With an extensive background in technical leadership, Adam Rice drives the development of Centage’s suite of planning and budgeting products. In this continuing series, we bring you our interview with Adam so that you can Meet the Maestro.
Q: How is developing the Centage suite different from other product development that you’ve overseen?
“One thing that I continue to be impressed with is the willingness of each and every individual on the Product Development team to embrace continuous improvement,” Adam told us, pointing out that those improvements come from a number of angles, including tweaks and changes to the software development process to the ways in which the team communicates together and with the rest of the organization. The improvements also reflect on the development team’s approach to the product. “We’ve continued a mindset shift to a customer-centric approach,” Adam explains, “balancing our work in support of both existing and prospective customers alike.”
Q: What are the advantages of developing Centage’s products as cloud-native?
“There are a number of clear competitive advantages of cloud-native applications over more traditional enterprise applications,” Adam points out. Some of those are advantageous for Centage, but more importantly, it offers significant advantages for the customer. “The advantages include automatic scalability of system components so that platforms inherently adjust to our customers’ workload demands over time.” Offering cloud-based applications increase availability for clients. “Cloud-native applications are inherently resilient to failures, automatically handling any potential outages by instantly moving traffic from one application slice or data center to another without interrupting the service.”
Q: What future features do you see Centage customers asking for that would be new and different from other budgeting applications?
Adam sees advanced reporting as a key differentiator for Centage. “Static reports are just the beginning, and something that many of our competitors offer as table stakes,” Adam explains. “Layer in visually appealing dashboards along with a suite of data analysis and real-time reporting alerts to notify users when, for example, specific thresholds are exceeded – that can quickly become the sizzle on the steak that is Planning Maestro.”
Q: How does Centage approach innovation?
Adam describes Centage’s approach as incremental and “bottom-up”. “We provide opportunities for our team members to explore innovative techniques for solving problems by presenting business problems and seeking the best ideas from the team,” Adam tells us. Experience level doesn’t matter – only the best idea does. “Our goal is to leverage available technologies to solve business problems in the most efficient manner, relying on the individuals that are as close to the information as possible.” Adam prefers this to the more traditional “top-down” approach to innovation, where companies artificially drive innovation with challenges and other, similar events and initiatives.
Q: What is the most important thing your team does when rolling out new features in the Centage suite of products?
Adam doesn’t mince words on this answer. “Two words – automated testing.” He acknowledges that it’s a developing process within the organization, but one that they are dedicated to building on because of its importance. “Automated testing is critical to our success, as it allows us to confidently and more quickly build and release new product features.” And there is good reason for Adam’s belief in this method of testing. “A solid suite of automated tests provides a safety net for the engineering teams, ensuring that the new changes they’ve made both work as intended, and of equal importance, don’t adversely impact existing functionality.”