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December - 2008 - issue > STARTUP CITY
SYNOVEL
Jayakishore Bayadi
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
When Ashok, Prasad, and Siva were running their Open Source consulting firm in 2006, before they founding Synovel in 2008, they got the idea of building an open source alternative to enterprise collaboration to provide integrated access to various tools of collaboration email, calendaring, instant messaging, document management, and knowledge management in a much more effective manner than the offerings of incumbent giants like Microsoft, IBM, and others. Their knowledge in consulting helped the team in identifying the need and evolving the idea, and since then they have never looked back.

“Our solution offers tremendous cost advantage when compared to the solutions of Microsoft and IBM, and it also unshackles the customers from the vendor lock-in caused by proprietary nature of their solutions, apart from providing a significant improvement in employee productivity,” says Ashok Gudibandla, Co-founder and Director. Today, more than one lakh users around the world have downloaded this Open Source software. Synovel team believes that being passionate about what one does will certainly have a tremendous impact on the outcome.


EARLY INVESTORS:

Initial seed funding from an industrialist based in Hyderabad. Currently in negotiations with a Singapore based investment firm. CUSTOMERS: Recently added two customers in India. Product to be out into the market within 6 months.

COMPETITORS:


Microsoft (Outlook and Exchange Server), IBM (Notes and Domino Server), and Zimbra (Collaboration Suite).


DIFFERENTIATOR


Synovel's solution essentially provides a platform for collaboration onto which individual collaborative tools or services can be deployed with ease. The solution consists of a desktop client suite, a central unified server, and a Web or mobile access module. Spicebird, the desktop client suite, provides integrated access to email, calendaring, instant messaging, document management, and content and knowledge management. The server software provides the required collaboration services and a Web-based administration console that enables clean and easy user management and configuration of various services. A Web-access client and a mobile-access client allow users to access email and calendaring services when they are away from their computers. The key differentiators of the solution are its being very cost effective; the company claims that its product costs upto 70 percent less than its competitors’ offerings; It can significantly improve employee productivity by better integration of collaboration services; provides the highly extensible platform that can adapt to the customer’s specific needs; frees customers from vendor lock-in – since it is based on Open Source software and is standards compliant.

PRINCIPALS

The founding members have over 5 years of experience each in IT consulting and services. All the four founders are graduates from IIIT, Hyderabad.
THE FOUNDING TEAM

Ashok Gudibandla Prasad Sunkari Sivakrishna Edpuganti Sunilmohan Adapa
HEADQUARTERS

Hyderabad, India
PRODUCTS

Spicebird Collaboration Suite, a free, Open Source version is now available for download from www.spicebird.com. WEBSITE: : www.synovel.com HEADCOUNT: 10


BUSINESS MODEL

Earns revenue generation from software licenses, support and customization services, hosted (SaaS) services, upgrades to enterprise client and server software, and server and client software administration training and certification programs.


QUEUED UP

Synovel's target is to emerge as a leader in the real time collaboration market. There is a plan to integrate real time collaboration services like Web conferencing, concurrent document editing, and shared white board into the product suite in future.

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