Changes at Active Network Put Emphasis on Sales, Social Networks

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administrative chores (human resources, finance, accounting, and legal) to concentrate on the stuff he’s good at—such as major business initiatives, advocacy in Washington D.C., and executive recruiting.

Landa, who became CEO, gains an opportunity to spend less time managing the business and more time to focus on sales, while Darko Dejanovic, who was hired just over a year ago as chief technology officer, now has more operating responsibility as president.

Alberga told me one problem he’s trying to solve is a “disconnect” between Active Networks’ products and its business. “So by consolidating the business GMs under Darko, where the technology is, I’ve moved the business heads to be as close in proximity to the technology as I could get them.”

The Active Network says it now has more than 51,000 customer organizations, which hire the company to handle their online reservations, sell hunting and fishing licenses, arrange corporate conferences, and other related services. Alberga says the company now handles more than 80 million registrations and transactions a year (in 2009, it was 45 million), which amounts to about 6 percent of the North American market. In other words, as much as the company has grown, there is still plenty of room for more growth.

Accomplishing this, as I reported previously, required the company to overhaul and replace its software infrastructure with a more sophisticated, cloud-based, Software as-a-service (SaaS) platform called ActiveWorks.

Still, Alberga says the Active Network is not like any other SaaS business because its customers—the organizers planning marathons, tennis tournaments, and other events—are typically not using sophisticated enterprise software systems to manage their operations. So it’s not a matter of selling a CIO or CTO on what amounts to an upgrade of their existing system.

“The vast majority of [our customers] never could have gone for automated service if they’d had to install their own networks,” Alberga says. “It would never have been cost-effective without … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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