look more and more like the Inclines of the world in the next 5 years. Juliane Stephan and Kyle Roemer join us.
11/9/202148 minutes, 36 seconds
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Episode 50 - Alice Murray - The Drawdown

We invited Alice Murray, Editor at The Drawdown, to discuss her recent article "Great Techspectations", critical observations on Private Equity’s technology upgrade since the pandemic catalyzed upgrade plans. Alice shares sharp insights on not only technology but also on a much deeper theme of employee well-being and the criticality of ‘G’ in ESG.
10/6/202132 minutes, 42 seconds
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Episode 49 - Data quality and accuracy within Private Equity firms

For the first time, we turn our attention to the data quality and accuracy *within* Private Equity firms. Ian Rubenstein, CEO at Exchangelodge, talks us through the state of data within PE firms and where the industry needs to go next to provide timely, accurate, and actionable data for both LPs and portfolio company decision making. Links
7/14/202143 minutes, 31 seconds
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Episode 48 - Dev Ops

If your portfolio company builds software applications, whether as its core business or in support of its core business, the speed and quality of delivering that software can have a major impact on the success of the business. Dev Ops is a collaboration between software development, operations, and other teams, collectively tasked with achieving common business goals through delivering software to the organization efficiently and effectively. Dave Mangot, of Mangoteque, has been preaching Dev Ops for over a decade. We talk about what Dev Ops means, its importance to software development, and its impact on your portfolio companies.
6/2/202144 minutes, 52 seconds
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Rant - Get Microsoft, Amazon, and/or Google on the Phone...Now

A quick rant on how you, as a private equity firm, need to be engaging Microsoft, Amazon, and/or Google to help drive meaningful cost savings across your portfolio companies through the optimization and scale opportunities they provide.
4/21/20212 minutes, 21 seconds
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Episode 47 - Microsoft on how it helps your PE investments

One of the most important things you learn in Private Equity is to work with partners to achieve the investment thesis. To this end, a strategic partnership with Microsoft can be pivotal to saving time and money, and enabling growth. Into the pod comes Microsoft's Casey McGee, VP of ISV Partner Sales. We discuss how Microsoft supports Private Equity firms and their portfolio companies. We continue with a recent theme of how/why you should be aggregating your portfolio company spend technology spend (thing business apps and cloud) with the big, global technology providers. Reach out to Casey and the Microsoft team here: Casey McGee: US: [email protected] UK: [email protected] EMEA/APAC: email one of the above and we will put you in touch with the right team
4/1/202133 minutes, 25 seconds
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Episode 46 - Gartner

Differentiated facts and insights enable better decision making. Gartner insights support Private Equity investors in making key decisions throughout the investment life cycle. Today we speak with David Smith, Vice President Analyst and Gartner Fellow Emeritus at Gartner. David is part of the Enterprise Architecture and Technology Innovation team where he leads the research agenda for cloud computing and digital disruption. He has served as a Lead Gartner Analyst covering major vendors, such as Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Sun, Google and Deloitte. He is often quoted in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times amongst others, and is a frequent guest on CNBC. A measured and deeply thoughtful voice, David offers advice on Cloud technology strategy and the choices, risks and benefits it can bring for an investor. He investigates What defines a cloud service? Public vs Private vs Hybrid Strategies? Does a cloud strategy enable anything new? What is the financial and operational impact of investing in Cloud?
3/29/202140 minutes, 4 seconds
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Episode 45 - Cloud Cost Optimization with Rackspace

Whether you're in charge of cloud expenditures at a company or you're invested in one or many companies with significant cloud spend, you're going to want to pay attention to this episode. Rackspace, the well-known hosting-provider-turned-multicloud-solutions-provider, sent in Justin Chris-Tensen and Jeff DeVerter to talk about how they help their clients optimize cloud spend. We're not talking a few thousand dollars here or there. We first heard about the work that Rackspace did for HGGC in Episode 43, when the PE firm disclosed *millions of dollars in savings* as a result of working with Rackspace. If there was ever an episode that could lead you directly to monetary savings, this is it. Rackspace: PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW WHEREVER YOU LISTEN!
3/2/202140 minutes, 17 seconds
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Episode 44 - Renna Partners

