Dashboard Insight recently spoke with Gaurav Kapoor about his MetricStream platform, his GRC community and how he's positioned the company to go beyond being a "newcomer leader."
Dashboard Insight: Tell us about the history of MetricStream.
Gaurav Kapoor: MetricStream was founded in 1999 with the vision of creating a "metrics-driven" enterprise performance management infrastructure for global corporations. The technology was widely adopted by early customers for monitoring business performance metrics to ensure compliance with internal standards and customer mandates. In 2005, MetricStream launched ComplianceOnline.com portal to offer a variety of channels for dissemination and exchange of compliance and regulatory information through alerts, vertical search, discussion forums, and best practices library services. More recently, MetricStream has been enjoying phenomenal success from its solutions for corporate governance, enterprise risk management (ERM), regulatory compliance, internal audit, quality management and policy management.
DI: What areas of the B.I. stack do your GRC solutions cover?
GK: Business intelligence is critical for effective risk and compliance management. MetricStream Enterprise Compliance Platform has in-built capability for GRC BI that is leveraged by all the application modules. The MetricStream platform has an embedded proprietary reporting and analytics engine for powerful and flexible reporting and BI. In addition to reports, the solution also provides executive dashboards.
BI support includes qualitative analytics, quantitative analytics, correlation analytics, assessment reporting, risk measurement, business impact, probability/likelihood, control preparedness and effectiveness, risk visualization, scenario building, dashboarding, reporting and performance management. MetricStream Infolet technology provides data warehousing capability based on the GRC data structures in the MetricStream Enterprise Compliance Platform. The system serves as the main repository and a single system of records for an organization's entire current and historical GRC data. By using MetricStream Infolet technology, data analyst can perform complex queries and analysis, such as data mining, reporting, dashboarding and analysis. MetricStream can tie in with other BI tools as well.
DI: The 2007 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise GRC Platforms listed you as a relatively small vendor – but a newcomer leader. How do you continue to compete with the big players like Paisley, OpenPages and Oracle?
GK: If we look back, a few years ago, MetricStream was the first company that articulated the vision of a single platform to address a broad spectrum of governance, risk, compliance and quality management needs of an organization - including operational compliance in areas like quality, safety, environment, suppliers and other industry mandates. We consider 2007 to be a landmark year for us because customers, partners, analysts and the marketplace at large recognized the convergence that MetricStream had envisioned.
MetricStream's platform-based architecture is a key technical differentiator as it enables us to provide a common technology infrastructure for meeting ERM needs, cross-industry mandates and regulations such as SOX, OSHA, EH&S, FCPA, and ISO standard as well as the industry-focused regulatory guidelines from FDA, FERC, FAA, HACCP, OMB A-123, AML, Basel II and data retention laws.
We’ve also positioned ourselves at the right level for policy. We get involved in and are perceived as a company that has a global presence in policy discussions. Also, the strategic participation of MetricStream in key policy and thought-leadership forums allow companies to look at us in an entirely different light.
DI: What’s the process if someone wanted to evaluate your solutions?
GK: Companies can get in touch with us on our sales support line +1-650-620-2955. We can work with prospects in a number of different ways: online demos, solution maps, webinars, live demos … we even create proofs-of-concept and sandbox environments for customers to test-drive the solution.
DI: Tell us about your customers, what key clients are using your solutions?
GK: MetricStream’s customer portfolio spans a wide rage of verticals with world-leading companies in each industry. Examples are:
- UBS, NASDAQ and Central Bank of Oman in financial services
- Pfizer and Covidien in life sciences
- SanDisk in electronics
- Subway in food & beverages
- Northern Indiana Power, Tennessee Valley Authority in utilities
- British Petroleum and Nexen in oil & gas
- NetApp, Fairchild and National Semiconductor in hi-tech manufacturing
- Cummins automotive.
DI: Your community portal ComplianceOnline.com has been a huge success, how have you used that community to help with development, and has helped with revenue growth.
GK: MetricStream’s key strategy, initiated in 2004, was to organize GRC professionals on the web into an online community. We created the online professional-network community: ComplianceOnline.com. We don’t create any regulatory content ourselves; we aggregate content from reliable sources and from some of the best minds in the world. We can thus address not only head of compliance (SOX, FDA, HIPAA, ISO), but also the tail (10,000 other niche regulations). Today the number of visitors is well over 2 million.
It started out as a thought-leadership and lead-generation engine but quickly evolved to take on a life with a solid business model and steady revenue stream of its own. We realized was that the GRC training market was highly fragmented and very large and was not fully utilizing the Internet for online training. We created a marketplace for online GRC and quality-management training in collaboration with experts from all over the world with whom we co-own the training content. ComplianceOnline.com delivers hundreds of online training sessions every quarter.
DI: How is the recession affecting demand for your products?
GK: We just accounted that the first quarter of 2009 and closed with record sales; this clearly indicates that the economic crisis has brought GRC to the top of the corporate agenda. GRC revenues in Q1 2009 more than doubled compared to a year ago. MetricStream’s expansion into the international markets continues with significant customer wins and successful project implementations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia in addition to its expanding market share in North America. We see a major trend in large companies investing to upgrade the technology infrastructure being used to carry out GRC programs. Customer are migrating from their legacy systems, point applications and paper-based procedures to integrated, platform-based risk and compliance management systems. As companies redefine their business practices for greater control and resiliency, MetricStream will play a critical role in enabling customers to weather the current slowdown as well as to seize the opportunities that lie ahead.
DI: What new products or developments are in the works that you would be able to share with us?
GK: Recent innovations are MetricStream’s applications for emerging areas including green compliance and corporate social responsibility. These include solutions for:
- Green data centers
- Carbon and emission management
- Energy management
- Intelligent buildings
- Environment policy management
- Waste management
- Environment and safety audits
- Emergency preparedness
- Carbon trading
Gaurav Kapoor has worldwide responsibility for finance, marketing, business development and the ComplianceOnline.com business unit. During his tenure at MetricStream, Gaurav has been instrumental in shaping key strategic initiatives such as founding ComplianceOnline.com, leading marketing for MetricStream to be recognized a "leader" in GRC Platforms (as validated by the Gartner Magic Quadrant and the Forrester Wave), and developing the NASDAQ-MetricStream strategic relationship. Gaurav brings nearly a decade of marketing, finance & operating experience with Citigroup and has spent several years in venture capital & executive operating roles with venture-backed enterprise software and internet companies. Gaurav has a Bachelor in Technology (with Honors) from the Institute of Technology in India, a degree in Business from FMS, Delhi and an MBA from the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania where he graduated as a Palmer Scholar.