A system that can help big companies manage their IT spend has landed a global deal with Dell Technologies for one Irish developer.
The reseller partnership with the US computer giant is an early win for Steve Fleming, the founder of Voxxify. The company has developed a digital tool to help chief information officers (CIOs) and IT managers find out what employees really think of the technology they use every day for work.
Fleming described Voxxify as an “IT experience management” tool that uses data analytics to help CIOs make better buying decisions more quickly.
“Our focus is on sentiment and on gathering insights from people on the tools, technologies and devices they use every day in the course of their work,” he said.
“We send out these really simple surveys to employees every quarter. We’ll ask: ‘How’s your laptop? What about your network and your broadband and collaboration tools? Are you using Teams?’
“If it’s a really big company with, say, 100,000 employees, we might survey just 10 per cent of the workforce. We gather data that’s easy for our machine-learning algorithms to interpret. Within an hour of the survey coming to a close, the CIO will have insights ready to view on their own interactive dashboard.”
Fleming founded Voxxify in October 2018 and had an early version of the technology ready to pilot the following summer.
“We now have software that’s fully enterprise-ready, secure and ready to roll out globally to big companies,” he said.
“It’s a pivotal point for the company. We already have some good customer traction and we’re starting to generate revenue.”
Fleming’s first customer in the US is Cerence, an autotech start-up, which recently spun out of its parent company and employs 1,300 people.
“About 70 of the employees on their legal team are taking part in our surveys, and the company is using that to extract useful information about what IT they should be using,” Fleming said.
The partnership with Dell will give Voxxify access to the US giant’s customers in 190 countries.
“Dell will be using Voxxify as their adoption and change management service,” Fleming said.
“Their customers will use our surveys to gather information from their employees, and Dell will then analyse the results and make recommendations to these customers. So Dell will effectively resell Voxxify."
Fleming is in discussions with other companies in Ireland, Britain and the US in the financial services and utility sectors, fast-moving consumer goods, broadband provision and healthcare.
“Our primary target is companies with 1,000 employees or more, but we can work with smaller businesses as well and also with IT service providers and consultants,” Fleming said.
Voxxify has raised funding of €300,000 to date and will close a €750,000 seed round in late April, according to Fleming.
“We’ll use that funding to hire sales and marketing people and to build out the product as new requirements come in from the customer we’re talking to,” he said.
As a high-potential start-up client of Enterprise Ireland, Fleming has also been invited to take part remotely in South by Southwest, the film, music and digital festival held annually in Austin, Texas.
The 48-year-old began his own career in Texas in the US in 1996, working with American Airlines in Dallas as a software developer.
“Having worked in big IT departments for all of that time, I became interested in the idea of IT being able to listen to employee feedback and actually deliver meaningful services in response,” he said.
“One CIO I worked with recently discovered a network problem that was causing problems for staff at an office their company had in China. In other areas, the tech was fine, but employees hadn’t been trained on how to use it, so they couldn’t get the value out of it.
“Like most CIOs, they had a fixed budget, and they decided to change how they were going to allocate that budget based on what they learned through Voxxify.
“It was able to show them not only what was and wasn’t working, but what employees actually cared about and wanted to use more.”