TrackVia poised to be go-to platform to solve biz problems in 2014
Monday August 19, 2013 0 commentsPhoto above: TrackVia's staff in Denver office
By Debra Kahn
DENVER - TrackVia's executives have a grand vision: To become "the go-to" platform for solving business problems.
And they are positioning themselves to execute that vision in 2014 by adding at least 20 percent more sales, engineering and customer support personnel by the end of this year.
"We are in a fast-developing space, which we call the 'consumerization of IT,' where business people are taking the technology needs of their jobs and putting it in their own hands," says CEO Pete Khanna. This market, he adds, "is growing every day."
Founded in 2006 by Matt McAdams as an online database platform for project and business management, TrackVia received an infusion of $7.1 million in venture capital funding at the end of 2012. Under Khanna's leadership since 2011, the company has been growing its talent, revenue and customer base over the past two years and plans to offer new product developments in 2014. It also seeks to build out its online user community and social media connections.
"We're trying to be more available to customers, wherever they choose to engage with us," says Charles Var, VP of marketing.
Thousands of customers all over the world have built nearly 7,000 business applications using the platform, according to TrackVia's website (www.trackvia.com). That translates into a presence in more than 60 countries, says Var.
While the company currently offers an English-only interface, that, too, might change in the future. Var envisions "every business on the planet" as TrackVia's potential market.
Positioned as a PaaS (platform-as-a-service) product, TrackVia allows customers to build custom business applications - without having to know anything about programming or database architecture. Thus, target customers are "citizen developers," an industry term that refers to non-technical business people who leverage "development and run-time environments" to create new business applications for use by others, according to Gartner, Inc.
In a July 2011 article, Gartner analysts predicted that at least 25 percent of all new business applications will be built by citizen developers by 2014.
Typical TrackVia customers are medium-to-large businesses or departments within enterprise businesses who want to centralize their data online, manage it and share it with others but who are typically not well served by off-the-shelf systems such as Salesforce.com or Marketo, says Var.
Market differentiators for TrackVia are versatility and customization, he explains. Customers can pick and choose collaboration features, workflow features and automation and reporting features, as well as create alerts and control user permissions.
Wired Magazine, for example, has leveraged TrackVia's workflow features and alert capability in a custom application for managing its editorial process. When a writer submits an article, the application sends an alert to an editor to review it. Ultimately, the edited article flows to the webmaster, who posts it online.
"They've customized it to meet their specific needs and their specific use case," says Var.
Getting started with TrackVia is as simple as uploading an Excel spreadsheet, one of three options available to customers building a new application. Another option is to use a TrackVia application template (e.g., for tracking customers or tracking a project) or to use the platform's tools to build an application from scratch.
TrackVia's staff can even build an application prototype for a new customer to evaluate and tweak. Customers developing a department-level application are typically up and running within 30 days, according to Khanna.
Additionally, "free support from a live person" is offered to every new customer, even those who have signed up for the free 14-day product trial, explains Var. The "vast majority" of all customers who sign up for the free trial end up purchasing the product, he adds.
TrackVia's pricing plan is structured so customers pay for only those features they need and for the number of users who will ultimately use their custom-built application. The cost-per-user goes down as more users are added. For new startups, nonprofits and students, a free community version of TrackVia is available.
As marketing VP, Var seeks a larger footprint for TrackVia in the world. But he also shares the company's philosophy that happy employees make for happy customers. He's proud of the fact TrackVia was recently named by Outside Magazine as one of the top 100 best places to work in 2013 - the second year in a row it has achieved that status.
"It all starts with creating a great place to work," he said.