SavvyDox: Revolutionizing Cloud-based Document Collaboration

Building a startup is really hard work and in most cases, when entrepreneurs are learning the ropes they can face opportunities for catastrophic failure for all their employees as well as themselves. However, being afraid to admit that one doesn’t know something and failing to reach out for help makes them even more vulnerable. While tens of thousands of startups are struggling to keep up with the daily-changing business scenario, only a scant few emerge to be successful.

SavvyDox is a Cloud-based SaaS solution that simplifies Mobile Document Distribution and Collaboration/Review beyond anything available today. It provides measurable productivity benefits and risk reduction for departmental solutions as well as Enterprise solutions.

Improving Productivity and Better Quality Documentation

SavvyDox’ SaaS solution can be used online or offline and the server component can be run on customer premise if required. Documents are encrypted in transit and while at rest for security.  SavvyDox provides an intuitive and inexpensive front end to simplify the User Interface for Enterprise Content Management Systems and File Sync and Share solutions.  SavvyDox goes well beyond the simple sharing of files that ECM’s and EFSS’ provide – SavvyDox manages and controls updating the content of the files that are shared.  In other words, SavvyDox helps users control and manage the words inside the document object.

SavvyDox’ parallel review process provides benefits similar to face to face meetings ensuring that everyone sees everyone else’s suggested changes. Threaded responses to changes allow the author to see all changes from all reviewers, not just the last change. SavvyDox eliminates version control issues; provides the first viable alternative to Word Track Changes; and supports full audit capabilities by identifying who suggested and approved changes and who has read which pages of a document.

SavvyDox’ capability to prevent ‘leaks’ of documents is a key requirement for sensitive documents. In addition, SavvyDox improves productivity and generates better quality documents as a result of the parallel review process.

Key opportunities for benefits include contracts, policy creation, RFP creation and response, Project Management, multi-party review of consulting reports, and development of external communication.

The Creator Behind Tremendous Success

David Thomson, SavvyDox’ founder, was a senior executive with Nortel, Sprint, HP, and McKinsey. David amassed a huge amount of data on companies that grew their sales to $1 Billion. On the basis of that data, he published “Blueprint to a Billion” which became a New York Times bestseller. His following book, “Mastering the Seven Essentials” also was a New York Times bestseller. David started consulting with CEO’s across North America and the world, helping them develop plans to grow their businesses to $1 Billion in revenue as a direct result of the success of his books. One problem kept coming back again and again from CEO’s – “with our distributed workforce, when we send documents to the field by email, we encounter version control problems on a regular basis since everyone receives 100+ emails per day; there are no effective collaboration tools to help us collaborate on documents with field personnel; we don’t even know if the field sales people are reading the documents that we send them.”

David decided to start a company and build an application to address those problems and used the principles from “Mastering the Severn Essentials” to determine if they could be applied to a startup. Hans Downer, current President and CEO joined in September 2012 after David passed away from a heart attack in August 2012.  Downer has a broad level of executive experience in telecommunications, security, and aviation in sales, service, and marketing.

Making Way Through Obstacles

SavvyDox was reviewed by Forrester and Ovum and both thought the product was excellent with many unique features not available in the market. In a SWOT analysis, Ovum stated that, “Any organization that uses document collaboration and document review processes should consider this product.”

While noting the strength of SavvyDox, both vendors also noted the weakness. Ovum noted that SavvyDox’ product does not fit into one of the two recognized market categories (ECM and EFSS).  That makes it difficult to get the message about the new product into the marketplace when the product can’t be easily described in terms of a single technology area.

Terri McClure, Senior Analyst wrote a brilliant article in Tech Target titled “It’s time to redefine the Enterprise File Sync and Share Market” which ultimately helped differentiate SavvyDox from EFSS.

Highs and Lows in the Journey

Like any successful startup, SavvyDox has encountered a mixture of highs and lows and almost ran out of cash on 4 or 5 occasions. Fortunately, an understanding angel investor allowed SavvyDox to charge forward.

A combination of hiring very talented staff and having them complete a lot of work in record time has been the key to success of SavvyDox. SavvyDox has focused on forming a very tightly linked team that is focused on team success rather than individual success.  Allowing employees to work at home avoids losing 2-3 hours per day commuting saving money and boosting productivity.

SavvyDox will be expanding its target markets beyond Government and Legal and provide deeper functionality to meet the requirements of new markets in the coming years. As the continued growth in users expands, the opportunity for word of mouth marketing grows exponentially and that is what is giving SavvyDox a strong sense of hope since all users to date have been effusive in their praise of the system.

Message to Young Entrepreneurs

“Do not underestimate the difficulties of selling into large enterprises. In general, they will not buy from startups because senior executives who have spent a long time building their careers normally don’t want to risk a career limiting failure with a startup,” Downer suggests.

Downer adds, “If you have savvy investors who can help you grow the company and not just provide money, don’t get overly concerned about dilution – you are going to wind up with a smaller percentage of a much, much bigger pie. As the old saying goes, 10% of something is much better than 100% of nothing.”