Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Interview with Steven Levy, CEO of Verivo Software (Part 1)

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by Sramana Mitra

Steven Levy is the chief executive officer at Verivo. Prior to accepting his current position of CEO in 2010, Levy served as a member of the Verivo’s board of directors. As CEO, he has led the company in dramatic growth, increased product investment, and expanded the reach of sales through his ability to create new revenue models, extend the company’s business offerings, and identify new market expansion opportunities. Verivo’s software is about helping customers accelerate their business results. Its product, Verivo Akula – an enterprise mobile app platform – helps to simplify the complexities associated with building, securing, and managing enterprise mobile apps.

Before joining the company, Levy co-founded and served as CEO of Macgregor Group Inc., an order management system provider, for 15 years. He eventually led the sale of the software firm to ITG for approximately $250 million. Levy holds a BS in computer science and electrical engineering and an MS in artificial intelligence from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Sramana Mitra: Steve, let’s set some context about Verivo and yourself.

Steve Levy: Verivo is a software company that is interested in helping its customers see direct bottom-line business results through the application of mobile technology, particularly mobile apps. Basically, mobile apps are ushering a whole new way of doing business and working, and they are the new form of building software. Building apps for the enterprise as opposed to consumer-oriented apps has a variety of challenges that makes building them and getting a benefit out of them hard. When you are building a mobile app, you expect some benefit for your business, and delivering on that is quite challenging for a variety of reasons I will go into.

Our business is focused on what makes those apps’ development and operation difficult and addressing those items – not building apps in general, but building the enterprise aspect of those apps. By enterprise I don’t mean applications for just employees, it is internally and externally facing. But what really distinguishes an enterprise is one where the app operates intricately and inherently with the business – whether it is for placing orders, looking at sales, inventory, or customers. It is tied into the business operations.

I have been associated with the business for about eight years. Before that I started a firm in 1991 and sold it after 15 years. We had a great exit there. I learned a lot by bootstrapping and working with the venture community. By education, my background is computer science from MIT. I got my bachelors and my masters degrees there.

SM: Where is Verivo located?

SL: In Waltham, Massachusetts. I would say every CEO is different. I am one of the more technically oriented CEOs. I understand the technology very well, though I try to bring a very strong business perspective to it.

SM: Is Verivo a services business or a technology business?

SL: It is a technology business. Our services are incidental or supportive to our underlying technology.

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