Looking ahead, Part 1: How these 4 Seattle tech leaders are moving their industries forward

by Quinten Dol
March 13, 2019

In the business world, it’s never enough to have a single good idea. While kicking back and basking in a successful product launch might tempt the hardworking techie, resting on the laurels for too long can become dangerous.

In part one of a two-part series, we spoke with leaders at tech companies and engineering centers throughout Puget Sound about how they set themselves apart from the competition in their particular industry — and how they plan to keep it that way.

 

 

postmates seattle tech company tech innovation
photo via postmates

Postmates’ “Urban Logistics” platform takes the popular food delivery model and applies it to a whole range of consumer goods, with an army of couriers taking orders for everything from apples to Advil. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company has offices in Nashville, Vancouver, New York and Mexico City, with Postmates’ local engineering center located in downtown Bellevue.

Senior Server Engineer Lakshmanan Velusamy said the company is currently working on a particularly challenging and exciting challenge: delivery robots that will soon roam our streets.

 

How has your company set itself apart as a leader in your industry? What tech innovations have helped you differentiate yourself?

Postmates is the first on-demand company to bring people whatever they want, whenever they want it. Previously, people’s favorite restaurants and retailers were off limits to them when it came to delivery — we changed that. In addition to delivering food from your favorite restaurants, we invested in technologies that enable deliveries from all different kinds of merchants, expanding the reach of local retailers and giving them the power of on-demand delivery. While helping customers unlock the best of their entire cities is our sweet spot, we’ve also prioritized building partnerships with both local restaurants and the nation’s top restaurants. We provide a superpower to our customers that allows them to point at what they want and we get it in minutes. We live up to that promise by developing software that captures inventories, calculates preferences, understands the locations of our couriers and combines them into a product that manages the logistics of delivering to our customers in a matter of minutes.

Delivery rovers powered by AI will be a part of our community, interact with us and serve us.”

 

What do you think will be the next big tech trend in your industry? How do you plan to stay ahead of that trend?

One of the areas of innovation that we are excited about is enabling autonomous delivery to augment our fleet. Delivery rovers powered by AI will be a part of our community, interact with us and serve us. Postmates has spent the past few years building an in-house designed autonomous delivery rover called Serve from the ground up. We took a design-first approach to build it as a good citizen of the community that can roam around sidewalks and move goods around the city, while augmenting — not replacing — our network of over 350,000 individuals who make up our Postmates fleet. 

In addition to Serve, we are excited about continuing to empower merchants of all sizes with data, point of sale integrations, and the tools needed to help grow their businesses. Understanding data will enable them to be better prepared, understand demand, optimize their supply chain, boost their business and reduce food waste.

 

projekt202 seattle tech innovation
photo via projekt202

Software firm projekt202 builds solutions and user interfaces designed to improve a customer’s experience. Headquartered in Dallas, the company has offices in Austin, Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco.

Chief Transformation Officer Rob Pierry said he tries not to get too caught up in the hype around new technologies, and instead focuses on their practical applications.

 

How has your company set itself apart as a leader in your industry? What tech innovations have helped you differentiate yourself?

We recognize that delivering the highest value software depends on detailed insight into the goals, needs and aspirations of users, combined with a multidisciplinary delivery team of high-caliber developers, designers, strategists and program managers. Technology is always changing so the key innovations are our team and methodology, which are built to respond to change rather than resist it.

We are finally seeing enterprises usefully adopt things like AI and IoT but... their true relevance is far more narrow than the hype would have you believe.”

 

What do you think will be the next big tech trend in your industry? How do you plan to stay ahead of that trend?

It’s important to strike the right balance between early adoption and stability. We are finally seeing enterprises usefully adopt things like AI and IoT but, as with all trends, their true relevance is far more narrow than the hype would have you believe. The most disruptive technology trend has been recognizing the importance of understanding of your user — it has fundamentally reshaped the way software should be created.

Of course, new technologies unlock more potential solutions, too. We stay ahead of this by leveraging the diverse backgrounds, interests and locations of our multidisciplinary team. Through internal technology focus labs, formal cross-discipline collaboration sessions, and our close relationships with our customers, we’ve not only heard of trends as they emerge, but already have team members who are deeply interested.

 

nintex bellevue tech startup tech innovation team
photo via nintex

Nintex is the white collar world’s equivalent of a production line machinery designer, creating software tools that automate and evaluate workflows. The company recently revealed a partnership with Adobe to support electronic signatures, and last week announced its acquisition of a robotic process automation startup.

When Chief Evangelist Ryan Duguid surveys his company’s industry, he sees broken processes everywhere and, with them, plenty of opportunity.

 

How has your company set itself apart as a leader in your industry? What tech innovations have helped you differentiate yourself?

Today, more than 8,000 public and private sector clients across 90 countries turn to our Nintex Platform to progress their digital transformation journeys by quickly and easily managing, automating and optimizing business processes. In the last year, we’ve continued to transform process management and automation efforts for enterprises’ software suites. When Thoma Bravo came on as lead investor in April 2018, it kick-started a busy year for us and signaled the next phase of growth for our company.

We’ll continue to add and transform automation capabilities to our platform through a combination of internal product development, technology partnerships, and acquisitions. 2019 will be a breakthrough year for us and the Nintex community!

The trend as I see it is that broken processes still exist, and not all broken processes can be solved with the same solution.”

 

What do you think will be the next big tech trend in your industry? How do you plan to stay ahead of that trend?

Nintex is committed to providing companies in both the public and private sector with the industry’s best technology for quickly and easily mapping and managing processes, automating ones ripe for automation and optimizing how business processes run. If a company needs to build an app fast, capture data via a digital form, secure an e-signature or route documents for approval, we can help them with all of that and more.

The trend as I see it is that broken processes still exist, and not all broken processes can be solved with the same solution. That’s why companies like Nintex exist. We offer many flavors of automation to our customers so that they can stay ahead of tech trends. For enterprises, the key is to find a platform with a broad set of capabilities to help them successfully manage, automate and optimize their processes. Think of Nintex as the super glue that holds everything together — we guarantee that they’ll save time and drive better, faster results by putting our technology to work. This is how we’re leading our industry.

 

pivotal commware seattle tech
photo via pivotal commware

With its complex communications technology, Pivotal Commware is paving the way for widespread access to 5G networks. The Kirkland-based company was recently named one of Built In Seattle’s 50 Startup to Watch in 2019, and its technology has applications in everything from tactical systems to cell towers.

CEO Brian Deutsch says his company is currently working on a system to automate the management of its service delivery systems.

 

How has your company set itself apart as a leader in your industry? What tech innovations have helped you differentiate yourself?

Pivotal Commware created and patented Holographic Beam Forming, a breakthrough in electromagnetic physics allowing our 5G cellular antennas to harness, shape and direct radio waves. HBF has order-of-magnitude advantages in cost, size, weight and power consumption over legacy beamforming systems, and enables mobile network operators to maximize capacity, coverage and throughput on demand.

As 5G operators deploy beamforming antennas, they will rely on automation to manage beams on demand.”

 

What do you think will be the next big tech trend in your industry? How do you plan to stay ahead of that trend?

As 5G operators deploy beamforming antennas, they will rely on automation to manage beams on demand. Pivotal is developing an Intelligent Beam Management System (IBMS) to leverage HBF’s capabilities to maximize operators’ coverage, quality and capacity.

 

Jobs from companies in this blog23 open jobs
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