Q&A with Mike Dickerson, Chief Executive Officer at ClickDimensions

Media 7 | April 20, 2020

Mike Dickerson, Chief Executive Officer at ClickDimensions is an experienced global executive with entrepreneurial passion for developing new businesses and building the teams to bring them to life. Mike has turned an idea on a bar napkin into a $250 million division providing mission-critical communications technology to the Global 1000. He has funded and founded three start ups, and was part of the executive team to take PGI private in a $1.1 billion transaction with Siris Capital.

Mike is interested in talking with anyone who wants to make digital marketing technology more accessible for the benefit of our 3,400 customers and 1,000 partners in the Microsoft Dynamics community.

MEDIA 7: Could you start by telling us a little about yourself? How has your journey been so far?
MIKE DICKERSON:
 I was born into a family of entrepreneurs and business pioneers, which meant I was exposed to grit and perseverance from a very young age. Raised by a strong female journalist and self-made businessman, the lessons my parents taught me proved to be ideal for a life as an entrepreneur, including the importance of ethics, integrity and hard work in measuring a person’s impact in the world.

Later, it was my passion for developing new businesses and building the teams to bring them to life that led me to found and lead three startups. A good friend, who has led or funded many companies, calls being an entrepreneur a character defect. This same defect drove me to a brainstorming session with a friend at a bar which became an idea on a napkin which then became a $250 million division providing mission-critical communications technology to the Global 1000. That story has a happy ending as I was as part of the executive team that took PGI private in a $1.1 billion transaction with Siris Capital.

Since 2017, I have been the CEO of ClickDimensions, an industry-leading marketing technology and services company owned by private equity firm Accel-KKR.

My journey so far has involved more than a few risks and obstacles, which have led to big rewards and the ability to work with tech talent across the world. New York Times Best-Selling Author Clayton M. Christensen once wrote, “How Will You Measure Your Life?” in which he described the honor and noble purpose of management. Most of us have to work and spend most of our waking hours on the job. I think about the difference between a team leader who understands teammates needs, and helps them do their best work and leave the job feeling energized for their life outside of work by the contribution they’ve made versus the lousy boss who leaves the company’s employees directionless, defensive and demoralized as they head home. I want to be the former.


"Digital marketing, and all the channels included within that, is more essential than ever before for businesses around the globe."

M7: How does ClickDimensions help clients with Marketing Automation solutions? What are the common challenges that ail most of the companies?
MD: ClickDimensions is The Marketing Cloud for Microsoft Dynamics™ and exists to help marketers create amazing experiences that drive growth and engagement. Started in 2010, the company was first foundedto help Microsoft Dynamics users worldwide bridge the gap between marketing and sales. At the time, there was no solution that offered Dynamics users and Microsoft partners a 100 percent native solution created for marketers. Since then, the company has developed into a marketing cloud for Microsoft Dynamics, serving 3,700 customers around the world and building a partner network that spans 76 countries. Built natively in Dynamics, ClickDimensions solves marketers’ challenges by offering a single unified marketing applications, analytics and services platform.

In a world of convenience and personalization, fulfilled daily by companies like Amazon and Uber, mid-market and small businesses recognize the need to deliver consistent experiences in order to stay competitive. Marketers are challenged with an ever-changing buying cycle, and technologies are often too complicated and too expensive and there aren’t enough people with the right skillsets to create the experiences that mirror the personalization they receive in their consumer lives.

Since I came on board in 2017, ClickDimensions has grown from a marketing automation provider to delivering multichannel marketing applications that work natively as one solution with Microsoft Dynamics. Our platform also now provides the accompanying marketing services needed by today’s marketers to expand their bandwidth and achieve success. By doing so, we are democratizing the industry and allowing small to mid-market companies the opportunity to provide personalization and compete with enterprise organizations.

M7: What marketing channels do you use and which one do you see promising given your target customers?
MD: ClickDimensions has always been digitally focused in our marketing efforts, which makes sense given our business. A means for digital marketing is what we sell, so it comes naturally to us to use it too. With the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing means digital everything. Digital marketing, and all the channels included within that, is more essential than ever before for businesses around the globe.


