Exclusive: Microsoft’s Matt O’Callaghan moves to Peppermint

Published first in the Orange Rag out yesterday (26 June), here is our interview with Matt O’Callaghan, who is set to join Peppermint Technology from Microsoft.
Legal cloud software provider Peppermint Technology has hired Matt O’Callaghan as director of business development.  O’Callaghan – who will report to chief sales officer Tony Cox – joins from Microsoft where he has been leading enterprise engagement within the UK legal sector.  He will now take day-to-day responsibility of the Peppermint sales team.
“Having worked for Microsoft for 14 years and, for the past two years, leading our legal services sales team, I’m now ready for my next challenge.  I’ve led the team at Microsoft from when it was first created in 2017 and my mission from the outset was to learn from our customers and shape the team around how they wanted to work with us,” O’Callaghan told Legal IT Insider.
“I think we have achieved that.  We have the right structure in place, we have a great team and they have many more years of success ahead of them.”
O’Callaghan will nonetheless be sorely missed at Microsoft by many in the legal sector, given that he has tirelessly built up a solid London-based team with unusually in-depth knowledge of the sector and law firms’ priorities.
So why move to Peppermint?  “Well, quite simply, they have developed a brilliant product in Dynamics 365 and they have some brilliant people,” said O’Callaghan.  “There are a number of new faces in their leadership team, all of whom I worked with when I started working in the IT industry.  They know how to create success within a business and have some ambitious plans.  I cannot wait to join them and get started.  Of course, I’m sad to be leaving Microsoft as they have been a huge part of my career and I will miss all my colleagues whom I now regard as my friends but, ultimately, it was too much of an exciting opportunity to turn down.  Plus, I still get to work in the legal industry.”
Based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Peppermint provides a full suite of legal apps delivered as a SaaS product.  Last year the company launched a Dynamics 365 public cloud customer relationship management system, which O’Callaghan told Legal IT Insider at the time, propelled Peppermint into the big leagues.
Peppermint has been through some challenging times, but the online CRM solution is perceived to be transitioning the company from a predominantly mid-market client base into the eyeline of Biglaw firms.  This transition follows the appointment of a whole new C-suite, including Cox, CFO Nicki Grundy and CEO Gary Young.  It also follows the injection of further capital by existing investor Scottish Equity Partners and new investor Accel-KKR.
“Transforming the client experience sits front and centre of our legal customers’ digital strategy and Peppermint is uniquely placed to help them deliver that.  For me, it’s the most exciting conversation you can have with a law firm and if you get it right then you’ve played a part in helping increase the bottom line by providing them with the platform to win more clients and achieve better client retention,” O’Callaghan said.
“The problem most law firms face is the disparate systems that their employees must navigate to get the insights they need to build strong client relationships.  They are overwhelmed with too much information and not enough insight.  But, for organisations that can harness the data to gain relationship insights, the results can be truly transformative.  Our approach at Peppermint is to unify the experience by leveraging Microsoft tools they are already familiar with and integrate them for a seamless experience that enables an end-to-end view of their client.
“However, one of Peppermints other key USPs, and another reason I decided to join, is the investment they have made in their own customer success team,” O’Callaghan added.  “They understand that customer success is the key to Peppermint’s success, and this is so important.  Don’t get me wrong, first and foremost you need to have a great product, but I would argue that it’s even more vital working for a company that is committed to ensuring its customers start realising the benefits of the technology as quickly as possible.  This is all down to helping our customers every step of the way through their own cultural transformation and, in almost every case, this is the biggest challenge of all.  Peppermint has invested in a team that’s sole purpose is working with customers to make their investment a success.  Taking all of this into account, I think our prospects are very good.”