This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, April 1, 2002. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: He is only the second CEO in 25 years to run JD Edwards (JDEC). And so far, things are looking pretty good. Check this out. The stock is up nearly 200 percent since its lows in November. What's the secret to keeping up with the big boys in this sluggish tech environment?
Joining me now, the man who probably won the most sought after prize — I remember this was big buzz when he won this — Robert Dutkowsky, JD Edwards CEO. Robert, welcome. Congratulations, by the way.
ROBERT DUTKOWSKY, CEO, JD EDWARDS: Thank you, Neil. It's great to be here.
CAVUTO: Quite a coup. Let me get your take, first of all, on you being an anomaly in the software — you've been making money hand over fist. Your company has been sizzling. What gives?
DUTKOWSKY: Well, I think JD Edwards is well positioned to take advantage of some of the factors that are happening in the marketplace.
First of all, where we're focused is in the mid-range segment. And so, we don't sell to the largest businesses in the world, but we also don't sell to the smallest. And so, when you look at that mid-range, there is lots and lots of opportunities there.
CAVUTO: And we should explain, it is in the mid-range here — this is a little secret that not many know — that is where buying never really precipitously dropped. And it's been stronger certainly than those other sectors.
DUTKOWSKY: Well, also, just the sheer volume, there is lots and lots of prospects for us there. So, you know, if you call out as your focus segment the top 100 companies and they are in trouble, you have nowhere to turn. But in our case, we have tens of thousands of prospects that need JD Edwards enterprise systems, our planning systems and our customer relationship management systems.
CAVUTO: What is the deal with the guys who run your company? You are only the second one, right? So, you are in the job for, what, 30 years, unless you screw up, right? Pretty much.
DUTKOWSKY: Well, you know, our founders run the company for the last 25 years. And, you know, another interesting statistic, think of another technology company that's 25 years old. You can count them on a couple of fingers. And so, Ed McVaney...
CAVUTO: You and Microsoft (MSFT), maybe.
DUTKOWSKY: And IBM (IBM) and a few others. But Ed McVaney, our founder, saw that businesses wanted to buy packaged solutions. They did not want to spend the time and the energy to build the solutions themselves. And that vision he had 25 years ago, we've turned into JD Edwards today.
CAVUTO: Yes, but you know the only thing, and you know your company well enough, I'm not going to try to second-guess you, but, I mean, there are a lot of people saying, you know, the hardware guys are getting into this big time. Your old haunt, IBM, and some of the others are now trying to pool all this sort of stuff together with consulting and anything else with sort of an umbrella package of goodies that you can't hope to offer.
CAVUTO: There's a difference between partners and eventually people who look at you as a threat, right?
DUTKOWSKY: Well, an IBM or an HP needs the value that JD Edwards brings, our software. And then they add their services on top of that and install it on their hardware and that is how they make the little Oreo cookie that they sell to their customers.
CAVUTO: So, why do we hear from analysts who say technology, maybe your kind of stock is an anomaly here, just still stinks and will continue to stink for a good chunk of the year?
DUTKOWSKY: Well, I think it's really kind of narrowed down to one reason, and that is most of the customers out there have already bought as much hardware as they need: servers, storage, networking, call that, you know, Sun and IBM and EMC (EMC) and Cisco (CSCO), they have all that technology that they need. What they need to do is they need things that fill up that technology, and that is application software from companies like JD Edwards.
CAVUTO: Do you worry about technology still, again, being in this long rut?
DUTKOWSKY: I do not think we have seen the bottom yet.
DUTKOWSKY: I think we have kind of reached a stabilizing point. And now, the question is when are customers going to spend in a robust way.
DUTKOWSKY: When they see that their business opportunity justifies them investing more.
CAVUTO: A lot of them don't though.
DUTKOWSKY: And that's why I think we have another couple of quarters that feel about like this. If you look at the guidance that JD Edwards has out on the market, it is that the economy is going to stay about like this for the next few quarters.
CAVUTO: All right. Thank you very much, Robert. Again, congratulations.
DUTKOWSKY: Thanks, Neil.
CAVUTO: Rob Dutkowsky, who will, of course, will be on this job, I guess, until he is 80, the way this company goes through people.
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