"Built natively in Dynamics, ClickDimensions solves marketers’ challenges by offering a single unified marketing applications, analytics and services platform."

M7: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your work - what day to day processes have you had to re-tool to be able to pull them off remotely? What does your remote tech stack look like?
MD: 
The way our company operates today is very similar to before COVID-19. Our global team has always been familiar with teleconferencing and working with customers and colleagues via remote environments. And because our solutions are built natively within Microsoft Dynamics, we have a strong technology infrastructure that can serve a remote workforce. I’m sure it helps that I spent 10 years in the collaboration industry helping people work together when they weren’t together.

With that said, many of our customers and partners are continuing to feel the effects of COVID-19 on their business operations and sales. As such, their work with us has pivoted as digital marketing has become more important than ever. This includes increased usage of our marketing automation and social media solutions, as well as utilizing our managed services to provide support to internal marketing and sales teams to drive traffic and results.

COVID-19 has shown that it’s more important than ever for sales and marketing organizations to be unified. ClickDimensions is set up to serve these two organizations from a remote environment, enabling collaboration, and helping to provide one solution that can serve multiple departments in one organization. I have a feeling that companies are increasingly more focused on finding ways to drive revenue than the historic rivalries between sales and marketing.

M7: Do you think we will constantly be looking over our shoulders and have to have a remote plan ready?
MD:
As businesses are navigating the effects of COVID-19, one lesson that has emerged across organizations, regardless of size, is the importance of being flexible and understanding the digital landscape. In some industries where salespeople could rely on one-on-one, in-person interactions with customers or prospects, they are quickly understanding that the digital landscape may be different and it's imperative to get up-to-speed quickly to keep moving business forward.

Because more industries are relying on digital selling, sales and marketing are pivoting to more of a revenue-centric strategy. No longer are these two organizations allowed to think differently or work independently, and all efforts must be tied to the bottom line. It’s imperative that these organizations use this time to get on the same page and work together, as digital selling and marketing will happen for the unforeseeable future and will become more important than ever in a post COVID-19 environment.

A model for the future is to think digital first; the in-person is an extra blessing when you have the opportunity.


"A model for the future is to think digital first; the in-person is an extra blessing when you have the opportunity."

M7: What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
MD:
 The first thing I would tell young Mike is that goals are important, but that you can only control your own actions and not the results. Make sure you are not confusing the act of staring at the mountain with the act of climbing it. The second thing I would tell him is that there is tremendous benefit to devoting time each week to reflecting on what has your attention, considering what you plan to do about it and writing down your thoughts so you can learn from them in the weeks ahead. I wish I had started that habit 20 years before I finally did.

M7: What is your superpower or spirit animal?
MD:
In keeping with today’s emphasis on digital everything, I turned to the internet and an online quiz to help guide me in choosing my spirit animal. The result? A tiger – which I think is a great honor. Tigers are amazing creatures that have incredible instincts. Sadly, there are only around 3,800 left in the wild today, so I think we need more people in this world to think of them as spirit animals.

ABOUT CLICKDIMENSIONS

Founded in 2010, ClickDimensions is the leading marketing platform for Microsoft Dynamics, with more than 3,700 customers around the globe and a partner network that spans 76 countries today. As The Marketing Cloud for Microsoft Dynamics™, ClickDimensions is redefining how marketers work and attain results with the only unified marketing technology, analytics and services platform in the market. Made exclusively for and natively built within Dynamics, ClickDimensions allows marketers to leverage technology to its full potential by providing built-in measurable results and insights into revenue impact with world-class services to drive continual improvement.

More C-Suite on deck

‘Advances in AI and Machine Learning are not scalable without proper data governance program in place’ says Peggy Tsai, Chief Data Officer at BigID

Media 7 | March 8, 2022

Peggy Tsai, Chief Data Officer at BigID talks about BigID’s data intelligence platform and its integrated applications. Read on to know more about her thoughts on GDPR compliance, the future data intelligence landscape and more in her latest interview with Media 7.

Read More

‘Data teams are critical in defining and driving business growth metrics’ says Gaurav Rewari, CEO of Mode.

