Monday, October 1, 2007

An interview with PC industry pioneer Bill Lyons


By David Gewirtz

A little over a year ago, we ran an interview with AXS-One's Marie Patterson on email storage and retrieval. Normally, we don't like to run more than one executive interview from a company with any frequency, but when we had the opportunity to interview AXS-One CEO Bill Lyons, we jumped at the chance.

Bill is a true PC industry pioneer. Back in the olden days, when the "big three" were Microsoft, Lotus, and Ashton-Tate (remember dBASE IV?), Bill Lyons was CEO of Ashton-Tate. He also was CEO of Parc Place Systems. Many of you might not have heard of Parc Place, but that was the company form to commercialize SmallTalk, a technology out of XEROX Parc that's influenced personal computers in so many different ways.

So, when we had the chance to sit Bill down and pick his brain, we took it. Here, then, is our interview with Bill Lyons.


Bill, please introduce yourself and tell us some more about your background.


I am Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AXS-One, a leading provider of high performance records compliance management software solutions. I joined AXS-One in April 2004 after serving as chief executive in several high-growth software companies for large enterprise markets.

Previously, I served as President and CEO of Caminus Corporation, a publicly traded software company, providing mid- and back-office software applications to the global energy industry. I sold Caminus to SunGard Data Systems in 2003. Prior to that, I served as Chief Executive Officer of numerous software companies in both the public and private marketplace including Ashton-Tate, ParcPlace Systems, Finjan Software and NeuVis.

Before my software executive positions, I spent 18 years at IBM in various sales and marketing roles culminating as Vice President Software/General Manager PC Merchandising.


You ran Ashton-Tate back in the early database days. How have databases changed since then?