Harvey Shovers – President of MSI Data

[quote style=”boxed”]I would have pushed harder to start my own company much earlier. Changing focus to building something vs. working for someone.[/quote]

Harvey Shovers is the President of MSI Data, the leader in field workforce automation software. At MSI Data, Harvey is executing on his vision of helping business improve field workforce productivity with enterprise, scheduling and mobile applications that are easy to acquire, easy deploy and deliver a rapid return on investment.

Harvey also as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Metrix, and is a co-founder of Penta Mobile. Previous to Penta, Harvey served as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Metrix, Inc from 1999 to 2004, returning to the position he vacated in 1996, when he left to form his own sales consulting organization, The Sequoia Group. Throughout his career, Shovers has implemented consultative sales programs and marketing activities for companies like Metrix, Inc. and Hewlett-Packard, facilitating rapid growth and high customer satisfaction.

During his second tenure at Metrix, Shovers re-organized the sales and marketing organizations utilizing an approach known as Sell-to-Win™ – an approach Shovers developed while at the Sequoia Group. These standardized processes brought Metrix back to a leadership position in the area of customer relationship management. During his time with Metrix, Harvey established a worldwide sales, consulting and marketing organization, as well as a re-seller channel, that fueled substantial growth. As a reward for his efforts, Inc. Magazine has twice recognized Metrix as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the United States.

Harvey also focused on developing a sales and consulting team that stressed rapid implementation of systems and an early return on investment for Metrix customers. In addition, he created strategic relationships with various software, hardware and consulting organizations including Oracle, Cambridge Technology, Hewlett Packard and IBM to provide complete turnkey solutions.

Prior to joining Metrix in 1990, Harvey was a sales leader in Hewlett Packard’s move into business systems in the 1980’s. He was recognized as a worldwide leader for new business sales in 1988. Harvey also successfully implemented a value-added reseller program by forming strategic alliances with software companies and expanding to new growth areas.

With 25 years of sales and marketing experience in technology organizations either as an employee or consultant, Shovers has worked with some of the world’s largest organizations, including Fiserv and ADP.

What are you working on right now?

Building new solutions for the mobile field workforce.

Where did the idea for building a field workforce automation software company come from?

Being in this market for over 20 years I saw a large gap existed for high functionality, easy to use solutions that could be deployed in the cloud in a very cost effective manner for the typical field force with a few users to hundreds of users.

How do you make money?

We license software on a recurring basis, calculated on a per user/per month basis. In almost all cases the monthly cost is about the equivalent of saving one hour of time or gaining one hour of efficiency a month. We make money by having thousands of happy users continue to use our software on a an annual basis.

What does your typical day look like?

The majority of my time is focused on working on new customer and partner opportunities that will help grow our number of users in a scalable manner

How do you bring ideas to life?

I present the ideas to our management team and then test these ideas with prospects and customers. There is a very short time from idea to implementation of the idea.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

The technologies and business trends are now available to move business processes from inside the “four walls” to the field. As more demand is put on the field to complete their work process while mobile the more our solutions will add value.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Sales executive at another software firm that was hamstrung by an inability to make decisions and then to second guess any decisions that were made. Being stagnant in the software industry is a company killer. Constantly stepping on the people you hired to execute your vision is even worse. This company did both.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would have pushed harder to start my own company much earlier. Changing focus to building something vs. working for someone.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I believe in my ideas and move forward on those with a positive, winning attitude. I don’t enter into things or dwell too long thinking about what happens if it doesn’t work.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I started a company about 12 years ago and gave up on it to quickly to go back to working for another company. I overcame it by realizing the mistake I made and working hard to building and succeeding in this new venture.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I’d like to start a web based company where I can track all of my personal or family receipts and warranties in one place.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

End the hatred that is religious based. Stop labeling people based on their religious beliefs.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

Someday I’m going to start a boutique soft drink company.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

ESPN on my iPad: watch a game anywhere
Text messaging: easy to keep up with my friends and family
Yelp: I like to go to eat – nice to get first hand review

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

They marched into sunlight – a good read on the Vietnam War.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

Don Jackson: leading edge mobile developer
Anna Shovers: top young pastry chef in Chicago…and my daughter
Dennis Rodman: no real reason – he’s crazy and probably funny to follow

Who is your hero, and why?

My grandfather. Came to the US without family when he was 16. Through hard work ended up with his own very successful business.

Any advice on how to start your own company?

Do it while you’re young enough to not be tied down by other factors, but old enough where you’ve gained real life experiences working for others.

What do you enjoy most in your personal life?

Time with family – everything moves so fast.


Harvey Shovers on LinkedIn:
Harvey Shovers’s Email: [email protected]