Media 7 | March 4, 2022

Gaurav Rewari, CEO of Mode elaborates on his role as a CEO of Mode Analytics, the most comprehensive platform for collaborative Business Intelligence and Interactive Data Science. Read on to know more about his thoughts on digitization and Mode's brand-new visualization tool, Visual Explorer.

Read More

Listen to your customers, advises Christopher Penn, Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist at TrustInsights.ai

Media 7 | November 16, 2021

Christopher Penn, Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist at TrustInsights.ai shared his insights with us on how marketers can make better use of data, attribution models and natural language processing to promote conversions and increase customer engagement. Read on to find out about his three-part strategy for successful marketing campaigns.

Read More

‘Advances in AI and Machine Learning are not scalable without proper data governance program in place’ says Peggy Tsai, Chief Data Officer at BigID

Media 7 | March 8, 2022

Peggy Tsai, Chief Data Officer at BigID talks about BigID’s data intelligence platform and its integrated applications. Read on to know more about her thoughts on GDPR compliance, the future data intelligence landscape and more in her latest interview with Media 7.

Read More

‘Data teams are critical in defining and driving business growth metrics’ says Gaurav Rewari, CEO of Mode.

Media 7 | March 4, 2022

Gaurav Rewari, CEO of Mode elaborates on his role as a CEO of Mode Analytics, the most comprehensive platform for collaborative Business Intelligence and Interactive Data Science. Read on to know more about his thoughts on digitization and Mode's brand-new visualization tool, Visual Explorer.

Read More

Listen to your customers, advises Christopher Penn, Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist at TrustInsights.ai

Media 7 | November 16, 2021

Christopher Penn, Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist at TrustInsights.ai shared his insights with us on how marketers can make better use of data, attribution models and natural language processing to promote conversions and increase customer engagement. Read on to find out about his three-part strategy for successful marketing campaigns.

Read More

Related News

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, BIG DATA MANAGEMENT, DATA SCIENCE

Alation Announces Addition of 3 New Universities to Its Data Intelligence Project

Alation | January 31, 2023

On January 30, 2023, Alation Inc., a leading enterprise data intelligence solutions provider, announced the participation of three more universities in its philanthropic initiative, The Data Intelligence Project. The University of Cincinnati in Ohio, The University of Arkansas in Little Rock, Arkansas, and The University of Stirling in Scotland are among the new joining universities. So far, more than 420 students have employed Alation in their courses, with this year's worldwide cohort using Alation to provide real-world exposure to hundreds of new students. Launched in 2021, the Data Intelligence Project creates a more data-literate, inquisitive, and rational society by fostering the next generation of data professionals. Alation, as part of The Data Intelligence Project, introduces its data intelligence platform into academic institutions for free and offers undergraduate and graduate students a hands-on learning experience utilizing a collaborative data catalog. Through this program students and professors get access to Alation guest speakers with subject matter knowledge and presentation topics covering analytics, data science, data intelligence, IT, engineering, and more. In addition, Alation University provides students with access to high-quality training materials to assist them in mastering technical skills and utilizing the data catalog. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, one of the program's early participants, is now in its third year of the program, and it is continuing to experience success in educating the next generation of data professionals. It is used by the institution to encourage students' interest in data intelligence and to provide emerging leaders with the tools they need to succeed in their careers. In addition to enhancing existing engineering courses, the program increases students' marketability to the more than 450 firms that use Alation to seek job opportunities. Cisco, AbbVie, General Mills, Munich Re, Hertz, NASDAQ, Pfizer, Riot Games, Raiffeisen Bank, Salesforce, The Very Group, The University of Virginia, Vattenfall, Virgin Australia, and others are among Alation's customers. This year, the program welcomed the first foreign university, The University of Stirling in Scotland, and will continue expanding globally. Alation will choose up to four additional academic institutions to join in The Data Intelligence Project in 2023. About Alation Founded in 2012, Alation is an industry leader in enterprise data intelligence solutions such as data search and discovery, data stewardship, data governance, analytics, and digital transformation. It integrates machine learning with human insights to solve even the most challenging data and metadata management issues, with its robust Behavioral Analysis Engine, inbuilt collaborative features, and open interfaces. Alation is employed by nearly 450 businesses, including American Family Insurance, AbbVie, Autozone, Draft Kings, Cisco, Exelon, Finnair, Fifth Third Bank, General Mills, Munich Re, NASDAQ, Pfizer, Parexel, Salesforce, Virgin Australia, and Vistaprint, to drive data culture, enhance decision-making, and achieve business outcomes.