Mike Bestvina and Sean Lyons of Renna Partners are two of my favorite tech guys in the private equity realm. Always insightful and current with how technology is shaping investing and operating. Mike: Sean: Renna Partners:
2/16/202141 minutes, 23 seconds
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Episode 43 - HGGC

HGGC, a middle-market private equity firm based in Palo Alto, California, has seen significant benefits of technology as a disruptor or enabler in traditional industrial or service-based businesses. Les Brown, an HGGC Partner, discusses the how the firm leverages technology, from diligence to inception to exit. Moving companies from the industrial age to the information age is their niche, and Les presents how technology has played a critical role in value creation across industries and business models, including buy-build infrastructure to accelerate growth from single digit EBITDA to triple digit EBITDA. HGGC has also built out its own tech capability internally in order to build up the intelligence and muscle of the firm for the future. Episode links: + HGGC: + Les Brown: Thanks for listening! Please leave a review on your favorite podcast app.
1/27/202150 minutes, 52 seconds
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Episode 42 - The Digital Operating Partner

There's a newish type of operating partner in town: the digital operating partner. Bruce Sinclair, author of The Digital Operating Partner: Using Digital Transformation for Value Creation, drops by to talk about his expectations for the role, namely that a Digital Operating Partner should be driving massive improvements to enterprise value. Links and resources mentioned in this episode: + The book: Thank you so much for joining us this week. This show was co-hosted with Lisa Weaver-Lambert. Want to subscribe to The Private Equity Technology Podcast?…1265864756?mt=2 Have some feedback you’d like to share, please contact me directly at [email protected].
11/30/202055 minutes, 17 seconds
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Episode 41 - SAP's Global Head of Private Equity

As the global pandemic continues to fundamentally change the way we live and work, it has forced every PE firm to take difficult decisions. In this talk, Sean Epstein, SVP and Global Head of Private Equity at SAP, shares his experience on how PE clients have faced these challenges with a very pragmatic and human approach to leveraging technology. Links and resources mentioned in this episode: + Sean Epstein + Thank you so much for joining us this week. This show was co-hosted with Lisa Weaver-Lambert. Want to subscribe to The Private Equity Technology Podcast? Have some feedback you’d like to share, please contact me directly at [email protected].
11/2/202045 minutes, 31 seconds
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Episode 40 - Technology Teams and Software from a PE-backed CTO

Iain Bishop, a long-time CTO at PE-backed companies, joins us to discuss key areas for evaluation when due diligencing technology teams, what differentiates software companies, current trends in software development, and the tech talent landscape. Iain Bishop This show was co-hosted with Lisa Weaver-Lambert. Want to subscribe to The Private Equity Technology Podcast? Have some feedback you’d like to share? Contact me directly at [email protected].
10/25/202030 minutes, 7 seconds
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Episode 39 - Cost Optimization with Crosslake

Russ Albright and Erik Larson of Crosslake Technologies join Alex and Lisa to talk through 5 cost optimization strategies for your portfolio companies' IT function. While the discussion is perhaps more relevant than ever, the topic is one that should always be on the minds of operating partners and portfolio company leadership. Crosslake is a technology due diligence, strategy, and execution consultancy based in Seattle, with offices in Canada and Europe. Website:
5/15/202039 minutes, 20 seconds
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Episode 38 - A Chat Amongst Ourselves

Hosts Alex Agran and Lisa Weaver-Lambert catch up on what they've been seeing, hearing, and experiencing in the US and UK, respectively, since since being sheltered in place due to the SARS-CoV-2.
5/4/202031 minutes, 19 seconds
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Episode 37 - Riccardo Basile, Permira, Portfolio Group

More firms are increasingly taking a proactive approach to how they integrate and plan technology across their portfolio to drive value. Riccardo Basile, Principal at Permira in the portfolio group, takes us through how to think about technology during due diligence through to the investments themselves. He covers the different approaches according to sector and how to leverage knowledge from software investments and apply to more traditional sectors. Staying ahead of disruption and protecting the value of the investment requires both a defensive and offensive approach. Links and resources mentioned in this episode: Riccardo Basile -
3/30/202043 minutes, 19 seconds
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Episode 36 - The State Of Hiring Tech Talent

Few would debate the importance of technology talent, however its importance in successfully executing growth transformation of a portfolio company is sometimes underappreciated. Acquiring top talent can yield double-digit investment savings by accelerating the transformation process by even 20 to 30%. Of course, such talent is hard to find. We sit down with Emma Roderick who leads the La Fosse Private Equity Practice to understand: – talent trends – capabilities companies need to look for – how to find the right mix of skills – the importance of creating an environment in which tech skills can flourish – lessons from trailblazers Links and resources mentioned in this episode: – Emma Roderick - – La Fosse Private Equity Practice:
10/22/201927 minutes, 13 seconds
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Episode 35 - Data 101

We get back to the basics in this episode to deliver an understanding of data and databases. If you're looking for a quick primer that will help contextualize conversations you're having with targets or portfolio companies regarding data, then listen in. Naveed Asem, Chief Data and Analytics Officer of Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN), has devoted his career to building data and analytic solutions and takes us through an impressive coverage of architecture, tools, processes, products, and applications of data. In this episode you’ll learn about: * The difference between relational and non-relational databases * Data lakes, data warehouses and data marts * Data preparation and quality – what’s involved in cleaning, transforming and merging data sets * Exploration and insight reporting – which dashboards to use? Links and resources mentioned in this episode: Naveed Asem -
10/2/201951 minutes
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Episode 34 - Pilot Growth

There’s a lot of excitement about the potential value of artificial intelligence. And we are hearing a great deal about exciting demos in a variety of sectors. However, we are also in a phase where a lot of PE firms are somewhat skeptical as to whether or not it can actually help them. How do firms evaluate the opportunities and limitations? How best to handle the complexity of ethics, transparency, and bias? AI can be viewed as a cognitive prosthetic for business intelligence. Pioneer companies are already using AI to innovate and grow fast. William Lee and Neil Callahan of Pilot Growth Equity are here to share their insights on the implications of the AI paradigm shift in the transformation of all business processes within organizations, and their experience working with AI in portfolio companies. They are using their deep industry, analytics and technology expertise to help their portfolio companies get real value from these technologies – now. Will and Neil talk us through their experience of joining data science and investment expertise. We discuss what AI is, conditions required for success and how AI can be leveraged within portfolio companies. Links and resources mentioned in this episode: Pilot Growth Equity - William Lee - Neil Callahan - r4 - Thank you so much for joining us this week. This show was hosted by Lisa Weaver-Lambert.
9/4/201939 minutes, 41 seconds
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Episode 33 - The Digital Transformation Payoff

“Investors should talk about their digital investments more and sooner,” advises Suraj Srinivasan, Professor at Harvard Business School, who joins us to discuss his recent article titled ‘Investors Reward Companies That Talk Up Their Digital Initiatives." Public companies talking about their digital investments on quarterly investment calls has grown 5x since 2010 and investors are paying up for those digital investments. Suraj discusses the importance of rethinking the growth strategy with a technology lens and how to value this, as well as the criticality of having the right level of talent within a portfolio business. In this episode you’ll learn: * How to think about the scope of a Digital Strategy * The impact on due diligence of disruption * The importance of tech talent at C-level * How digital investments should be valued Links and resources mentioned in this episode: Suraj Srinivasan: Article: Thank you so much for joining us this week. This show was co-hosted with Lisa Weaver-Lambert.
8/22/201940 minutes, 19 seconds
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Episode 32 - The Importance Of Pricing

Despite evidence that pricing is the most critical predictor of profitability, the science of pricing is still relatively underdeveloped for most portfolio companies, and few have optimized their pricing to maximize profits. Pricing is therefore often one of the first levers Private Equity firms should be looking to look to optimize – gaining control over pricing strategy, processes and establishing the foundation for value-based pricing. Paul Hunt, Global President of Pricing Solutions, talks through the underlying technology required to optimize pricing. Pricing Solutions has worked with industry leaders implementing cross-pollination of best pricing research, management and intelligence practices across industries. In this episode you’ll learn: * The unique value of a pricing specialist versus other data analytics skills * The different levels of pricing expertise and technology and infrastructure requirements * Who should be accountable for pricing in a portfolio company * Benefits of pricing automation Links and resources mentioned in this episode: * Pricing Solutions - * Paul Hunt - Thank you so much for joining us this week. This show was co-hosted with Lisa Weaver-Lambert.
8/8/201936 minutes, 47 seconds
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Episode 31 - Two Six Capital

