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The 1M/1M Incubation Radar: Bizosys, Bangalore, India

Friday June 17, 2011 , 7 min Read

A part of 1M/1M initiative of Sramana Mitra

Bizosys Technologies, a Bangalore, India based software engineering company was founded in 2009. The founders, Sunil Guttula and Abinasha Karana are experienced IT professional with 15 years’ experience between them solving various enterprise IT problems. Guttula, Bizosys’ CEO, and Karana founded the company with the goal to “simplify software development.”

Toward that end, they have created two products. The first is HSearch, a NoSQL technology based search engine for big data that aims to break the barrier of scale of growing information and accessing it across information silos. The second product is 10Screens, a tool to visualize business requirements critical to software development, which tend to be hampered by poor communication among various stakeholders. 10Screens is currently a finalist in the Microsoft BizSpark India Startup Challenge.

Throughout their entrepreneurial journey, Guttula and Karana, passionate developers, have worked together. After earning a degree in engineering from IIT in 1995, Guttula, went to work for IT services company Infosys in Bangalore. He worked as part of the architecture and design team along with Karana. In 2004, his Design of Scalable Database Systems was featured in the Sybase ISUG journal. That same year, one of Karana’s architectural projects was featured in InfoWorld 100. In 2005, Guttula joined the Goldman Sachs team as the vice-president of the architecture group. In 2007, Guttula and Karana founded Drapsa Technologies where they developed a PoS and supply chain management product for India based retail chains. Karana and Guttula successfully brought Drapsa to profits before moving on in 2008 to start building tools to automate and streamline critical tasks in software development that are the basis of their “simply software development” model.

IT outsourcing and offshore software development is an established practice for most enterprise IT functions. There are large IT service providers such as Infosys, TCS, Accenture besides a huge number of small and medium IT service providers. The mature western economies looking at quality software development at lower costs have been driving the demand of this multi-billion dollar industry. Yet survey after survey seems to point to challenges facing IT outsourcing due to cost escalations and schedule overruns. One key reason indicated is poor communication, obvious, given language and cultural divisions, accentuated by geographical distance.

10Screens is a product that is designed to address the challenge of business requirements communication. Currently most project teams rely on text description of business requirements complemented with flowcharts to depict business processes, images and wireframes to showcase user interface. Sharing these documents is often by email and only recently some teams are resorting to online tools to share and collaborate more efficiently to get everyone on the same page. Most of these tools can be broadly categorized under business requirements and prototyping tools. Some of the popular tools in the same space as 10Screens include Microsoft Office, Visio, iRise, Axure, Gliffy, Balsamiq.

Most of the business requirements and prototyping tools address specific aspects of functionality – a Visio diagram for flowcharts, an Excel for sample data, an iRise or Balsamiq diagram for user interface. For the project lead, these disparate pieces of information need to be stitched together into the single context of the business problem they are supposed to solve. 10Screens’ advantage is in its single project space where both high level business process flows and the associated user interface screens operate as clickable application prototypes with sample data, and offer a seamless representation of business requirements. Like many rapid prototyping tools, 10Screens allows any non-technical user to portray their requirements easily and quickly.

Many products similar to 10screens address a project development team’s need to build a better user interface. 10Screens is positioned to create robust business requirements much earlier, when the business needs are being articulated. UI prototyping tools are not direct competitors as they do screen prototype only and the target user is a User-Experience Designer. 10Screens can be used by non-technical users including business analyst/managers, user experience designers, and UI developers.

Finally, with the IT Outsourcing be it offshore or nearshore, one problem for all software development and even product implementation teams is the challenge of communicating what needs to be built or how a product needs to be customized for a specific set of business requirements. The need to collaborate and communicate effectively requires visual expression of requirements as much as textual representation. 10Screens is positioned to address this key need as a visual business requirements tool.

Bizosys’ target market consists of startups and small to medium enterprises in the United States and Europe that outsource their custom software development work.

There are two primary target segments for 10Screens: Startups and SME companies from US and European countries outsourcing their custom software development work. In India alone, this consists of over 180,000 projects being executed by SME IT service providers comprising of an average team size of five developers, executing about three projects per year per team.

10Screens assumes an average spend of $10 per project per month as subscription charges, that approximates to a TAM of around $2 million a year. This TAM is specific to India. It doesn’t include emerging outsourcing players based out of Eastern Europe, Central and South America, or China. The worldwide TAM for this segment is presumably double this amount.

The second target segment is sketching customization requirements of ERP products such as SugarCRM, ObenBravo, Compiere, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, etc. There are around 20 products in this category, each having some 200 partners for implementation, executing on an average 5 projects per year.

Using a 10Screens like tool to create ready business process blueprints to be customized for implementation (each blueprint costing around $199) adds up to a TAM of around $4 million. This segment also will expand beyond the 20 initially identified ISVs to a much broader business software market.

Bizosys has started penetrating the market through blog posts, featured tools listings, direct mail and by securing a spot on the top 10 startups in India list, among other things. The company currently has 175 registered users spanning 48 companies. They receive an average of three to four new registrations Monday through Friday. Two of these have recently converted to paying customers (an individual and a nearshore IT service provider).

10Screens has a subscription based pricing model. The pricing is based on the number of projects users create. The packages offered are – 10Screens Plus at $49/Month for 10 projects, 10Screens Premium at $99/Month for 25 projects, and 10Screens Professional at $249/Month for 75 projects.

In comparison, competitor Irise offers a licensing model with a starting price of $6,995. Another competitor Axure charges $589 per user license, with a $149 renewal fee. Balsamiq, which provides UI prototyping only, starts at $149 and goes up to $4,000.

This company is 100% bootstrapped, and like Freshdesk, they are also offering a value proposition at a substantially lower price-point than competitors, making it affordable for small companies. Outsourcing is spreading at a frantic pace today with a global footprint, and players like oDesk and eLance have made it very easy for companies to connect with outsourcing vendors. Now, if the communication can be smoothened, the entire process will become a great deal more productive.

In 1M/1M, we are committed to supporting businesses that are not only focusing on billion dollar market opportunities, but also those that focus on $5M, $10M, $20M niches. We see Bizosys as a promising niche vendor with demonstrated capabilities in creative bootstrapping. We look forward to helping them move through the milestones of various levels of validation and market penetration, on the way to becoming a sustainable, profitable company delivering real value to customers.