chicago at night
SpringCM's new CEO plans to accelerate change through growth and talent acquisition. PHOTO: Alejandro BenÄ—t

Dan Dal Degan is the new CEO at Chicago-based SpringCM, where he's relying on decades of technology experience, including employment at Salesforce, to push the company forward.

Dal Degan is fueling his plans with a new $25 million round of venture capital, which SpringCM closed earlier this year.

In this final installment of a two-part series, Dal Degan talks more about the company's document and sales contract management solution for Salesforce customers and some broader thoughts about digital transformation.

SpringCM 2017 Plans

"We have built a business out of replacing many of the big legacy systems. Companies don’t want them anymore because they are not responsive enough," he told CMSWire.

Roe: Does a new CEO mean a new direction for SpringCM?

Dal Degan: It's more about continuing and fine-turning our go-to-market strategy as opposed to changing it or ripping it up and starting over.

Having been on the SpringCM board for the past nine months, we had already implemented changes around out contracts and document management platform. Taking over as CEO only meant accelerating that process, enhancing the company by adding more talent and experience to the leadership team.

We plan to bring in a new Chief Marketing Officer and a head of sales productivity, both from Salesforce, as well as a Chief Productivity Officer.

Roe: What's your strategy for SpringCM?

Dal Degan: We are running campaigns to go after install bases of proprietary systems, in particular, OpenText and Documentum. Also, when we see a Microsoft shop running SharePoint, we usually propose integrating with it rather than trying to replace it.

Roe: What about the sales team?

The bulk of the $25 million we raised recently is going to customer facing expansion, European Union expansion and then engineering. We are doubling down on product development, accelerating our roadmap.

As for customer facing roles, we are adding a layer of nuance. In fact, we are running the Salesforce playbook. It's easy for me since we wrote and executed the playbook of scaling an enterprise application sales team while I was at Salesforce.

For European expansion, we have a team on the ground in London and we are expanding that team.

Mapping SpringCM's Goals

Roe: What are your goals for the next 12 month?

Dal Degan: We have 600 customers now. I would like to see that number grow significantly. Our sweet spots are larger enterprises and mid-market companies.

We're going to execute on our expansion and development plans. We’ll onboard engineers, account executives and others to help leverage our strengths and propel our growth.

Roe: What pain points still exist around digital transformation?

Dal Degan: I hear consistently from CIOs and CEOs about the pressure they're under from their board members to execute digital transformation. Then I hear from the board members that none of them can agree on what digital transformation is about and what it means.

Roe: In closing, what does digital transformation mean to you?

Dal Degan: Any transformation project in the enterprise is now classified as digital transformation. An enterprise implements a customer relation management project and that gets labeled digital transformation. It introduces document management and that gets labeled digital transformation.

An entire industry has emerged that is focused on showing people how to transform digitally. Many times those initiatives fall flat because something is missing — and that's knowledge about how to bridge the gap between the legacy of the systems that are supporting vital business processes today and this digital future.

The first questions that come up in any transformation project are, "What do you do with documents? What do you do with contracts? What do you do with applications?"

What we do with our customers is rationalize legacy document management systems and give them workflows and processing so they can digitize and process those documents.