"We are at a moment of time. Humans and machines are coming together in an unprecedented way – I caution those that resist this change.” Sajjad Jaffer, Two Six Capital Two Six Capital was founded on two simple realizations: the Private Equity industry had predominantly focused on returns by cutting costs and leveraging up assets, and there had been very little attention paid to understanding revenue. Sajjad Jaffer and Ian Picache started Two Six Capital on a mission to transform investing through data science. Two Six, as it's affectionately known, has worked with over 20 Private Equity firms and pioneered data science for the sector over the past 6 years with a unique cultural combination of Silicon Valley engineering hoodies, seasoned investors and research developed at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. In this episode you’ll learn: * How analytics and technology expertise help Private Equity get real business value from data science * How Two Six Capital has made data collection and analysis much faster, and relevant to the PE sector * How data science will create new opportunities – identify the best companies that can generate the best returns * The implications for portfolio companies Links and resources mentioned in this episode: Two Six Capital - Sajjad Jaffer – Thank you so much for joining us this week. This show was co-hosted with Lisa Weaver-Lambert.
8/2/201930 minutes, 7 seconds
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Episode 30 - Website Visitor Conversion

Most business sectors are feeling the challenges of cannibalization in B2B and B2C e-commerce sales scenarios, with tightening profit margins and the growth of direct e-commerce brands. Investments in developing e-commerce brands are costly and much of the focus is placed on acquiring customers, as digital has changed how companies compete for their customers. Understanding what drives higher conversion translates into real income. The kind of value at stake gives Private Equity companies a powerful incentive to close the capability gap. But how? It comes down to the fundamentals. Tracking the data behind the user experience and transaction path, funnel analysis, scroll maps, usability testing. The tools to make that happen are readily available. Jon MacDonald, Founder of The Good, sat down with us to talk about data-driven conversion success. He explains how data drives decisions and how to use that data to increase conversion. In this episode you’ll learn: * The financial impact of conversion on the value creation opportunity * The tools for data collection * Key pieces of data to focus on and compliance * Practical examples of optimization success Links and resources mentioned in this episode: Jon MacDonald on Linkedin: The Good: Hot Jar: Segment: This show was co-hosted with Lisa Weaver-Lambert.
7/16/201932 minutes, 56 seconds
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Episode 29 - Operators-as-a-Service

As private equity firms continue to look to technology as a way of creating growth, the market for operating partners that know technology is picking up. PE firms need pre-investment tech due diligence. During the hold period, they need creative technology solutions and execution of those solutions. And when preparing for sale, they need to maximize shareholder value. Enter Morgan Hill Partners, whose operators-as-a-service (cute, I know) model imagines to have the scalability that Vista and others have to meet the demand of operational leverage. Jim Barnish is our guest:
7/8/201927 minutes, 24 seconds
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Episode 28 - Data Science with Jike Chong

Data science already is, or will be, a key factor in the success of your investing. In this episode of The Private Equity Technology Podcast, we spoke with Jike Chong, Chief Data Scientist at Acorns, a startup focused on building tools for micro-investing. Jike joined to set the record straight on what data science actually is and where you can be looking to deploy it both pre- and post-acquisition. He has extensive experience building data science teams and practices in Financial Services, including a stint at Silver Lake. Our conversation covered many topics, including: * Potential applications of data science during the PE process and within portfolio companies. * Where to place capability and how to recruit and train skill sets * The challenges in getting data sources that are reliable and useful, and how to start unlocking for value creation Jike Chong is on LinkedIn: This episode is co-hosted with Lisa Weaver-Lambert.
6/24/201942 minutes, 43 seconds
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Episode 27 - Discussing Data With Lisa Weaver-Lambert

