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Art Landro is CEO of Sencha, a company that provides more than 10,000 customers and 60% of the Fortune 100 with a unified platform for designing, developing and testing cross-platform web applications. With over 25 years of global business experience, Art brings to Sencha deep operational expertise across sales, marketing, product development, services, and support. 

Prior to Sencha, Art was the CEO of Cordys where he transformed the Netherlands-based software company into a BPM PaaS and Cloud Provisioning provider and successfully led its acquisition by OpenText. Before that he was President of MontaVista Software, breaking into non-traditional Linux markets such as automotive infotainment systems and aerospace controls. Art has led sales and services organizations in the Asia Pacific/Japan territory with Documentum, Cadence, and General DataComm, living in the region for over 12 years. 

Art holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut and also served 5 years of Active Duty in the US Air Force and 22 years in the Air Force Reserves, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.

You can follow Sencha on Twitter at @Sencha or connect with Art on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/artlandro

He will be live on Jan. 31 starting at 9:30 AM PT for one and a half hours during which he will answer as many questions as possible. 

  • JF

    Javier Feldman

    22 days ago #

    Good Morning Art!

    What are your top challenges marketing to developers and how you've been able to overcome them?

    Thanks in advance!

    • AL

      Art Landro

      22 days ago #

      Hi Javier. The number one challenge is making sure developers that are building data intensive enterprise apps that will live for 5+ years in the enterprise and used by hundreds if not thousands of users consider technologies that fit this profile and not just the hottest technology or the "fun" technologies. Developing the application is only a small part of the entire lifecylce. Developers also need to consider how to maintain, enhance, upgrade and support the application - and these are much harder (and more boring!) conversations. So usually you need to bring in all players into the conversation - developers, managers, executives, business owners.

      3 Share
  • IJ

    Ivan Jouikov

    23 days ago #

    1) Does Sencha consider ExtJS to be an open source product?
    2) What is Sencha doing about proliferation of ExtJS in the marketplace, especially with new engineers entering the scene?

    • AL

      Art Landro

      22 days ago #

      1. Sencha is a dual-licensed technology - it is available under a GPL and for organizations wanting to build outside the GPL license terms, a commercial license is available.
      2. We’re continually listening to our customers and investing in our products and services. We announced our roadmap for the next version of Ext JS at SenchaCon. We’ve also just published a blog post and webinar with details about how to use Ext JS components in React apps to open up the 100s of pre-tested Sencha components and widgets to React-based applications. We will be doing the same with Angular later in the year.

    • AS

      Alexei Solodovnicov

      22 days ago #

      As I know, it is already opensource https://www.sencha.com/legal/gpl/
      Of course, there you have some limitations (your project has to be GPLv3, you don't have ExtJS updates).

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    22 days ago #

    Hey Art - great to have you on!
    What do you believe are the main challenges for developers building apps today?

    • AL

      Art Landro

      22 days ago #

      To consider the entire life-cycle of the application, from design - development - test - production - enhancements - upgrades - maintenance - support. Figuring that out with your peers and managers is critically important and you must spend time on this before you start coding!

      2 Share
      • AL

        Art Landro

        22 days ago #

        You are right - it should be obvious, but developers are very capable coders and they love to code... so they usually get right to it!

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        22 days ago #

        To me that seems like it should be obvious. Why do you think this kind of thinking isnt as widespread as it should be?

  • JD

    James Dunn

    22 days ago #

    Hi Art

    For a company of your size, what channels do you see for growth that will significantly move the needle on your most important KPIs? Are these different from what's gotten Sencha to where you are right now?

    • AL

      Art Landro

      22 days ago #

      Looking for the most efficient channels to market is a challenge - and my recommendation is not to rely on just one. If you have a low-touch/no-touch product that can be sold on the web you can drive a lot of marketing dollars and on-line/phone technical support to drive sales. If it is a high-touch consulting type engagement to close customers then you will need to build a strategic account team and that gets expensive - but if your product pricing can support that model you will be successful.

  • SK

    S Kodial

    22 days ago #

    Hey Art - thanks for being here.
    Were you surprised at the findings in your state of the modern web report that more respondents said the desktop apps were absolutely essential, compared to mobile apps?
    Whether your response is yes or no, why is that?

    • AL

      Art Landro

      22 days ago #

      No we were not surprised - mainly because many enterprise developers are building data-intensive applications that bring in data from many sources and needs to be sliced/diced/visualized and all of that is difficult in the small screen of the mobile world. Again, this is not to say that mobile apps are not important - but we see this as an "AND" game, not an "OR" game.

  • DH

    Dani Hart

    22 days ago #

    Thanks for being here today!

    In your experience leading teams, how important is company culture in regards to growth? Are there any things you've seen done well to contribute to successful teams?

    Looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

    Cheers!
    Dani

  • JP

    John Phamvan

    22 days ago #

    Hi Art

    What are the top 3 tech trends you see from your perch that will impact most companies this year?

    Thx!

    • AL

      Art Landro

      22 days ago #

      1. Building applications in the "digital age" that can create actionable intelligence and help business decision making from the reams and reams of data we are all creating.
      2. Finding good technology people and keeping them - because every company in every vertical in every geography will become a "digital company".
      3. There are so many technology platforms to choose from -- many new ones come out every year - how do you choose the right technology for the long term.

      2 Share
  • TN

    Tri Nguyen

    22 days ago #

    Do you think international experience of some kind will be essential for founders moving forward, especially those based in the US, to succeed in non-English speaking markets? Whether yes or no, could you elaborate on why you believe that to be the case?

