In reflection of the increased levels of innovation across the industry, this column uncovers the emerging start-ups changing the face of the channel in Australia.
FOUNDED – 2014
HEADCOUNT – 20
KEY TECH – Automation, big data, analytics, DevOps, cloud
KEY VENDORS – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Chef, HashiCorp, Sumo Logic, New Relic, MapR, Talent and Puppet
KEY CUSTOMERS – William Hill Australia, Aconex, CitiPower, Powercor, Kmart and Officeworks
Since 2014 — after setting just $10k on the table — Vibrato has grown to serve local customers at the big end of town through a philosophy of teaching its customers ‘how to fish for themselves’.
“We come, we build, we train and we leave,” Vibrato CEO, Peter Gatt, said. “We leave teams empowered to continue the same level of engineering as Vibrato engineers themselves.”
While most consultancies would think it’s counter-productive to show the customer how to do their jobs, Gatt argues that the unique method is empowering for the end-user.
Vibrato’s key technologies centre around creating an automated solution for customers in the application and software delivery space. While the company is a full- stack IT consultancy, DevOps consulting is its bread-and-butter.
“The developers in an organisation don’t normally speak to the IT teams or the infrastructure hosting teams and this results in many hand offs when trying to get new code or a new product out to market,” Gatt said.
“The level of process and automation means fewer handoffs, less manual human error and more robust solutions.
From no more than three customers in the first six months, Vibrato recruited its first enterprise customers through offering a level of innovation more commonly suited to the start-up scene.
“We offered them a way to launch products fast and compete faster,” Gatt explained. “It was the first-time Australia had really seen a start-up operating inside of an enterprise organisation.”
Looking ahead, the company is set to expand the team to 30-40 by the end of 2017.
FOUNDED – 2016
HEADCOUNT – 2-10
KEY TECH – Internet of Things, wearables, virtual reality, cloud
KEY VENDORS – Amazon Web Services
Children’s lifestyle technology brand, Elanation, offers connected hardware and software — powered by Amazon Web Services — that encourages kids to engage in the digital revolution in a healthy manner.
“The problem we are solving is that children today are born digital natives but the more we hand them iPads, computers, mobile phones, the more we are seeing an increase in obesity, depression and digital addiction,” Elanation co-founder and CEO, Katherine Pace, said.
In short, Elanation acts as a community for mums, dads, designers, engineers, kids, teachers and athletes.
After raising seed capital in July 2015, the company’s first product to market has since landed in the form of a smart wearable, Eturbo, that measures heart rate, steps taken on a touch screen.
But “the cool factor”, Pace said, is that Bluetooth connects the hardware to a virtual world.
“Every step taken in the real world translates to a virtual game advancement,” Pace explained. “10,000 steps a day unlocks video content from athletes across Australia that then teaches users tips and tricks about fitness."
Elanation expects to hit the US by the end of the year, with plans in place to tap into the customer base of 2.5 million eight-to 12-year-olds in Australia, and over 41 million in the US.
“There’s a lot of money spent on children each year,” Pace observed. “If you look at the pocket money segment of a child in Australia, it’s an average of $10 a week — so that’s a $2.5 billion market and that’s just the pocket money spend.”