Read More

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, BIG DATA MANAGEMENT, DATA ARCHITECTURE

TimeXtender Announces a New Free Plan and Integration with Snowflake

TimeXtender | February 02, 2023

On February 01, 2023, TimeXtender, an emerging developer of data management solutions designed to help businesses make decisions faster, announced that its users will now be able to use Snowflake as a storage option for the Modern Data Warehouse (MDW), complimenting Synapse and SQL. Snowflake is a cloud-based data warehouse platform intended to make storing and analyzing data of all sizes simple and cost-effective, allowing businesses to obtain insights swiftly and make thorough data-driven decisions. Snowflake's innovative architecture uses the cloud to deliver a flexible solution with immeasurable scalability, making it a popular choice for analytics and modern data warehousing projects. Heine Krog Iversen, TimeXtender's Founder and CEO, said, "For the first time ever, users can deploy a TimeXtender data warehouse to non-SQL data storage, while taking advantage of all the powerful data warehousing features that Snowflake offers." He also mentioned, "Support for Snowflake as a storage target offers a modern, scalable, cloud-based solution for storing and analyzing vast amounts of data, which contributes to our goal of helping users become data-empowered." (Source – Business Wire) TimeXtender recently introduced a new Free Plan, which enables users to try their comprehensive data integration solution before committing to a paid plan. Users can now thoroughly explore and evaluate the TimeXtender product to determine whether it is a good fit for their needs at no cost. The following are the specifications of TimeXtender's new Free Plan: Free Access: The Free Plan enables users to try TimeXtender for free and see what it is like to build data solutions 10x faster without any immediate cost. Full Functionality: While there are some limitations, the Free Plan nevertheless gives customers access to all features and capabilities of TimeXtender, giving users a good idea of the product's potential. Knowledge & Support: Users who sign up for the Free Plan will receive assistance from TimeXtender's Training Courses, Knowledge Base, and Community Forum, where they can share knowledge, ask questions, and connect with other TimeXtender users. Easy Upgrades: Users who start with the Free Plan can easily upgrade to a premium plan if they require more sophisticated features or assistance. About TimeXtender TimeXtender is a comprehensive, metadata-driven data integration solution. The company provides all of the capabilities businesses need to build a prospective data environment capable of ingesting, modeling, transforming, and delivering clean, reliable data as quickly and efficiently as possible. Businesses can't optimize for everything at the same time. That is why TimeXtender takes a comprehensive strategy for data integration that prioritizes agility over fragmentation. TimeXtender enables companies to build data solutions 10x faster while decreasing costs by 70%-80% by unifying each layer of the data stack.

Read More

BIG DATA MANAGEMENT, BUSINESS STRATEGY, DATA SCIENCE

Arize Introduces Data Lake Connectors

Arize AI | January 24, 2023

On January 23, 2023, Arize AI, an industry leader in machine learning observability, introduced a connection solution for BigQuery, Redshift, Delta Lake, and Snowflake data lakes. As a result, Arize customers with centrally managed inference stores can rapidly connect their ML table data to Arize via Data Lake Connectors for strong model observability. Arize is the market leader in terms of both volumes of models and predictions tracked, surpassing billions of predictions daily. So far, ML observability platforms have struggled to simplify their deployments while simultaneously managing billions of predictions and complicated monitoring services, such as embedding drift. The latest Arize version for data connectors expands clients' connectivity options with the widely used data lakes. The launch comes as the machine learning community converges on various MLOps designs. A modern machine learning architecture approach involves storing inference data in a data lake. ML teams are designing these ML data lakes to power feature stores for feature serving and an inference store for analysis. Arize Data Lake Connectors are intended for smooth integration with today's data lake architectures. Among the benefits of connecting directly to the ML data store are the following: Financial savings can be substantial as compared to alternative techniques of ML monitoring. Teams can run off of an SSOT Integration and onboarding are accelerated and simplified Arize now connects with cloud storage providers (such as Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services), Python pipelines through an SDK, and Kafka Streaming. With this release, users of data lakes may get real-time model insights more efficiently than ever before. In addition, the platform provides fully managed built-in connectors as part of its cloud and VPC platform, eliminating the need for users to build and maintain complex data pipelines or use a separate ETL tool and providing real-time model performance analysis and monitoring. About Arize AI Arize AI offers an ML observability platform that monitors models and provides insights for troubleshooting production AI. The firm was established in 2020 in Berkeley, California. It allows corporate clients to monitor the performance of AI models using software that searches for unanticipated biases in algorithms, does root-cause analysis when issues arise, and enhances overall model performance. Arize operates in the background, analyzing internal and external data to forecast demand and eliminate supply chain network errors and sales losses. Adobe, Chick-fil-A, and eBay are among the fifty clients of Arize AI.

