Software as a service (SaaS) is often more viable to small and mid-sized businesses than having in-house teams doing the same tasks. It can also make things easier knowing that another company is responsible for ensuring the service maintains consistency, and if something goes wrong, it isn’t another thing your budding company needs to fork out to fix.
There are plenty of startups tackling the SaaS field, and doing so in unique and promising ways, and we have sorted through them and picked out 8 such promising startups providing software as a service.
More businesses and products rely on maps than you might think, and while being reliant solely on Google Maps isn’t ideal for them all, neither is building their own from the ground up. Mapbox is making a good start at competing in this area, making their detailed maps easily accessible and customisable for developers through their powerful software. Be it for couriers, navigation apps, or any number of applications within agriculture, transportation, hospitality, entertainment, and many more areas, Mapbox could be the solution for many businesses.
Big data is big business, but one aspect of it that most often lets businesses down is the cleaning and organising of the data before it is uploaded. That is where Tamr comes in, combining the data science expertise of Tamr’s staff with machine learning to negate bottlenecks in data preparation and enhance analytics. Better cleaning and categorisation of data means optimised savings and spending, reduced risk, and generally better decision-making for the end client.
It is hard to put a single label on Showpad, as it does many things, including content management, interactive content, and pitch/slideshow creation, to name just a fraction. Showpad enables you to deliver branded content to sales reps and partners; it allows you to make interactive playbooks to make sales conversions more engaging; it gives your salesforce the ability to give instant feedback, and helps you analyse it; engagement analytics gives you insight into the impact of your reps and gives your reps a head-start on follow-ups when prospective customers interact with their content. All of this, and it is available on- and off-line, and integrates with many tools and apps that your team already uses.
Showpad looks to be of great value to businesses with a focus on sales and marketing, particularly those with a mobile salesforce.
We have all heard about corporations, even the government and military, hiring hackers to breach their systems in an effort to identify and fix security weaknesses. HackerOne is making this process accessible to small businesses. With the fully managed option of their service, they become the middleman between the business and the hacker, validating all bug submissions, prioritising the bugs, giving guidance on payment, ensuring all hacker communications are in clear English, and other go-between services that allow the business to concentrate on getting bugs and vulnerabilities fixed.
Forter is a payment solution for e-commerce. As with so many things these days, the system is based on machine learning. From the moment the customer arrives on your website, Forter’s system starts watching them, like that overzealous security guard that follows you around the shop because you’re wearing a hoodie. It tracks and compares the customer’s behavior, adding the picture this helps it build to the multitude of other considerations it takes into account when, finally, the customer clicks ‘buy’, and the system has to decide (in milliseconds) whether to approve or decline the transaction. In short, Forter’s main goal is to eliminate fraud.
As businesses grow, so too do their staff. But an entire HR department probably isn’t viable for most small to mid-sized businesses. It could be that just one or two people represent a business’s HR, tracking employees’ pay, benefits, time off, skills, roles, and so on and so on. Namely is a platform to take care of all aspects of HR, tracking and analysing just about everything a business could need. Namely isn’t just for HR, though - it allows social media style interaction for employees, allowing them to keep their own employee profile up to date, and giving an easy, integrated way to send out company-wide alerts and notifications.
UserTesting is, as the very astute may deduce, user testing for products, including websites, apps, and prototypes. The idea is that real people test your product via tasks that they are given for the specific product, written either by you or by UserTesting themselves, and give you honest feedback through narrated videos of them using said product. This helps you to improve the product, address potential issues, identify the best ways to advertise to people just like the reviewer, etc. With access to over one million users from which to easily find your ideal consumer, UserTesting boasts results ‘in an hour’.
Hourly labour is a large industry, and a severely underserved one. Shiftgig helps to remedy that by connecting businesses with contract workers within various industries. Even if a business only needs a bartender or warehouse packer for a single shift, Shiftgig will help make it happen. The service is, of course, for both sides - employer and contractor - and provides both with updates, reminders, requirements, and shift tracking.
Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.