Mike O’Malley is the SVP of Strategy at SenecaGlobal, a leading software development as a service company specializing in digital transformation. He has been in product development for 20+ years leading development, product management, marketing, and M&A in the tech space.
Throughout his career, Mike has combined deep engineering knowledge with business acumen to help companies figure out what creates success in the market for a product or solution. Then he builds and coaches teams to make it happen again and again.
Mike holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- About SenecaGlobal
- Trends in the Chicago market
- Benefits of small and medium-sized companies get by bringing in outside tech specialists to solve their complex technology issues
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studio in Chicago, Illinois. It’s time for Chicago Business Radio brought to you by FirmSpace, your private sanctuary for productivity and growth. To learn more, go to Firmspace.com. Now here’s your host.
Max Kantor: [00:00:21] Hey everybody, and welcome to another episode of Chicago Business Radio. I’m your host, Max Cantor, and before we get started, just want to thank today’s sponsor. Today’s show is sponsored by FirmSpace Band. Without them, we couldn’t be sharing these important stories and we got a great one for you today. On today’s show, I have the senior vice president of Strategy for SenecaGlobal. His name is Mike O’Malley. So welcome to the show, Mike.
Mike O’Malley: [00:00:45] Thanks, Max, for having me. Glad to be here.
Max Kantor: [00:00:47] Excited to talk to you about everything you guys are doing. Let’s jump right in. Tell me a little bit about Seneca Global. What do you guys do?
Mike O’Malley: [00:00:54] So we’re a leader in software development, managed services and technical advisory services. And basically what we do is we help enterprises innovate. And so what we’ve seen as we come out of the pandemic, right, there’s a lot of pent up innovation, a lot of projects and things that that enterprises have planned on doing that got put on hold as part of the pandemic. And now as we come out of that, we’re seeing a lot of new innovation and we help enterprises find that innovation completed faster.
Max Kantor: [00:01:25] Now when you’re talking about innovation, it’s interesting because I was reading all about you guys online, so I see how you could help. You could truly help people when companies were shifting online and going remote during the pandemic. How did you guys handle the pandemic within your own company as well?
Mike O’Malley: [00:01:44] Well, it was quite a challenge in that we’re primarily a software development company, so we have a lot of software development engineers spread across the globe. And obviously in the pandemic, everybody was remote, so it took quite a bit of coordination to be able to still service our customers. But I’m pleased to say that we have a ninety five plus percent renewal rate with our customers and they’re very happy with our work and we came through it rather well.
Max Kantor: [00:02:11] So when I think of like technology services, especially in the business world, I think, Oh no, my computer got a virus, let me call it, you know, obviously you guys do so much more than that. So what are some services that you provide your customers?
Mike O’Malley: [00:02:25] Yeah, what we did this year and this is really what’s been driving our growth is we really focused our strategy on what we do well. And when we looked at our customer customer base and look at what we wanted to do, we said there’s three key areas where we really do well. One is enabling new software for software development companies, so this is working with well-funded startups. So these are a lot of software innovators in Chicago, for example, out of eighteen, seventy one or other incubators and things like that that have done a big Series A and Series B round, and they need to go from a prototype that they’ve shown feasibility with to a production product. And we really help them get in business and scale that product to a mature level very, very quickly. So that’s the first area. The second area is in health care, obviously coming out of COVID. Lots of health care innovation. And so we’ve started up specifically a health care practice to help whether it’s payers or insurance groups or hospital groups. Different health care organizations again, go online, create a digital presence, you know, get more touchpoints with their customer and provide an overall better customer experience, right? The great example is all of the doctor’s offices now that have moved to online, online and web based appointments and things like that trying to improve their customer experience. So we do a lot of things with them, both customer facing and also just making them more efficient within the hospital group or within the medical group, making them more efficient so that they can serve their customers better.
Mike O’Malley: [00:04:04] So health care is the second area. And then the third area is across manufacturing and industrial customers. And this is where when you look at ERP, which is the enterprise software that most manufacturers use to run their business, that’s really kind of a core spine of the business. A lot of them have major upgrades in productivity and things that they needed to do that maybe got postponed. And so we’re seeing a huge increase in demand for those types of services to modernize their manufacturing industrial company, to give them more financial visibility, better manage their cash flow and inventory, basically better manage their business. And so those are kind of the three areas and the one that kind of cuts across all three is we really focus on the small and medium sized business. And the reason for that is most shops that have the skill set that we have. Focus on the Fortune 50 and the Fortune one hundred, and we could do that, but that’s really not where most of the innovation happens. If you want to look at the cool new technologies, you don’t go talk to Apple today, you go talk to Apple 20 years ago. And that’s what we’re doing. We’re working with a lot of small and medium sized businesses that have great plans to become the next apple and we bring their innovations to life.