Read More

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, BIG DATA MANAGEMENT, DATA SCIENCE

Alation Announces Addition of 3 New Universities to Its Data Intelligence Project

Alation | January 31, 2023

On January 30, 2023, Alation Inc., a leading enterprise data intelligence solutions provider, announced the participation of three more universities in its philanthropic initiative, The Data Intelligence Project. The University of Cincinnati in Ohio, The University of Arkansas in Little Rock, Arkansas, and The University of Stirling in Scotland are among the new joining universities. So far, more than 420 students have employed Alation in their courses, with this year's worldwide cohort using Alation to provide real-world exposure to hundreds of new students. Launched in 2021, the Data Intelligence Project creates a more data-literate, inquisitive, and rational society by fostering the next generation of data professionals. Alation, as part of The Data Intelligence Project, introduces its data intelligence platform into academic institutions for free and offers undergraduate and graduate students a hands-on learning experience utilizing a collaborative data catalog. Through this program students and professors get access to Alation guest speakers with subject matter knowledge and presentation topics covering analytics, data science, data intelligence, IT, engineering, and more. In addition, Alation University provides students with access to high-quality training materials to assist them in mastering technical skills and utilizing the data catalog. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, one of the program's early participants, is now in its third year of the program, and it is continuing to experience success in educating the next generation of data professionals. It is used by the institution to encourage students' interest in data intelligence and to provide emerging leaders with the tools they need to succeed in their careers. In addition to enhancing existing engineering courses, the program increases students' marketability to the more than 450 firms that use Alation to seek job opportunities. Cisco, AbbVie, General Mills, Munich Re, Hertz, NASDAQ, Pfizer, Riot Games, Raiffeisen Bank, Salesforce, The Very Group, The University of Virginia, Vattenfall, Virgin Australia, and others are among Alation's customers. This year, the program welcomed the first foreign university, The University of Stirling in Scotland, and will continue expanding globally. Alation will choose up to four additional academic institutions to join in The Data Intelligence Project in 2023. About Alation Founded in 2012, Alation is an industry leader in enterprise data intelligence solutions such as data search and discovery, data stewardship, data governance, analytics, and digital transformation. It integrates machine learning with human insights to solve even the most challenging data and metadata management issues, with its robust Behavioral Analysis Engine, inbuilt collaborative features, and open interfaces. Alation is employed by nearly 450 businesses, including American Family Insurance, AbbVie, Autozone, Draft Kings, Cisco, Exelon, Finnair, Fifth Third Bank, General Mills, Munich Re, NASDAQ, Pfizer, Parexel, Salesforce, Virgin Australia, and Vistaprint, to drive data culture, enhance decision-making, and achieve business outcomes.

