Enterprise is sexier than ever. As Andreessen Horowitz partner Scott Weiss aptly predicted in his brilliant guest post titled “30 New Franchises,” there is an unprecedented opportunity to create new multi-billion-dollar enterprise franchises despite incumbents throwing massive amounts of money to acquire these franchises. Weiss’ post created such an engaging conversation around the future of enterprise software that we decided to build a panel at Disrupt SF around the thesis, featuring Weiss himself, Box CEO and founder Aaron Levie, Zendesk CEO and founder Mikkel Svane, and Chris Kemp, the CEO of Nebula.
Weiss believes that the next franchises will be built around three areas: mobile, SaaS and cloud infrastructure. Cloud storage giant Box has been doubling down on mobile, acquiring HTML5 document embedding service Crocodoc in its efforts to allow businesses to store and manage documents anywhere. As Levie has told us in the past, Box is trying to invent what real-time collaboration looks like in the mobile era, and could be eying a public offering as early as next year.
Zendesk’s SaaS help desk/support ticketing application has seen tremendous success as the key to service efficiency for any customer-facing company. As of last year, monthly recurring revenue has grown five-fold since 2010 for the company. While Zendesk’s bread and butter has been catering to small to medium-sized businesses, of late, Svane and the company has been pulling major enterprise deals including L’Oreal, Groupon and many others.
In terms of cloud infrastructure, there may be no better person to disrupt this sector than Nebula’s Kemp, who was the former CTO of NASA and the co-founder of OpenStack. With Nebula, Kemp and his team are building an infrastructure that allows businesses to deploy large private cloud computing infrastructures.
Together, Weiss, Levie, Svane and Kemp are going to talk about how they are building their own franchises, and attempting to build lasting institutions in the enterprise world.
The conference starts September 7 and runs until the 11th at our favorite location, the San Francisco Design Concourse. Stay tuned for more speaker announcements and a few surprises to be announced soon.
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