    • AL

      Art Landro

      22 days ago #

      International expertide is critical for any business. No matter where it is based or where it started, at some point some aspect of the business will go "outside the origin country's borders" - either for hiring or for sales. The world has become too small for this not to happen. And deep experience is important. There is a world of difference between 1) international business travel and 2) actually living overseas and deep within the local economy and culture. The first one will get you into a world of trouble because most people think they are "experts" at this level... and that will lead to some bad decisions.

  • AS

    Alexei Solodovnicov

    22 days ago #

    Hi Art,
    I work with ExtJS last 5 years (4 companies, 7 projects) and I find the product great, but Sales department is a hell! Sorry, that's my personal feeling about it :-)

    1. Why can't Sencha just make some nice things for devs like providing IDEs plugins for free. Or at least to sell it separately from packages? It's just simple logic: you use plugin if you need it for development, and it has nothing to do with the product features.
    In the end, it's just limiting developers from writing ExtJS-based project efficient. Don't you agree?

    2. You can buy 6 licenses for ExtJS at start, but if you have a pack for 5 and you hire another developer you can't buy additional one. Why can't you just by 1 more additional license if you already have a pack?
    I find it just inefficient and very customer unfriendly. Is there any hope that the policy will be changed in future?

  • GH

    Glen Harper

    22 days ago #

    Hi Art, thanks for being on the AMA today. What were the most important lessons on leadership you learned from your time in the Air Force that you think applied most as a CEO? Many thanks in advance.

    • AL

      Art Landro

      22 days ago #

      Hi Glen - one of my favorite topics. Take a look at this recently published piece and follow-up if you have any more questions.
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/chriscancialosi/2017/01/30/8-foundational-leadership-lessons-an-air-force-veteran-turned-ceo/#15c198e983be

      • AL

        Art Landro

        22 days ago #

        Hi Anuj - there was one shocking experience I had coming out of the Air Force and into the "civilian world" working for a big company - and that was around the "walls" that were built between engineering and marketing, or marketing and sales, or finance and manufacturing. I refused to acknowledge those walls because my view was we were all one company. I pro-actively reached out to my peers and counterparts (not the bosses) and asked how I could help them if they needed something from my department - and asked for nothing in return. Do that across all departments - and ask for nothing in return - and pretty soon you will be known as the "go-to-guy" in the company to get things done. I have two recommendations for books as well. 1) Predictive Leadership by Kirk Dando and 2)Leadership and Self-Deception from the Arbinger Institute.

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        22 days ago #

        For those of us that havent had the opportunity to be in the armed forces, do you have any tips on how leadership skills can be developed/honed?

  • PD

    Porus Daruvala

    22 days ago #

    Hi Art:

    What would you say are the top 3 lessons you learnt as CEO at Cordys that you've been able to apply at Sencha?

    Thanks!

    • AL

      Art Landro

      22 days ago #

      1. Make decisions much faster - the world is moving at warp speed
      2. Doesn't matter how technically fantastic your product is, it has to be easy to use
      3. Put the right people in the right positions

      • AL

        Art Landro

        22 days ago #

        Hi Anuj - I am a big believer in the "informal network" or "informal chain of command" that can be leveraged to get critical information or learn about issues in the company. The key is "listening". Listen to the informal chatter - the information you need will be in there. Just listen - one of the most neglected skills on the face of the planet.

        2 Share
      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        22 days ago #

        Can you talk more about the last point? Have you found any strategies to get this aspect right more often than not?

  • MD

    Mark Anthony de Jesus

    22 days ago #

    Good Morning Art! The BaaS market has a lot of competition - including big names like Apple and Microsoft - even Facebook is in this space. How has Sencha been able to differentiate itself?

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    22 days ago #

    Thanks for doing this AMA Art. I'd like to know how your company approaches growth. How do product, marketing and sales work together to drive customer acquisition, conversion, retention and expansion?

    • AL

      Art Landro

      22 days ago #

      Hi Sean - great question and one of the main themes of my organizational activities at Sencha, especially when I first started. It is absolutely critical that engineering, marketing (PM and PM!) and sales are 100% aligned on the product roadmap... and that they all understand that the "finished and released product" is so much more than just the "core product". It has to include product notes, sales engineering training, account manager training, documentation, brochures, website info, tech support training, press releases, FAQs, etc. etc etc. Put that end-to-end list together and drive the conversation around this holistic approach

  • DO

    Danielle Olivas

    22 days ago #

    Good morning, Art!

    Thanks for being here with us today.

    Who have you drawn influence from, or who has inspired your career and how?

    Looking forward to your reply!

    • AL

      Art Landro

      22 days ago #

      Hi Danielle - did you ever play the question game: if you could have a two-hour lunch with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be. My answer is Winston Churchill. The right guy at the right time... and then it wasn't the right time and he wasn't the right guy - but overall an absolutely amazing leader who literally saved the world. That being said, I was very lucky to have great mentors throughout my careers (both Air Force and civilian) that supported me, pointed me in the right direction and cleaned me up after my disasters! My father was also a big influence - his basic philosophy was "if you're not making mistakes, you're not doing anything... just don't make the same mistake twice". Dont be afraid of making mistakes - they are better life lessons than successes.

      2 Share
  • JM

    Jason Meresman

    22 days ago #

    Hi Art - thanks for doing today's AMA!

    I noticed Sencha offers software, services and training. Do customers need to purchase the software if they want the services and training?

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