“Be a customer-inspired leader who values and fosters positive relationships. A key to success is devoting time and effort to influencing all stakeholders—peers, employees, board members, investors, customers—through building trust, as well as by being an empathetic and humble leader.” –David Brolsma, CFO, WP Engine
When it comes to FP&A data, WP Engine CFO David Brolsma is an open book. “We make a data visualization tool called ‘Looker’ available to all of our employees,” reports the veteran tech executive. “We’re an open book company, so all employees can see almost all of the same performance data points that I see.”
At the Austin-based start-up that provides developer-centric WordPress products for companies and agencies of all sizes, Brolsma and his extended team keep their eyes on the crucial metric of market share growth, as well as on customer retention, churn, daily active users, and other software-as-a service (SaaS) measures.Read More
Brolsma helped used a Dutch auction to take Rackspace public in 2008, just before the global economic crisis hit. The fanatical customer support he learned at that cloud computing pioneer proved valuable in helping WP Engine’s customers to navigate the extreme uncertainty brought about by the global pandemic throughout 2020. “COVID was impacting a lot of our customers, especially in industries like travel and hospitality,” Brolsma confides, “so we decided to talk to them to figure out how we could best be of help.”
Despite WP Engine’s own COVID-related budget cuts and spending constraints, the company eventually offered credits to distressed customers. “It’s difficult to make this kind of decision,” Brolsma adds, “but now our customer retention is off the charts—like nothing we’ve ever seen before.” –Eric Krell
Made Possible By
CFOTL: Tell us about WP Engine … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Brolsma: We provide a platform and software for customers to use in building their digital experiences, but we do all of this on WordPress. Let me give you a little bit of background.
WordPress is an open-source technology that was created about 18 years ago. In its early days, it was really a single use case for bloggers, but now it has expanded over time.
Through the years, WordPress has continued to grow and to represent a larger percentage of the entire Web. Today, WordPress as a technology represents over 40% of the Web. When you stop to think about 40% of the Web being run on this open-source technology, you realize that it’s pretty massive.Read More
Once you unpack this, you can then ask, “What does WP Engine actually do?” Well, we support many, many use cases. From a practical perspective, companies come to us. They may run their main website, their dotcom, on us. They may add their full marketing stack and run this on our platform.
There’s a long list of use: marketing campaigns, blogging sites, internal websites, e-commerce stores, content sites. This is one of the benefits of our platform. You can pretty much do anything on it.
Anything you want to do on the Web, you can do on our platform. All of these use cases represent digital experiences. The Web is an important part of almost every business today, and we support this.
If you ask, “Okay, what makes WP Engine stand out from its competitors?,” the answer comes from the platform itself. There are two key things about the platform: speed and security. We are the best in the industry, but it’s more than that.
We make it very easy for anybody to build, manage, and power websites. No matter whether you’re an individual, a small business, a developer, or a large enterprise customer, we make things easy for you. We have a lot of intellectual property that we’ve built that is represented in these software tools that make it easy.
From a finance perspective, what this means is that the total cost of ownership is incredibly economical. There are a lot of customers that try to do this on their own—and you can. You can try to utilize WordPress on your own and do it yourself. But most of these customers come back because they realize that the total cost of ownership and the value that we create are very beneficial to their bottom lines.
We’ve written over 3.5 million lines of code around this open-source WordPress technology, and our customers get to benefit from all of it.
WP Engine | www.wpengine.com | Austin ,TX