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OutSystems—A platform whose time has come

Zafar Anjum | Aug. 20, 2014
In this interview, Paulo Rosado, the founder and CEO of OutSystems, talks about how his innovative company was ahead of its time and how it is blazing a new trail in the platform as a service (PaaS) market

Paulo Rosado

Paulo Rosado, the founder and CEO of OutSystems

I meet Paulo Rosado, the founder and CEO of OutSystems, in his office at the penthouse level of Suntec City Tower 3. Outside the window lies an arresting view of the Singapore Bay. As you span your eyes, the impressive skyline is dotted with the skyscrapers of the financial district, terminating in the swanky Marina Bay Sands building. The red-tiled roofs of low-lying colonial buildings on the right, with the turquoise blue of the ocean on the left, make the palette colorful.

Rosado wears a dark grey suit over a white shirt. His head is practically bereft of any hair yet he cuts a dapper figure with his large eyes which seem to be smiling.

Rosado is from Portugal where he founded OutSystems in 2001 in Lisbon. Today, his is one of the top tech companies in his country. "We have carpet bombed the contact centres of Portugal with our product," he says, easing into a leather-bound chair.

He has a degree in computer science from Universidade Nova, Lisbon. In the early 1990s, he went to the USA to work on a doctorate programme. Once there, he decided to abort the PhD programme. He finished his Masters in computer science from Stanford University and joined one of the valley companies (Oracle) and worked for about 4 years between 1994 and 1997, holding multiple positions in R&D and product management.

In 1997, he started his first company in Europe, Intervento, an e-business software infrastructure company. In 1999, he sold his company and joined as an executive VP of Global Marketing at Altitude Software, a CRM company present in 32 countries. Worked with the company for 18 months and then he exited and assembled a team to start OutSystems in 2001. The first version of the OutSystems platform was launched in 2002. He has led the company from initial startup to an international leader in cutting-edge approaches to the delivery of enterprise web and mobile applications. As CEO, he is responsible for OutSystems' day-to-day operations, as well as leading the company's product development and technology strategy.

Today, as the company website describes it, OutSystems provides the only open, high-productivity application platform (PaaS) that makes it easy to create, deploy and manage enterprise mobile and web applications - helping IT deliver innovative business solutions fast. It is available as a public cloud, private cloud and on-premises solution. Hundreds of companies in 24 countries across 22 industries use OutSystems Platform.

How did he hit upon the idea of OutSystems, I ask him.

"The idea of OutSystems came from my first company," he says, referring to Intervento. "We had software (infrastructure software) for the Internet to help deploy very large extranets and intranets-these were the terms of the times-in very large organizations such as large retailers and large telcos. It was an interesting journey and we had a very good team but we could not finish a single project on time and in budget. So tried to improve our requirement analysis and we continuously failed. We failed on almost ten mega projects.


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