Motion Equals Success
Planning means everything at Segue
Software, Inc., a company named because of its expertise in helping companies
test conversions from one platform to another. The concept not only works well
for its customers, but it has helped Segue through challenges to become a top
contender in its class.
In 1997, Segue was plagued by
lackluster performance and slow growth. To solve the problem, the company brought
in a new senior management team headed by CEO Stephen B. Butler, a 20-year veteran
of the high-technology software business, and set about redefining its vision,
recasting its objectives, redirecting product development, and outlining strategy.
revitalized Segue has since made a "segue" of its own - from that of
a floundering organization to a redefined outfit focused on growth.
in Lexington, Mass., Segue maintains offices throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe
and is a leading provider of electronic business (e-business) testing solutions
to an impressive clientele of high-volume transaction and service-oriented organizations
such as Fidelity, Reuters Information and Disney Online.
recently, Segue Software began selling monitoring and testing software to IBM
Global Services under an exclusive, 3-year pact. Big Blue will use Segue products
at all its hosting facilities to remotely track its clients' Web site performance
as well as analyze network, server and database functions.
agreement provides enterprises with seamless world-class solutions, from companies
with best-in-class specialization, to help them ensure the reliability of their
applications," says Steve Butler, Segue's president and CEO. It also expanded Segue's relationship with IBM.
Putting It Into
Segue's big-name contracts and partnerships are the outcome of much
planning and a redefined direction that's propelled Segue to the top of its class.
Founded in 1991, the company's main business was the development of testing tools
for client/server environments.
During its first five years,
Segue experienced steady growth and in March 1996, went public. An initial splash
saw its stock price spike from $16 to $40/share, however, when first quarter sales
didn't meet Wall Street's ambitious projections, the price dropped to the $10-$12
Under the gun, Segue had two choices: Shore up
the business well enough to be sold or nail down a strategy that would put the
company back on a growth track. The company opted for the latter, hired Butler
and began focusing on e-commerce. It drew on what it knew best - applications
testing - and became the leading provider of testing solutions in the emerging
arena of e-business.
Segue also sought to distinguish
itself by developing products and services that simulated real-life scenarios,
customized to the client's needs. In doing so, it developed LiveQuality, a three-product
suite that creates and executes scenarios enabling clients to anticipate and avert
potential e-business problems. The application allows a retailer, for example,
to learn how to manage sudden high volume on its Web site, while a financial-services
firm could program and plan accordingly for unexpected stock market changes.
Old to New
Michael Maggio, senior vice president of marketing and alliances
with Segue Software, is the only senior manager to have made the transition from
old regime to new, watching along the way as the company shifted from static to
the dynamic. The main distinction, as he sees it, lies in the new group's focus
"There was more planning than I'd ever
seen in this company before," Maggio says. "By the time our bread-and-butter
product suite, LiveQuality, was launched, we were all on the same page."
that was just the beginning of Segue's intensive planning process. The public company went on to release many new products and significant enhancements to existing
products to round out its offerings to provide full life cycle testing and monitoring
of applications from development to pre-deployment and into production.
during 2001, Segue refocused its efforts on its channel partners and resellers,
through its new SilkElite partner program, as a means to increase Segue's sales
presence in mid-tier customers, through an expanded indirect channel.
Segue couldn't escape the technology slump, however, and in 2001 the 220-employee
company reacted quickly to a revenue slump that dropped its sales.
To combat the industry-wide downturn, Segue executed two restructuring plans, including an approximate 34 percent reduction in workforce, and the closing of the research and development laboratory in the Los Gatos, California, office with a shifting of some resources to Segue's Austrian facility.
The company also consolidated space in its Lexington and Los Gatos facilities and replaced its inside sales organization with a new enterprise-oriented sales model and process. Thanks to its makeover and constantly updated planning process, Segue -- which was purchased in 2006 by Borland Software Corp. -- is well braced to grow and prosper in years to come.