Yes, unfortunately, the rumors you may have heard are true.  Bobby Patrick, GXS’ Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer has decided to leave the company.  Bobby will be pursuing an executive role at a Big Data startup called Basho Technologies.  Bobby’s departure is a loss not only for GXS, but for the integration industry.  In his eight years at GXS, Bobby had a long list of accomplishments – too many to document in a blog post – but there were three that I found particularly memorable.

In 2004, shortly after joining GXS, Bobby launched the GXS’ Trading Grid.  Trading Grid was a strategy to build a portfolio of hosted B2B integration applications ranging from supply chain visibility and electronic payments to intelligent web forms and accounting package adapters. At the time most of the B2B integration vendors such as TIBCO, webMethods, Axway, Seeburger and Sterling Commerce were focused on developing their software portfolios. Rapid price decline in the EDI VAN business had convinced most technology vendors that there was no market opportunity in hosted services.  But they were wrong.  As it turned out Bobby’s bet on hosted services was timed perfectly. A few years later in 2007 when many of the new Trading Grid services were being launched, the IT industry began a major shift away from software towards SaaS and Cloud Computing.  In the past 18 months all the B2B software zealots have announced cloud offerings as they attempt to play catch up.

The most successful product launched on GXS Trading Grid was Managed Services.  Although there are many others at GXS such as Jeff Keefer that pioneered GXS’ B2B Managed Services offering, Bobby was quick to recognize the significance of the market opportunity.  And he applied significant marketing muscle to build awareness for the concept.  In 2007, Bobby commissioned a breakthrough study on the value of B2B Managed Services with Dr. Hau Lee of Stanford University.  The following year, Bobby invested to build the industry’s first study comparing the TCO of Managed Services to in-house software.  The market for Managed Services has been growing at a rate of 15-20% over the past five years even through the worst of the recent recession.  GXS now has over 500 customers and nearly $150 million in revenue.  The overall sector is expected to reach $2 billion in revenues by 2015.

In 2009, Bobby introduced a new concept called the Active Business. Bobby’s vision was that businesses which heavily invested in B2B integration technologies could outperform their peer group.  With superior ability to share information related to demand, supply, price and products Active Businesses could more rapidly respond to changing market conditions.  After launching the program, Bobby launched award programs to publicize examples of companies that exemplified the tenets of an Active Business.  And last week, GXS launched its inaugural B2B Heroes program which recognized the individual accomplishments of IT and business professionals in the integration sector.  Twenty leaders from companies such as Warner Home Video, Miller Coors and Under Armour were honored with the award.

Perhaps the only name missing in the list of heroes was Bobby’s. To many people at GXS as well as our customers and our business partners, Bobby Patrick is one of the greatest B2B Heroes to ever work in the B2B sector.

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17 Responses to “Bobby Patrick – A True B2B Hero”

  1. Marco de Vries says:

    Bobby breathed life back into GXS… and an industry. In just a few years, IT megavendors went from dumping their VANs to scrambling to acquire the assets back. Bobby led the charge to make industry realize that supply chain is inherently managed outside the four walls. The extended supply chain forms a community, an ecosystem of trading partners. Those who harness the power of this trading community are the winners. Bobby realized it early on, and other industry giants scrambled to catch up. Unfortunately for them, GXS never stood still with Bobby leading new product innovation—maintaining and extending the lead. I am grateful for the time I spent working with Bobby and the many things I learned from him.

  2. Mary Calvert says:

    A big loss for a great Marketing Team at GXS. Bobby is a gifted an unique person – you will rarely meet a CMO with his ability to have a finger right on the pulse of his industry and that of his customers. When you combine that inisght with his knowledge of the Financial Climate, the read of Drivers and Momentum and his gift for making every human feel important-he will surely replicate his success. He leaves many great contributions to the B2B market behind and I know Basho will be a better company with his leadership and envangelism. Best of Luck to you and I am sure that your team at GXS will miss you a great deal!

  3. Allison Tobin says:

    Great ‘highlight reel’ Steve of the accomplishments and contributions of Bobby Patrick toward the advancement of the B2B e-commerce industry. I can honestly say that Bobby’s contributions are recognized and appreciated outside the walls of GXS as well as inside. Bobby is not only notable for his accomplishments in B2B marketing, but also for his leadership as a manager and mentor to everyone who has worked for him and with him. Basho is fortunate to have Bobby and I wait to see what’s next!

  4. Karin McNair says:

    Bobby Patrick taught me many things during the eight years we have worked together. I have learned these things about him and for my life. He is a “can do” person, making extraordinary things happen when you need the most. He defines success as not a point in time, but an attitude you develop. A germ of an idea can grow and morph and grow and morph and with the inclusion of others input, can become one huge movement forward. Nothing is static, it is always dynamic. Just make it happen. Give input everyday. Thank you Bobby Patrick. You are THE B2B Hero for everyone that knows you.