For good reason, there’s a lot of interest about the potential value that an be unlocked from data. Many Private Equity companies are now asking what should our data strategy be, what should our analytics strategy be, and what should our AI strategy be? Alex Agran discusses data with digital and commercial strategy specialist Lisa Weaver-Lambert. They explore the challenges faced by PE firms with regards to data strategy, execution, and viable solutions. They confront the challenge of the right balance between data, human insight, domain experience, and how the successful firms of tomorrow will probably be those who will quickly adopt these technologies. Want to subscribe to the Private Equity Technology Podcast? Have some feedback you’d like to share? Connect with us on iTunes and leave us a review or write to Alex at [email protected]. iTunes not your thing? Find us on most major podcast providers. Links to our guest: LinkedIn: Twitter:
5/17/201929 minutes, 7 seconds
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Episode 26 - West Monroe Partners On Cybersecurity

Brad Haller and Paul Cotter of West Monroe Partners, a household name in IT diligence, join me on this episode. We get into one increasingly important aspect within IT diligence, namely cybersecurity diligence. Securing your company’s data has become a vital aspect of running a business. There are serious costs in failing to secure that data. How do you protect yourself from acquiring companies with data security issues? Listen up!
7/18/201837 minutes, 59 seconds
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Episode 25 - Kinzie Capital Partners

So excited to finally be able to tell the story of Chicago-based Kinzie Capital Partners! Kinzie has an investment thesis that you'll hear from many other private equity firms, targeting lower middle market companies amidst transition in the consumer, manufacturing and services industries. But Kinzie is profoundly different in that it believes that a capital partner must understand technology’s growing influence on operations in order to unleash a company’s true potential. Sounds quite similar to what we've been preaching here for 10+ months, right?!? In a unique strategic partnership with Clarity Partners, a Chicago-based technology consultancy and developer, Kinzie has assembled an in-house team of technology, industry and operations experts that are readily available to assist with due diligence and work closely with their portfolio companies to execute strategic vision. This isn't Apax buying ThoughtWorks. This is Apax and ThoughtWorks going into business together. It's a setup that I believe is completely unique at the present, but one that I expect to become more familiar as the years go by. Check out Kinzie at or @KinzieCapital
6/18/201832 minutes, 7 seconds
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Episode 24 - Da Cloud

Great episode here (though the audio quality isn't). You're undoubtedly hearing a lot about the virtues and benefits of the cloud when it comes to the software running potential acquisitions or portfolio companies. How do you make sense of all of it? In this concise 30-minute overview, Steve Holstad, Director at Perficient, provides a layperson's understanding of 1) which applications belong in the cloud and ways of getting them there; and 2) the primary cloud providers and their offerings. You can find Steve at LinkedIn. Message him and ask him about his free Cloud Assessment for PE portfolio companies.
5/21/201834 minutes, 19 seconds
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Episode 23 - Hiring Tech Executives

Hiring the right tech executives to run your portfolio companies is a serious challenge. Alex Rawlings, of UK-based Raw Selection, dials in from across the pond with strategies and tips on how to find what you're looking for.
5/1/201827 minutes, 36 seconds
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Episode 22 - Private Equity IT Trends

Renna Partners' Mike Bestvina dropped in to talk current private equity market IT trends and going ons. We cover two primary topics. First, that the game is just starting when it comes to private equity firms teaming up with IT service firms and strategic advisors in a premeditated way (think Apax buying ThoughtWorks, think Kinzie Capital partnering with Clarity Partners). Then, we talk carve-outs and the challenges that technology creates.
4/18/201828 minutes, 1 second
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A Rant: Hire Portfolio Company CIOs With Software Backgrounds

Hardware, networking, infrastructure. These are commodities. Easily outsourced. Competitive advantages and efficiencies are gained via software. When your private equity firm prepares to execute its vision with a new portfolio company, I highly recommend a technology leader with a software background.
4/5/20183 minutes, 18 seconds
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Episode 20 - Talking Innovation Strategy With McDonald's Innovation Guru Wayne Montague

Before you get to taking on big technology initiatives, you need to have a definitive understanding of your core business: what are the markets you serve, who are your customers, etc. You need to make sure that you’re designing technology solutions to fit the core business needs. How do you do this? Wayne Montague, the man who started and ran McDonald’s innovation center in the early 2000s, steps into the recording studio to talk about the importance of having an innovation strategy and why private equity needs to get more prescriptive about innovation both pre- and post-close.
3/28/201827 minutes, 43 seconds
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A Rant: You're Not Too Late. In Fact, You're Still Early!

