For thirty years, Matt Domo was a senior technology leader at brands such as Microsoft, Amazon, Rackspace, and a handful of medium-sized companies. “I was charged with taking new products, or products going through hyper-growth, getting them to market, scaling them, and growing the team,” Domo says. For example, he was the architect for Microsoft’s first SaaS product and created the database division of Amazon Web Services.
When his last employer, Telogis, was acquired by Verizon for $1 billion, it was Domo’s second exit and he “started to think I wanted to do something more. I wanted to give back to the community.” He dipped his toes into the world of entrepreneurship by consulting with companies looking to optimize their engineering teams to operate and thrive digitally. When he discovered that there was great demand for his expertise, he made the decision to go all in with his company, FifthVantage.
With a virtual team of nine, Domo works with fast-growing B2B companies that need help transforming their complex technology operations into strategic plans that will enable sustainable double-digit growth. For instance, FifthVantage worked with a cybersecurity company selling software that ran in their customers’ data centers. “We gave them guidance to transform those products to the SaaS delivery model,” says Domo. “They were successful implementing our recommendations, their valuation grew tremendously, and they became a public company in September.”
As more and more companies go down the digital transformation road, Domo sees many of the same mistakes. For example, a B2B company may sometimes be so focused on its technology that it fails to consider how the customer is actually interacting with the product. “You have work back from the customer,” Domo says. “What are you going to deliver that creates a simple, frictionless experience? You’re trying to optimize customer experience because they want what they want when they want it and how they want it.”
[Leadership Trust publishing is a way to] communicate trends, guidance, and key learnings from customers to a much broader audience. It’s increased our visibility and built our brand cachet.”
Domo says the pandemic “brought forward three to five years of innovation” and his company benefited from that. “Clients were looking for expert advice to help them accelerate their decision making, instill best practices, and minimize mistakes, and they had to do it in tight timelines,” he says.
Going forward, Domo expects a couple of key trends to drive growth for FifthVantage. Digital transformation, he says, isn’t just about serving customers more efficiently. Employees also come into play. Technology can empower employees to be more productive, better connected with colleagues, and more focused on meaningful work as opposed to tedious tasks. Automation makes for happier employees at a time when many companies are struggling to attract and retain top talent due to the “Great Resignation.” Secondly, there’s growing concern among high-growth, visible brands about cyber attacks. “We’re helping them with the strategies and pain points to prevent attacks as well as how to respond to them in real time as they happen,” Domo says.
One of the most significant challenges that Domo experienced during his transition from tech executive to entrepreneur was filling in his knowledge gaps. A seasoned and talented technologist, he was a bit at sea when it came to sales and marketing. He’s relied upon a group of trusted mentors for advice, and says that Newsweek Expert Forum has also been an excellent resource. “It’s been an avenue to interact with other leaders across the industry and learn from them,” he says. “We did a meetup on social media marketing, sales strategies, and best practices, and that was quite helpful."
He has also found that publishing content has been beneficial. Through Expert Panels and long-form articles, Domo says he is able to “communicate trends, guidance, and key learnings from customers to a much broader audience. It’s increased our visibility and built our brand cachet.”