  5. MIke Chasteen says:

    Bobby is and will always be one of the most passionate people I know. Whether it was an opportunity to serve a customer, the chance to support a sales executive on a call, or pushing GXS to new levels, he was always out front leading the charge. In the 7 years we have worked together, I found him to be thoughtful and compassionate to our people and genuinely interested in what you think. Bobby has done great things for our company, but I think he has done more great things for our people. I know the Big Data industry just got stronger, because Bobby has joined it. I know the B2B space will be a little less interesting because Bobby is leaving it. Good luck my friend.

  6. Melanie Nuce says:

    What a great Marketing leader Bobby is! His blend of charisma, enthusiasm and intelligence are a combination few others can match. He never fails to deliver his message with conviction and excitement. It is a true loss for GXS, but it doesn’t surprise me that he is going to work for a “big data” company. Bobby is a man of big ideas, big personality and big ability to make it happen. I wish him the best and am glad I had the privilege of working with him.

  7. Amy Rubin says:

    In all my years, I have never worked with someone with so much passion, energy and pure love for the business. Bobby will always be remembered as an inspiration to those who have been touched by his innovation and commitment and will undoubtedly be missed by all his fans (and there are many)!

  8. Ryan Kraudel says:

    I think it’s fair to say Bobby did more to advance the B2B integration space in the last 8 years than any other person in the world. The vision, innovation, and communication skills are some of the best I’ve ever seen. It was a true honor and pleasure to work with and learn from Bobby every day. To say he will be missed at GXS and in the B2B space is a massive understatement. Absolute best wishes to Bobby in the next industry on which he will no doubt have a huge impact.

  9. Rochelle Cohen says:

    Bobby’s ability to foresee the needs of the B2B Marketplace, create a vision and execute on that vision is unmatched. We will miss Bobby not only his vision and passion for B2B, but also for his leadership and interpersonal skills that encourage everyone who works with him and for him to become passionate too.

  10. Andrea Brody says:

    Bobby Patrick is and always will be GXS’s biggest fan….

    The employees of GXS is and always will be Bobby Patrick’s biggest fan…

  11. It has been an absolute joy to work alongside Bobby as he conceptualized and oversaw the transformation of not just GXS, but an entire industry over the past 8 years. With his infectious optimism, stellar vision and unlimited zeal Bobby took a company and a segment steeped in decades of traditions, worked tirelessly with customers & industry influencers to define entire new markets which we now know as Integration Service Providers, Cloud Service Brokerages to name but a couple. He converted customers into raving fans, employees into passionate ambassadors; thereby giving meaning and relevance to the formidable “GXS” brand. Best wishes to Bobby as he sets out to do something similar to another industry!

  12. Tania Almond says:

    I have known and worked with Bobby at a couple of companies for over 10 years now. He always brings his A-game, unmatched passion and energy to all of his endeavors. Not surprisingly, he is an impact player who becomes a Chief Evangelist for each industry that he engages in. I look forward to seeing his many new contributions in his new area of focus and thank him for being such a great colleague and friend.

  13. Steve Scala says:

    The accomplishments under Bobby’s reign are too numerous to list here – but getting in the upper right and in the most prestigious position on the Gartner Magic Quadrant was Magical – the Study in conjunction with Stanford was the work of genius – and bringing together Inovis and GXS was beautiful…..

  14. John Radko says:

    Bobby Patrick is a true visionary in our industry, and just about anyone who has ever interacted with him knows that. What many may not know is what a terrific person he is to work with, someone who can raise the morale of a team just by stepping into the room, and excite team members and colleagues by his genuine enthusiasm for our customers and business. But above all, Bobby is a builder. As he moves on to the world of Big Data, he leaves in his wake an exceptionally talented and strong marketing organization, and a marketing program and product roadmap unique in the industry.

    GXS is blessed with many talented executives, but we have one less after today. As much as I look forward to seeing what he does in the world of Big Data, I’ll miss him greatly, as will all of GXS and our industry.

  15. Brian Koepsell says:

    Bobby Patrick helped create a vision in reference to the GXS customer base. As an innovator and visionary, Bobby traveled around the globe sharing the GXS transition story with all customers/partners regardless of size or industry. His energy, passion and professionalism will be greatly missed by all whom had the opportunity to be part of his day-to-day activities at GXS.

  16. Justin D-Z says:

    Bobby was a great leader and it will be tough walking in his footsteps. I look forward to seeing him define yet another industry.

  17. Bobby Patrick has revitalised the B2B sector, transforming it to become a strategic differentiator for many companies around the world, and has done this with his customary vision, commitment, energy and passion. As Steve says, Bobby is one of the greatest B2B Heroes ever in the B2B sector and his ongoing contribution will be greatly missed by all.

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