News, views & analysis blogs by: Michael Topolovac, CEO, Arena Solutions


Michael Topolovac, CEO, Arena Solutions :
Letter from Michael Topolovac, CEO, Arena Solutions


Michael Topolovac, CEO, Arena Solutions :
Dear John,

Its hard to believe that its already been five years since I left my previous life as the CEO of Light and Motion (LMI), the worlds leading manufacturer of underwater imaging equipment, where I had the chance to indulge my passion for underwater photography, traveling to exotic locations on a regular basis as part of my job. (Tough work, eh?)

However, even the lure of photographing pygmy seahorses in the Banda Sea didnt outweigh the pain I experienced as a businessman who was forced to use expensive, complex enterprise software to run the product development arm of the business. This personal frustration was the motivation and inspiration behind me leaving LMI to co-found Arena Solutions, where I am focused on delivering cost-effective PLM to manufacturers of all sizes and their global supply chains and helping to lead the transformation of enterprise software to on-demand.

As we begin 2006 and I reflect back on the tremendous growth and success Arena has experienced this past year, I wanted to take this time to express my thanks for the support we have received from the entire Arena communityour customers, partners, investors, and employees. We could not have achieved the following milestones without their help.

PLM On-Demand Today we have more than 200 customers and 15,000 users worldwide, enabling a 50% top-line growth from last year. Manufacturing customers like Air International Thermal Systems, Intuit, SafeView, and K2 Sports have chosen to use Arena PLM over traditional PLM software solutions to deliver products to market faster, manage, and maintain regulatory compliance standards such as RoHS, WEEE, FDA, UL, and FCC, and collaborate more effectively with an ever-expanding global supply chain. With Arena, customers receive 100% of the value of a comprehensive PLM solution without the cost, risk, and complexity of traditional enterprise software.

We ended the year by rolling out our Fall 05 release, the 45th upgrade to our on-demand service in four short yearsa feat unheard of with traditional enterprise software, and further testament to why on-demand is a superior business model. Leveraging a service-based architecture, we can respond to customers significantly faster and innovate in ways that are just not possible with client/server solutions.

We also introduced Arena PLM Enterprise Edition for enterprises that require a rich, customizable PLM solution combined with the value of an on-demand service. Arena PLM Enterprise Edition joins Arena PLM Workgroup Edition and Arena PLM Professional Edition to complete the broadest suite of on-demand PLM products available today, allowing manufacturers to choose the edition that best meets their unique needs.

Supplier Marketplace In addition to our quarterly product enhancements, we are very excited to have introduced the Arena Supplier Marketplace earlier this year. The Arena Supplier Marketplacethe first of its kindbrings together a community of product design firms, contract manufacturers, component suppliers, and fabricators trained and certified on Arena PLM to help OEMs get products to market faster. In response to the growing demands of working with a global supply chain, the Arena Supplier Marketplace community was established so manufacturers and suppliers can discover and engage in relationships more easily, quickly, and cost-effectively than ever before. To date, more than 2,000 individual supplier users have been invited to participate in the Arena community.

Industry Recognition In 2005, Arena PLM continued to be recognized by customers, partners, and the media alike for its innovative and market-changing approach to PLM, including Manufacturing Business Technologys Top 40 Emerging Vendors, the 2005 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100, and Industry Weeks Technology of the Year - Notable Innovators.

Management Team In the last year, we have also focused on building strength and expertise into our management team to support the growing demand for our Arena PLM solution. In February, we welcomed Jim Young as vice president of finance. Jim has more than 12 years of experience in corporate finance and strategy with publicly traded companies and financial services firms. In December, Mark Holman, a seasoned technology executive in the global electronics and supply chain software industry, joined us as senior vice president operations and strategic development. With over 25 years of management experience from companies such as E2Open, Solectron, Booz-Allen & Hamilton, and General Motors, Mark brings a deep domain expertise around manufacturing and PLM to Arena.

It is exciting to see not only the growing adoption of PLM, but of the on-demand model. No longer a question of if, customers and vendors alike (even our friends up in Redmond,WA) have embraced on-demand as a fundamental shift in the software market. Not only has on-demand changed how nearly every category of enterprise software is delivered, but it has dramatically improved and accelerated how businesses are using the Internet for increased productivity and competitive advantage.

As the on-demand era continues to unfold, I am confident that with the talent, commitment, and passion of the Arena team we will enable many more customers to better succeed in todays global economy and I look forward to sharing many new milestones in 2006.

If you would like to hear more about our recent achievements and future plans, please dont hesitate to call me directly at 650-687-3510. Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year.

Michael Topolovac
Chief Executive Officer
Arena Solutions
& Whenever I can Underwater Nature Photographer

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