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Welcome, Frank Defesche! Bringing Industry Cloud Expertise to the Hearsay Board of Directors

Defesche was an early cloud pioneer and brings over a decade of industry cloud experience to Hearsay Systems.

We recently announced the appointment of Frank Defesche, General Manager for Veeva Systems, to the Hearsay Board of Directors.
I’m thrilled about Frank joining the board for a number of reasons. As a cloud pioneer and current leader in a vertical cloud-based software company within a heavily regulated industry, Frank’s expertise will be invaluable to Hearsay as we continue to transform and modernize the insurance, banking, wealth and asset management industries.

As an executive over the past 11 years, Frank has played an instrumental role in Veeva becoming the leading technology partner to the life sciences industry and in recently surpassing an $18B market cap. After building Veeva’s professional services function from scratch – an area Hearsay has provided for years and is currently scaling operations – Frank most recently launched the Vault business line as Veeva expands to address new industries such as Chemicals.

As a company advisor to me over the past several months, he’s already made an impact. Frank has helped us optimize our company and key initiatives for industry depth and focus. He’s helped us learn lessons and operationalize around a few areas that are key to success as an industry-focused cloud company:

1. Win by out-focusing everyone else. While horizontal players seek to be “something for everyone” and widely extensible, Hearsay takes the opposite approach. We build with so much specificity that if you are not in financial services, you will not understand our software.

2. Hire and develop people obsessed with the industry you serve. Hearsay has shifted our recruiting focus so that at least every 2-3 hires is coming from insurance, banking, or wealth management, or the tech and consulting firms which serve those industries. Across all of our existing employees, we set up quarterly customer “follow me home” visits so that everyone in the company, from engineering to accounting, can observe how our customers work (the painful manual tasks) and viscerally internalize our company mission of enabling the High-Tech, Right-Touch Advisor.

3. Deliver turnkey, end-to-end solutions rather than one-off features. Horizontal companies ship features. Industry companies must deliver end-to-end solutions, from product features to partner ecosystem integrations to business process remapping, training, and analytics, to close the loop on what worked.
We look forward to executing these and learning more from Frank in the coming months and years. Welcome to the team, Frank!

Clara Shih

A pioneer in the social media industry, Clara developed the first social business application in 2007. Her latest book, The Social Business Imperative, is a Wall Street Journal-featured bestseller. She is a member of the Starbucks board of directors.

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