It's not too late to get serious about how your private equity firm approaches the evaluation of technology's potential at targets and portfolio companies. The industry has been slow moving. Get started now!
3/13/20182 minutes, 53 seconds
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A Rant: Dear Associates, You Have An Incredible Opportunity To Make An Impact

Dear Private Equity Associates - You have an enormous opportunity to add value at your respective firms: go deep on understanding the technology both pre- and post-acquisition. Your bosses and bosses' bosses most likely don't have the time to get into it. Every company is run on technology. The more you understand about it, the more impact you can create earlier in your careers!
3/5/20183 minutes, 25 seconds
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Episode 17 - Managing The Rollout Of Large Technological Change

Rightfully, more and more attention is being paid to how a portfolio company's operations and culture are affected by large changes to the technology that runs the business. When there are meaningful technological changes, it pays to not only consider how those changes will impact a company and its culture, but to put a plan in place to address and manage the changes. Micah Alpern, culture and change management expert, drops in to share how you can and should prepare for technological change.
2/26/201831 minutes, 55 seconds
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A Rant: if(CFO == CTO) { alert(“That’s risky business!”); }

A number of small-to-medium sized businesses assign technology decision making to their CFOs. This is unfortunate. Technology is an essential component of every business today and creates competitive advantages. Most CFOs have no background in implementing and building technology and therefore lack important context from which strategic technology decisions for their businesses can be made. This isn’t the CFO’s fault. Winging technology decisions with a CFO doesn’t justify the long-term risks of getting those decisions wrong. There’s too much at stake. Take the positive ROI step of hiring an experienced technology professional to drive your technology decision making process. Take that burden off the CFO and let her/him get back to doing the things that CFOs do best.
2/19/20184 minutes, 54 seconds
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Episode 15 - Goodnight RFP, Hello RSS

Traditional RFIs and RFPs are painful experiences for both buyer and vendor. They're inefficient and often do a poor job of 1) conveying the actual business needs; and 2) vetting vendors. David Carlson, of Halsted Partners, has been on both sides of the traditional processes. Today, he bucks those traditions and deploys a process he calls Rapid Software Selection (RSS). Buyers and vendors (even those that don't end up winning) have been thrilled with the results. Check out David's method to choosing the right software partner in an efficient, thoughtful manner.
2/13/201827 minutes, 37 seconds
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Episode 14 - More About User Experience and Interface Design

If you haven't already figured, I am all in on the importance of user experience and interface design in enterprise software. If you’re creating enterprise software, you’re going to need a proper user experience and interface design. Traditional design firms are good for some things, but their traditional approach design isn't right for enterprise software. New age digital firms, those that have grown up focused on creating software products and user experience, are better equipped to design enterprise software systems. Tyson Damman, who has to be one of the tallest digital creative directors in the world, stops by to talk about Traditional versus New Age digital agencies, the costs of enterprise software design, and why it’s better to focus on features and functionality before applying visual design to your software.
2/6/201822 minutes, 42 seconds
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Episode 13 - Technology And The Law

You absolutely cannot ignore The Law when it comes to the software running your portfolio companies. You need to be aware in both pre-acquisition diligence and post-close situations of how contracts are structured and more importantly, what software is yours versus what is licensed (teaser: beware of open source). Tim Nelson, of law firm Aronberg Goldgehn, drops the knowledge.
1/29/201831 minutes, 31 seconds
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Episode 12 - Hiring Software Developers

If you're building custom software at your portfolio companies, you're going to need a team of software developers with modern stack credentials and experience. Finding and hiring the right developers for the job is a tall order. Colleagues Kristen Byrne and Rob Paulson pop in to drop some tips and tricks that will improve your chances of finding the team you need.
1/19/201820 minutes, 26 seconds
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A Rant - KKR (very, very indirectly) Acknowledges Base Theory

