The hardest word to type is the first

It is almost unimaginable that it is a whole year since we sat down to launch Recursyv. At the time we had an idea – make enterprise software more readily accessible – and a name. We knew we wanted to build a software business and we were lucky enough to have a pair of (prospective) customers willing to be patient while we built product.

In our first few months we canvassed our prospective customers and focused on building software to address their specific needs. In truth, this was also a significant learning curve as we spread our technology stack into areas which required learning for the both of us.

We also had the intimidating privilege of a blank page. We needed to set everything up from scratch. Here are a few highlights…

Our first tweet was posted on the day of our first meeting, 30/08

Over the following weeks we put our website live, launched on LinkedIn, ordered business cards, published our first blog post, worked our way up the Google rankings, and – after much unnecessary rigmarole – managed to get a bank account open. We also learnt about working with each other and how to play to our respective strengths and weaknesses.

We worked to refine our software and we even stumbled upon our chocolate chip cookie tradition. By September our Seamless service was sync’ing messages and a few weeks later we had demos scheduled for both Seamless (at the time, still imaginatively called the Azure Service Bus Integration tool) and Sales In-a-Box.

Then this happened.

And we were in business! By the end of 2016 we had another order on the books and in January we began rolling software out.

Over the year I’ve tried to engage with as many entrepreneurs as possible and one key theme that often comes up is “the first few customers are easy, it’s the next 20 that are difficult – but they are the ones who will make or break your business.” This is proving to be true, exciting and intimidating. We’re working on it.

 

 

While preparing this post, we created a Twitter moment to share a more extended highlights package of our first year. We hope you enjoy it.

The counter-intuitive benefit of shorter projects

As we’re working to build the partner network around Seamless, I am often talking through (what we believe to be) the benefits of using Seamless for delivery of integrations. We have a background in delivering IT change projects and one of our favourite Seamless benefits is that developing integrations becomes much much quicker. If we have a connector plugin already built, it is simply a matter of specifying the right fields and associated rules. If we don’t, we can often build one in under a week (assuming being reasonable API access).

For companies who make a lot of their revenue selling time (i.e. time taken by software engineers to build applications), it seems counter-intuitive that we’re touting shorter projects as a benefit. Er, what’s up with that?

 

Our response is simple: I’d rather you sold a 60 day project than lost a 120 day project to a competitor.

Our partners will be competing with any number of other organisations who will have different ways to deliver software. Today’s average user has experience of sophisticated web services and expects that software delivery companies can quickly connect up different services. Agile approaches add an additional dimension of expectation because clients expect to see phased delivery of packages of requirements.

Sure, reducing delivery time reduces upfront professional services revenue, but it makes our partners’ projects more commercially attractive. If this can be done in a way that also reduces risk (using technology that is proven to work) and increases flexibility (extendable plugins, a myriad of configuration options, etc.), then the offer becomes more attractive on day one (commercially) and over time (ability to adapt to inevitable business change).

Finally, let’s not lose sight of that fact that, over time, “lost” revenue may be recovered (plus more) through sharing of the subscription fee.

 

 

[icon name=”exchange” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]  Learn more about partnering with Seamless. We could talk about it all day.

Swaying our way to Microsoft Inspire

We’re getting ready for Microsoft’s global partner conference, Inspire, in Washington, D.C. later this year. It is a meeting of the good and the great in the Microsoft partner community with a view to connecting with Microsoft employees, other partners and industry experts. You’ll not be surprised to learn that it is a significant investment – time away from our day-to-day jobs, conference tickets, flights, accommodation and maybe even some souvenir key rings. Needless to say, we’re working hard to ensure we have the right supporting material to hand.

One of our conference objectives is to continue building the partner network around our Seamless integration service. With this in mind, and maybe also just a little bit because we like to play with interesting apps, we’ve built a Sway presentation which we’d like to share.

 

Make data islands a thing of the past

 

Hat-tip to our friend Sean K for the suggestions. First round is on us.