Its been 5 weeks now since we started in StartupReykjavik. Our fundamental technology has remained the same. What has changed is our strategy and our understanding of the opportunities around us.
Before we started our company in January 2012 we often talked about the “cloud wave”. The generic core goal for us as founders was to simply to leverage the cloud to create something awesome. We were obviously also driven to do something relevant to us and our background (as discussed in the data extraction need blog I wrote a while back).
But in the past few weeks through a lot of research and talking with mentors we realized that the cloud wave was not just about technological leverage. The cloud wave is also generating a lucrative and accessible sales channel through product integration and cloud computing app marketplaces. The entrepreneurial opportunities within the cloud channel are huge.
A fruitful sales channel allows buyers and sellers to communicate and acquire products more easily and in the long run allows businesses such as ours to create a scalable and repeatable sales process. The Salesforce AppExchange is an excellent example of such a channel. All the basic channel functions are there: you can promote, package, distribute and sell your product. In addition, you are partnering with a powerful cloud player who has already managed to convince more than 100,000 companies that the cloud is not too risky.
But why stop there. PaaS and APIs allows us as SaaS providers to offer our solution on multiple platforms, including SugarCRM, GoodData, Jaspersoft, Birst, indicee, PivotLink and other up and coming cloud-based Business Intelligence (BI) providers. These providers have a growing community of over 250,000 companies who are embracing the cloud wave and can easily deploy 3rd party services such as ours to their initial core SaaS/PaaS investment and create more value out of external data.
Product integration is nothing new here. Some of the most successful web companies of my generation have seen tremendous growth from integrating with other platforms, such as Paypal and eBay, Zynga and Facebook, Marketo and Salesforce.
The bottom line is that the cloud channel offers us as software providers to reach a growing market of technically and strategically aware buyers. In addition to nurturing traditional SaaS channels such as Search Engines and Social Media, we really believe that we can find the right customer who can maximize the value of the external data they are tracking online.
Datatracker allows ANY user to collect, track and structure online web data. Datatracker empowers the real time enterprise by extracting information from unstructured online sources to support business activity monitoring, competitive intelligence and business intelligence.