Max Kantor: [00:05:24] So how do companies stay up to date with all the changes that are happening in technology while they’re in high growth mode?
Mike O’Malley: [00:05:32] Well, that’s a great that’s a great question, and that’s really where they come to us, right? What we’re seeing companies do now, more and more is with all of the complexities of software development, whether we’re talking about scalability, whether we’re talking about security, whether we’re talking about cloud and agility, right? There’s simply no way for the small and medium sized business to have the skill set to be experts in all those areas, right? It’s just not economically feasible for them. And so what they do is they partner with people like us. And the reason for that is we can bring all of those skills to bear for a small and medium sized business that couldn’t bring those on board. And that’s really the secret sauce on how we’re able to bring their innovation to market and do it faster. We have those technologies, we have those expertize that they don’t have. They’ve got the great idea, but we’ve got the people who actually can bring it to life and that’s what we focus on.
Max Kantor: [00:06:31] So to talk a little broadly now, what are some trends that you guys have been seeing in the Chicago market?
Mike O’Malley: [00:06:38] So the trends we’re seeing really, first of all, starts with innovation. We’re seeing a lot of increase right now in innovative companies getting funding and moving forward and trying to put new products in the market, specifically around security, specifically around AI and machine learning. We do a lot of work there and specifically around things like 5G, and I see if we’re talking in the ISV space, obviously we’re seeing a lot of innovation in the health care space. We’re seeing a lot of innovation in the manufacturing space as well. But we see particular trends if we want to talk about software development, particularly around security and IoT and and cloud and scalability, particularly trying to leverage AI and machine learning to provide insights.
Max Kantor: [00:07:28] So what are the types of problems a small to medium sized business would have to have where they would go? You know what, we should call those guys at Seneca Global.
Mike O’Malley: [00:07:41] Sure, sure. So a great example would be a company that is working on an AI algorithm in security, for example, we’re working with several companies right now that are trying to provide innovative security products to customers, right? The security market is exploding. There’s lots of companies that are getting into that market. It’s growing at twenty five to thirty percent. Thirty five percent year over year. And so we see a lot of artificial intelligence based innovations where companies are trying to look at different data. So let’s take the cloud as an example. They’re trying to look at a lot of different data in terms of who is accessing the cloud for your business, what they’re trying to do, and they’re using artificial intelligence. And the reason they’re doing that is because it’s just not possible for humans to keep up with the number and the complexity of attacks that they’re seeing right now. And so we’re working with a lot of companies that have a bright idea like that. Maybe they’ve got an AI algorithm, maybe they’ve got a prototype, maybe they have a customer or two, right? But now they’re trying to scale that business and they’re trying to turn themselves into a going concern into one hundred million two hundred million five hundred million dollar business. And so we engage with those guys to basically take them from startup to a going concern, and we become their R&D engine in order to take them there. Does that make sense?
Max Kantor: [00:09:08] Gotcha. Yes, absolutely. And so, Mike, I love to ask guests who come on Chicago Business Radio this question. I ask every guest this question for you personally, what’s the most rewarding part of of the job?
Mike O’Malley: [00:09:21] Oh, by far, the most rewarding part of the job is bringing innovations to life, right? We we act as an enabler, right? The the customers come to us with their great ideas, and we’re the guys that get down to work and make the magic happen, right? So the idea that that there’s all of this innovation in the Chicago area and lots of companies have these great new ideas, they just don’t have the know how to be able to bring that to life and the fact that we have the know how. We just need to get linked up with the right great idea. And we can help there, right? When we see that idea come to life and get traction in the marketplace, it’s extremely rewarding. It’s the best part of the job.
Max Kantor: [00:10:01] Absolutely. I mean, you guys are doing really great work and helping those small to medium sized businesses take that next step in their development and their growth. And it’s really cool and interesting to hear about. And so if we have any listeners who may have their own small to medium sized business, how can they get in contact with Seneca Global? Do you have a website, some social media?
Mike O’Malley: [00:10:22] Yeah. So the answer is we have all of those. So if they go to the Seneca Global website, they can reach us there or they can reach us through any of our social media and we’d be happy to have a conversation.
Max Kantor: [00:10:35] Awesome. Well, Mike, thank you so much for being a guest today.
Mike O’Malley: [00:10:39] Absolutely glad to be here.
Max Kantor: [00:10:40] And thanks to you for listening to another episode of Chicago Business Radio sponsored by firm SpaceX, I’m your host, Max Cantor, and we’ll see you next time.
Intro: [00:10:51] This episode is Chicago Business Radio has been brought to you by firm SpaceX, your private sanctuary for productivity and growth. To learn more, go to Firme Space.com.