Read More

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, BIG DATA MANAGEMENT, DATA ARCHITECTURE

TimeXtender Announces a New Free Plan and Integration with Snowflake

TimeXtender | February 02, 2023

On February 01, 2023, TimeXtender, an emerging developer of data management solutions designed to help businesses make decisions faster, announced that its users will now be able to use Snowflake as a storage option for the Modern Data Warehouse (MDW), complimenting Synapse and SQL. Snowflake is a cloud-based data warehouse platform intended to make storing and analyzing data of all sizes simple and cost-effective, allowing businesses to obtain insights swiftly and make thorough data-driven decisions. Snowflake's innovative architecture uses the cloud to deliver a flexible solution with immeasurable scalability, making it a popular choice for analytics and modern data warehousing projects. Heine Krog Iversen, TimeXtender's Founder and CEO, said, "For the first time ever, users can deploy a TimeXtender data warehouse to non-SQL data storage, while taking advantage of all the powerful data warehousing features that Snowflake offers." He also mentioned, "Support for Snowflake as a storage target offers a modern, scalable, cloud-based solution for storing and analyzing vast amounts of data, which contributes to our goal of helping users become data-empowered." (Source – Business Wire) TimeXtender recently introduced a new Free Plan, which enables users to try their comprehensive data integration solution before committing to a paid plan. Users can now thoroughly explore and evaluate the TimeXtender product to determine whether it is a good fit for their needs at no cost. The following are the specifications of TimeXtender's new Free Plan: Free Access: The Free Plan enables users to try TimeXtender for free and see what it is like to build data solutions 10x faster without any immediate cost. Full Functionality: While there are some limitations, the Free Plan nevertheless gives customers access to all features and capabilities of TimeXtender, giving users a good idea of the product's potential. Knowledge & Support: Users who sign up for the Free Plan will receive assistance from TimeXtender's Training Courses, Knowledge Base, and Community Forum, where they can share knowledge, ask questions, and connect with other TimeXtender users. Easy Upgrades: Users who start with the Free Plan can easily upgrade to a premium plan if they require more sophisticated features or assistance. About TimeXtender TimeXtender is a comprehensive, metadata-driven data integration solution. The company provides all of the capabilities businesses need to build a prospective data environment capable of ingesting, modeling, transforming, and delivering clean, reliable data as quickly and efficiently as possible. Businesses can't optimize for everything at the same time. That is why TimeXtender takes a comprehensive strategy for data integration that prioritizes agility over fragmentation. TimeXtender enables companies to build data solutions 10x faster while decreasing costs by 70%-80% by unifying each layer of the data stack.

Read More

BIG DATA MANAGEMENT, BUSINESS STRATEGY, DATA SCIENCE

Arize Introduces Data Lake Connectors

Arize AI | January 24, 2023

On January 23, 2023, Arize AI, an industry leader in machine learning observability, introduced a connection solution for BigQuery, Redshift, Delta Lake, and Snowflake data lakes. As a result, Arize customers with centrally managed inference stores can rapidly connect their ML table data to Arize via Data Lake Connectors for strong model observability. Arize is the market leader in terms of both volumes of models and predictions tracked, surpassing billions of predictions daily. So far, ML observability platforms have struggled to simplify their deployments while simultaneously managing billions of predictions and complicated monitoring services, such as embedding drift. The latest Arize version for data connectors expands clients' connectivity options with the widely used data lakes. The launch comes as the machine learning community converges on various MLOps designs. A modern machine learning architecture approach involves storing inference data in a data lake. ML teams are designing these ML data lakes to power feature stores for feature serving and an inference store for analysis. Arize Data Lake Connectors are intended for smooth integration with today's data lake architectures. Among the benefits of connecting directly to the ML data store are the following: Financial savings can be substantial as compared to alternative techniques of ML monitoring. Teams can run off of an SSOT Integration and onboarding are accelerated and simplified Arize now connects with cloud storage providers (such as Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services), Python pipelines through an SDK, and Kafka Streaming. With this release, users of data lakes may get real-time model insights more efficiently than ever before. In addition, the platform provides fully managed built-in connectors as part of its cloud and VPC platform, eliminating the need for users to build and maintain complex data pipelines or use a separate ETL tool and providing real-time model performance analysis and monitoring. About Arize AI Arize AI offers an ML observability platform that monitors models and provides insights for troubleshooting production AI. The firm was established in 2020 in Berkeley, California. It allows corporate clients to monitor the performance of AI models using software that searches for unanticipated biases in algorithms, does root-cause analysis when issues arise, and enhances overall model performance. Arize operates in the background, analyzing internal and external data to forecast demand and eliminate supply chain network errors and sales losses. Adobe, Chick-fil-A, and eBay are among the fifty clients of Arize AI.

Read More