Steve Spark is keen to get the 4Projects MD role permanently, and has some of the key credentials Viewpoint is looking for.
In the fortnight since announcements of changes at UK SaaS construction collaboration vendor 4Projects, I’ve had chance to talk to US parent Viewpoint‘s senior vice-president and general manager of 4Projects, Matt Harris and to Steve Spark, now the interim managing director of the UK-based business.
Matt told me it was not unusual for a founder to leave a business once it was acquired, particularly if they could sense it was in good hands, and CEO Richard Vertigan had devoted some 14 years to growing an entrepreneurial company and now wanted to do something different (a view Steve, right, confirmed). Viewpoint is looking at both internal and external candidates – ideally, British – to run the 4Projects business, and is keen to have someone based full-time and living locally to Newcastle, where the company will be based in larger city centre offices from January. Steve is a local, has been at 4Projects since 2006, has been business development director since 2010, and says he would relish the opportunity.
The launch of Viewpoint for Project Collaboration was timed to coincide with Viewpoint’s user conference in Portland, Oregon, which attracted over 1000 delegates. Matt said there had been a lot of interest in the US configuration of the collaboration platform: “we were so swamped we had to open a second demonstration area”.
Rejecting Twitter comments by rival Asite‘s CEO Tony Ryan, Matt said the 4Projects product will retain its current name in the European market, though the UK-based company will eventually be renamed Viewpoint. The new UK chief’s role will be to grow the 4Projects product footprint across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and also to lead the growth of new Viewpoint products which the parent company plans to market in the region in future (Matt mentioned enterprise content management, mobile solutions and – of course – Viewpoint’s core specialism: ERP). Steve told me he will be lobbying his Viewpoint colleagues to grow the 4Projects and 4BIM offerings still further – 13 new people have joined the company since February.
When I asked if the Australasian 4Projects offering might be rebranded (Viewpoint has a Melbourne base as does 4Projects partner, Project Collaboration, which has been marketing the platform since May 2012; post), Matt seemed inclined towards Viewpoint branding in that region, but it will no doubt be something that will be debated with Milton Walters and his team.