Last week, a quote attributed to KKR's Anne Arlinghaus from the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum hit Twitter and made my year!
11/20/20172 minutes, 32 seconds
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Episode 10 - Software Testing

Software testing. Perhaps the most underrated component of the software development life cycle. Perhaps the most likely to be impacted by scope creep. Perhaps an aspect of the software development process that you should pay more attention to. John Frank joins me again to talk you through what it takes for your portfolio companies to properly test their software and how it can impact your investment.
11/17/201732 minutes, 32 seconds
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Episode 9 - Agile Software Development

Agile. One of my favorite overused and not always understood phrases in the tech world. Why, as a private equity investor, should you care about what Agile is? Chances are that Agile is being used to develop software at your portfolio companies. Understanding enough about Agile will allow you to ask the right questions and make sure the right checks and balances are in place to improve the odds that software projects are successful. John Frank stops by to drop the knowledge in this episode.
11/2/201734 minutes, 12 seconds
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A Question: Do You Have Tech Expertise With You on Monthly Ops Calls and Quarterly Board Meetings?

This has been on my mind since last episode: Do you have tech expertise with you on monthly ops calls and quarterly board meetings? If not, why not?
10/18/20173 minutes, 24 seconds
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Episode 7 - Svoboda Capital Partners - Jeff Piper

This was a fire conversation with Jeff Piper, Managing Director, Svoboda Capital Partners. Tons of insight directly from the mouth of a private equity firm as it relates to tech decisions going on at portfolio companies. Jeff was even kind enough to drop a legitimate business opportunity into the laps of any IT due diligence firms listening. I loved this one, and hope to hear from more PE firms directly.
10/11/201732 minutes, 7 seconds
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Episode 6 - Apax Partners Gets It

Apax Partners, the well-known private equity firm, recently announced the acquisition of ThoughtWorks, the well-known developer of enterprise custom software solutions. Conveniently, with this acquisition, Apax helps to drive home this podcast's base theory that private equity firms should be leveraging technology to improve the outcomes of their portfolio companies. I discuss the acquisition and what it signals to the rest of the private equity world.
9/22/20173 minutes, 49 seconds
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Episode 5 - The Importance of Visual Design and User Experience

The look and the feel of enterprise software is often (and wrongly) overlooked. The Consumerization of IT continues to pressure organizations to make their enterprise software appealing both visually experientially, to both customers and employees. Chris Bernard, Director of what used to be Truth Labs ( and is now folded under Perficient Digital, discusses the importance of UX/UI in enterprise software and the value it can bring to productivity, satisfaction, and enterprise value. If you work for a Private Equity firm, listen long enough and Chris puts out an amazing offer for you.
9/5/201734 minutes, 40 seconds
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Episode 4 - Deeeeeeep Dive IT Diligence

When you're looking at (or own) a company whose revenues or key operations rely on proprietary technology, it probably makes sense to go much deeper than typical IT diligence, like into the actual software code itself, to understand whether that technology can scale to meet your goals. We call this Deep Dive IT Diligence. Steve Holstad, Director at Perficient, drops by to provide an overview of Deep Dive IT Diligence and when/where it makes sense.
8/24/201723 minutes, 33 seconds
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Episode 3 - Current State of IT Diligence

Mike Bestvina of Liberty Advisor Group checked in to discuss the current state of IT diligence. It was great to hear that IT diligence has just about made its way into the standard pre-acquisition diligence process.
8/19/201728 minutes, 23 seconds
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Episode 2 - David Carlson

Great discussion with David Carlson of Halsted Partners about the intersection of operations and technology and his thoughts on how Private Equity should navigate this intersection. David has some serious technology street cred as well, having graduated in the 80s from the University of Illinois' computer science program.
8/18/201726 minutes, 25 seconds
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Base Theory

Laying out my base theory on why private equity needs to pay greater attention to the technology running its potential acquisitions and portfolio companies. Technology provides another weapon in your arsenal to generate returns, yet many of you don't understand enough about it to take advantage.
7/31/20176 minutes, 26 seconds