Protecting Our Proprietary Tech With Patents: A Conversation With Planful’s CTO

Protecting Our Proprietary Tech With Patents: A Conversation With Planful’s CTO

It’s no secret that we’re blazing the trail for product innovation in financial performance management at Planful.

We recently won a Dresner Advisory Services award for Technology Innovation in the “Financial Consolidation, Close Management, and Reporting” category. Based on what our customers say on G2 and TrustRadius about us and the accompanying awards like “best feature set” from TrustRadius, we’re clearly heading in the right direction. We’ve gotten there by releasing hundreds of new product features and improvements including Predict: Projections, which leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to support financial forecasting.

Our focus on developing best-in-class technology has not only resulted in great business growth but also helped us create a stellar customer experience. We’ve invested in patent filings to protect our most valuable asset — our proprietary technology — so that we can continue to see sustained growth for years to come.

The mastermind supporting our recent filings? Sanjay Vyas, Chief Technology Officer at Planful.

Sanjay has decades of experience as a product leader and knows that protecting novel ideas is critical for any technology company. We spoke with Sanjay about his experience with patents, why they’re necessary for product innovation, and how our recent patent filings will enhance our already excellent customer experience.

Without further ado, let’s hear from Sanjay.

Q: Why are patents an important investment for tech companies?

Sanjay Vyas: The purpose of a patent is to say, “Hey, here is something cool that I designed. It’s so awesome that I want my peers and customers to review it.” That review process signals that you are confident in your invention and are not afraid of the competition finding out about it. Once the patent has been reviewed and approved, it protects you so that no other companies can use your idea or technology without your explicit permission.

Patents are important for tech companies. A successful patent demonstrates that you are a trailblazer, a purveyor of innovation for your industry — and that you’re confident in your ideas and technology.

Q: How do you know if an idea, or invention, is worth patenting?

SV: At its core, a patent is an idea. Many people file patents for ideas that haven’t been implemented in released products — it’s a theory that hasn’t been proven true yet.

Here at Planful, we’ve only filed for patents on ideas that we’ve proven are both true and achievable. Our patents consist of tech that’s already found in our product to support our customers. So, we know the ideas work.

There are certain conditions we want to meet when filing for a patent. The biggest two conditions for us are:

  • It should be non-obvious, meaning our invention is not obvious to another person or company in our industry. Rather, our tech is an innovative answer to our customers’ challenges.
  • It should be novel, meaning that nothing like this has existed before. What we’re doing here at Planful is a cut above the rest.

Q: Why are you investing in patents at Planful?

SV: A confluence of ideas brought us to the point of filing patents. On the engineering team we are confident that our tech is worthy of being patented and that it is a differentiator in the industry. From a professional development perspective, the patent filing process represents the culmination of cutting edge R&D and design work.

We have an ongoing process to identify patent opportunities from our latest product offerings — novel and non-obvious ways that we solve our customers’ biggest challenges. From there, we partner with the Planful legal team to write and submit proposals.

Q: How does Planful’s tech support the customer experience?

SV: We’ve grown a lot in recent years — and, as we’ve grown, so have our customers. And just as we’ve seen a lot of changes in the industry, we’ve also seen changes in our customers’ needs. It’s up to us to adapt our technology so that it stays relevant and ready to serve them.

At Planful we are always working to improve our platform and this creates a cycle, a kind of innovation loop. We can build an interdependent relationship where both sides — Planful and our customers — benefit each other.

As our customers grow, we must grow. They bring in more data, more challenges for us to solve, and we need to keep innovating in order to stay ahead of their needs and anticipate their requests. Doing this successfully has led to building great relationships with our customers.

Patent filings are one way to give peace of mind to our customers that they’ve made a good investment. They can see that we’ve protected our technology with a patent, which reinforces that our product was built with a lot of thought, collaboration, and innovation.

Clearly, our efforts are paying off. We have incredible retention rates, which demonstrate that our customers favor us and want to continue to work with us year over year.

Planful Is at the Forefront of Tech Innovation

Innovative leaders like Sanjay recognize when an invention is worth going the extra mile to protect — and the investment he’s made in patenting our technology puts us miles ahead of the competition.

Hear more from Sanjay, along with the rest of Planful’s leaders, at Perform23. Join us in person in Chicago, IL, from May 10-12 to learn how you can achieve peak financial performance as a team. Or, register for the free virtual event to livestream Perform23 sessions straight to your device.

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