It is with great pleasure today we finally got our site, http://www.sambastream.com up online! Small steps towards something much bigger! For those of you that don’t know, I left my job with Accenture in July to found a start-up with 2 workmates, let me take some time to introduce you to our team and what we do.
Our story so far:
The three of us have all worked for one of the world’s largest IT consultancies, helping large enterprises, NGOs, and governments around the world develop portals and content management systems. Through this experience we’ve had in-depth exposure to a lot of the issues that people come across when trying to use content management systems (which most people understand as online document management and collaboration) and most importantly, noticed that the backbone of the economy, small and medium size businesses, can’t afford access to these critical technologies to help them collaborate and share knowledge effectively themselves!
Out of this need, and also from our desire to start our own business and have a positive impact on our field of expertise, we have left (or are in the process of leaving) the large IT consultancy to get started developing online applications for small and medium enterprises that are affordable, intuitive to use, and address the core needs of these businesses.
Who we are:
I should probably at this point introduce you to the team, the three founders of SambaStream:
- David Gildeh (me): Some of you may know me from the London start-up scene the last few months! I have always been actively involved in entrepreneurship, and so leaving my job to start a business, even in these rocky times, was for me a no-brainer! I spent my last 2 years travelling around the world, working in exotic locations for large global NGOs designing collaboration portals and Intranets. I’m happy to say my expertise had a big impact on the sector, and many well known NGO’s are now acting on my advice implementing online collaboration across their organisations. Its been great to travel and do amazing work in this sector, so when I had to finish there, I decided to take my expertise to starting my own business almost immediately, which is where I find myself today…
- Clarence Sittampalam: Clarence and I first worked together up in Liverpool, where we delivered a Business Process & Document Management system for a large UK bank. The award winning solution was a great learning experiance for both of us, and has led to both of us doing amazing work since.
- Alessandro Giannone: Ale and I both started our previous company the same day, and over the past few years have spoken frequently about starting our own business together. Ale has specialised in SAP Portals, helping large enterprise clients develop web based tools and services for their organisations.
What We Do:
So great team, great backgrounds, what exactly do we do? Well some of you may recognise us as a Software as a Service company (SAAS), which basically means we provide online applications to businesses in return for a monthly subscription. We’re basically a utility service, like electricity and gas, for your business, you pay for what you use, when you need it, and thats that. Software should have always been this simple, but it appears only now the right technology and market forces are with us to allow companies like ours to successfully compete with more traditional software. So why is SAAS, not to be confused but always closely linked to Cloud computing, so great? There’s a lot of reasons but the main ones I can think of are:
- Price: Because we host the software online, we can do things cheaper than traditional software companies, which means we can give you a much higher return on your investment! Gone are the days when you needed to buy upfront expensive software licenses, hardware to host it, IT guys to support it…just pay one low cost monthly subscription and you get everything including IT support from the people who developed the software and know best how to fix things when they inevitably go wrong!
- Lead Times: When businesses buy traditional software, they are usually making a large upfront investment. That means you need to do RFPs (Request for proposals) from several vendors, potentially hire consultants to help install and configure the software, and buy the hardware to host it. You can’t just use it! Typically the lead time between RFP to a fully up and running system is between 6 months and on very large projects, several years! With SAAS, you simply sign up, start a subscription and its ready to use right away! Business doesn’t happen next year, it happens now, and SAAS gives you the software you need, when you need it!
- Reliability: How many businesses can say their IT systems are completely reliable, always up without any problems? How many small businesses can afford their own IT support staff on-site to deal with any potential problems, make sure the system is backed up and in a worst case, also have extra servers available to fall over to if the main ones fail?! I haven’t met any small business that can say yes to all of that. Huge Enterprises spend millions in support, hardware and consulting fees addressing this issue! SAAS, through sharing resources across hundreds of businesses, can bring economy of scale to give you the same reliability and support, but at a very affordable price! Its all included as standard in your subscription!
There are loads more reasons SAAS is coming of age, but these are my top 3! As you can see, it may finally be affordable for businesses of any size to have access to high quality, enterprise class, software that will allow them to compete with the big companies out there even more effectively!
So now that I’ve told you, admittedly, very generally, what we do, I should probably tell you what our first application will be? Well all in good time, right now we’re prototyping it and when its ready and we’re sure you guys are going to love it we’ll let you know. If you want a hint, all of us specialise in online collaboration and document management, so it may be something in that area 😉 Ultimately however, we will provide a FULL suite of online applications for small businesses, completely integrated so they work together flawlessly and become one of the first all round SAAS providers to provide your business with a one stop shop for all your software needs! So watch this space…