One of the main reasons I came to Redwood Software in January of 2022 was because I saw the opportunity the technology and the space presented. Helping companies automate mission-critical business processes was exciting to me. As I went about getting to know my new teammates, and learning more and more about what we did, it became clear the focus of our organization was exactly where it should be: on our customers. And how we could help them solve a current or near-term future challenges.
- How can we help our customers orchestrate their mission-critical business processes to achieve optimal business outcomes?
- How can we tie our various products together to provide a better customer experience?
- How can we compose better automations for critical business processes like payroll?
- How can we help turn order to cash faster?
- How? How? How?
The focus was laser-like.
It didn’t matter if I was talking to engineers, customer success, product or sales. The discussions were fascinating. The possibilities seemed endless.
On the one hand, this made me extremely happy. To come into an organization that was about to celebrate its 30th year in business and find such a consistent thread running throughout was rare. But the question I wanted an answer to now was ‘why’? Why, beyond the obvious things automating critical business processes can accomplish like improving efficiency, monitoring and reporting, why did our clients come to Redwood? It all felt a little tactical. A little too practical. To be clear, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But I’m a firm believer that if you want every employee to wake up every day excited to work, to try to move the company forward and change the future, you need a universal purpose. You need a vision. Something you can strive for every day to try to make real, even if it may be so bold you might never get there.
So, I kept asking ‘why’.
The most consistent answer was some version of, ‘we help automate the repetitive, mundane tasks no one wants to do.’ Clearly, this is true. It’s also not very inspiring. But it was a step toward figuring out our bigger purpose. So, I kept digging. And the team kept thinking. The more I listened, the more I learned. The more we talked about it, the more it became obvious that we weren’t really in the automation business. Rather, we were in the freedom business. What we actually do is provide people with freedom of mind and time to focus on bigger things—personally and professionally, rather than repetitive tasks. We allow people to get out of the weeds and see the forest. Our automation solutions allow people to reimagine how they will spend their time, not just working, but in their personal life as well, which is incredibly important in what is now the new work reality—remote, hybrid, global. As a company, we believe in the transformative power of automation. Not just how it can transform a process or a business or even an industry. But how it can transform the humans involved. Their job. Their career. Their life. Simply put, we unleash human potential.
Is that the reality of today? Sometimes. But far from always. At the moment, too often it seems when one mundane task is automated, another one takes its place. That isn’t exactly unleashing potential. But I think most of us have been conditioned to live in the weeds. To work down instead of up. I don’t believe that has to be the case. I don’t think that’s the best use of time, and I really think how people spend their time is a driving force of fulfillment. The problem is, we are often faced with a choice between what we want to do, and what we have to do. The mundane, at least when it comes to work, tends to take up our time. It is the thing we feel we have to do. Our vision is to change that. To make the default choice doing what you want to do, not what you have to.
There is a lot of work ahead, but this is what drives us. It’s exciting. It’s bold. And it’s motivating. Without a doubt, I see a very bright future for automation and what it can do for businesses. But more importantly, I think the future of humans who take advantage of automation, is even brighter.
About The Author
Kevin Greene brings more than 25 years of enterprise software leadership experience as an operator, board member, investor, and investment banker working with breakthrough technology companies. Prior to joining Redwood, Kevin was the CEO of Logi Analytics, a private equity-backed enterprise software company and leader in embedded analytics, which successfully exited to insightsoftware in April of 2021. Kevin has also served as a Partner at Valhalla Partners, a $440 million venture capital firm in Virginia. He was also a principal at Flagship Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm in Massachusetts. Prior to Kevin’s venture career, he held both director-level and product marketing roles at IBM. Kevin started his career at Goldman Sachs in its New York and Hong Kong offices.
Kevin has an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing degree from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce.