Close of PoC (presented as pilot) period
We have now formally closed our pilot period. We have attained considerable market feedback and made dramatic improvements to the product, primarily in usability, on-boarding and client facing/sales oriented areas. More on recent, and immanent, product updates below.
We have had fewer partners go through the program than we would have liked (the majority of paid client input has come via the RecTech channel/instance/clients) – but many ‘end users’ (around 30 companies) have now used Skop.es commercially.
In addition, Skop.es now has a number of solid partners (and prospective partners – see below) on whom we must concentrate our resources and energy. We will also actively seek feedback and input from them.
We are now entering a new more commercially oriented phase of the Skop.es lifecycle.
Clients and partners
We have been in informal discussions on the use of Skop.es as a “Joint Business Relationship Partner”, and have progressed through their diligence/declaration process.
With our sponsor we are now finding a suitable project and will seek the buy-in at the partner level before deploying Skop.es for PWC.
Our set-up with PASA continues, and its rate of progress highlights the challenges (with this kind of ‘audience owning’ channel partner) in one area of operation: gathering the information that Skop.es must be loaded with to make it valuable. Skop.es clearly complements these groups business models and we are having success with other channel partners similar to PASA (see below), so we will need to create a thorough efficient way to gather this information.
HR Lead Consulting
We are very please to welcome HR Lead Consulting to the Skop.es fold. The founder Craig is the concentrating on corporate recruitment systems and consulting. His background as the head of recruitment for Rio Tinto means he has the knowledge, experience and network to make the most of Skop.es as part of their go to market, and consulting process.
SIA (Staffing Industry Analysts)
We are also in discussions with Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), SIA undertake research on behalf of the staffing industry with a footprint in Europe and the US. This partnership would add significant value to staffing industry participants and build upon Skop.es footprint in recruitment in Australia.
Rectech (the brave first adopter) are finding new and ongoing successes using Skop.es, they are running regular high value consulting project which include multi-national clients. The proof of concept has been interesting (including product updates and commercial thinking), but has proved a great success for their clients and our collaboration.
Singapore remains a market of interest. Several meetings with organizations in various camps (government, VC, accelerator and start-up) confirm the start-up and tech ‘scene’ is considerably more vibrant and well backed that here in Australia, the territory represents a stepping stone into emerging markets which we expect will be fruitful for Skop.es.
Tech in Asia
Tech in Asia and bootstrap alley proved another good catalyst to get to Singapore and continue to network as well as exhibit and generate some awareness. Like last year it focused the mind on how best to concisely communicate to a relatively divers audience what the challenge Skop.es addresses, how it does this and the associated benefits. This year we went with a demonstratable and deployed tool-set, which went down well. One delegate reported “Very smart offering. For me it was best in show at this year’s TiA.” Without being paid.
A handful of meetings and discussions with the VC / funding community resulted in some interest. These are encouraging for a potential raise in 12 months. In particular Wavemaker and InfoComm (who co-invest) in B2B, experienced founders sound like a good match – the first group that are not primarily interested in B2C unicorn chasing.
The trip was also the first in which we visited a technology vendor that is involved with two separate Skop.es channel partners (https://hrboss.com). In addition, we are moving forward other direct relationships with organizations.
We are adding sales / on-boarding features to Skop.es, these are intended to sell the Skop.es system to partners by helping them sell to their clients. These features include:
After feedback from multiple sources we are implementing ‘lite’ features into Skop.es. These enable Skop.es to present a subset details to users as a way of ‘easing them into’ the more detailed scoping process.
Awesome interactive charting
Skop.es now enables users and owners to create interactive charts that bring key project metrics to life (RoI, Stakeholder impact, non-financial benefits, popularity). These visualizations draw on data that Skop.es already collects and are educational and revealing about project values and impact.
System fit charting
Skop.es now provides a visual comparison between each system in its mini-marketplace. This enables intuitive and evidence based high level decision making, and looks good too!
Further slack integration
Coming up is “Scoping team comms and reminders via Skop.es” – this targets one of the highest ranking critical success factors: Stakeholder engagement.
Product walk through videos
We have now created several product videos that depict the range of capabilities of Skop.es, in particular the charts and interactive interfaces that show the system off at it most approachable. The process of scoping is detailed by necessity, so demonstrating how Skop.es makes it intuitive and considerably quicker is key.
Trade-shows & Victorian government trade delegation
Having not been a fan of tradeshows I have found Tech in Asia to be a good platform, and one outcome of attendance is that we have now been invited on a Victorian Trade Delegation to Singapore to attend CommunicAsia (Asia’s LARGEST integrated ICT event) which is, if anything, a better fit for the Skop.es platform than Tech in Asia which is mostly focused on start-ups.
As we move into a new (more sales oriented) phase new challenges arise. These are often ‘externalities’ some of which we have anticipated and some did not expect. Much time is being spent on asset creation and we are yet to ramp up on marketing/promotion activities. In start-up parlance we are still experimenting with ‘product-market fit’. Grappling with this phase is taking longer than hopped, but perhaps not longer than the veteran B2B tech gurus expect. They anticipate 24 months or more of refinement and improvements before genuine traction can be expected.
More practical/logistical challenges are also being tackled, including refining the Skop.es deployment and set up process.
Planning for 2017/17 financial year is also underway. This is focused on expanding the Skop.es user base, through supporting existing channel partners and on boarding new ones. We are in discussions with several significant partners, and will provide more news as it becomes formal/available.
We will also continue to build relationships with potential investors.
Any questions or enquiries please contact us.
Thanks for reading.