The company of the day is Aprigo, Inc., based in the US. Aprigo helps IT professionals in mid-size companies manage explosive data growth. You will find below an interview with Gil Zimmermann, CEO & Co-Founder of Aprigo. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!

Website: www.aprigo.com.


Interview with Gil Zimmermann, CEO & Co-Founder of Aprigo

Who are you?

CEO & Co-Founder.

How do you feel being the most promising ‘company of the day’ per Microsoft?

Our Beta Customers are huge fans of Microsoft and rely on Microsoft technologies to run their businesses. As an early stage startup, having Microsoft choose to highlight us is truly an honor.

What did you do before creating your company?

I’ve been in the IT industry for many years, starting off in developing IT apps for the Israeli Defense Forces, through using IT apps as an IT Manager in a Telco, selling IT apps as for technology vendors, and developing and building businesses in the IT space for companies like Backweb and EMC. Most recently I was an EIR with a VC. My Linkedin Profile.

How did you get the idea? What s the genesis?

Aprigo was founded by three entrepreneurs and participated in Cedar Fund’s Pre-Seed program. Basically we spent several months talking to IT pros, analysts, experts, vendors, and anybody else who would give us the opportunity to extend our market validation. We’re very market driven, and listen to what customers tell us. We understood that mid-sized companies are facing huge challenges in managing their explosive data (File) growth and we decided to help them tame the data beast. We’re taking a new approach, since the existing approach doesn’t seem to scale or fit.

What do you sell? What is your company’s mission?

Aprigo helps IT professionals in mid-size companies manage explosive data (File) growth with a suite of SaaS IT Management applications. Using our apps, customers gain insight into what data they have, how much it’s costing them, where it is, how much space it consumes, who it belongs to, who can access it, how many copies there are, is it being backed up, and more. One of the coolest things we do is let customers benchmark themselves against the Aprigo Community. The more customers join the Aprigo community, the better the IT benchmarking gets and the more IT pros can learn from each other; we call that Collective Intelligence. In August we introduced our first free SaaS IT offering, Aprigo NINJA. Aprigo NINJA helps customers balance data growth with shrinking IT budgets (it’s got a built in cost calculator too), and is also a glimpse of the paid version we will be releasing in a few months.

What is your market?

We are focused on mid-market companies. There are about 1 million worldwide, but our initial focus is on the Americas.

Any clients? References? Partners?

We’ve been working with our beta customers from the very beginning, refining our value prop and user experience based on real feedback. We live off of it. We just recently opened our private beta signup to accept even more customers. We also work with MSP’s and vendors to see how our product augments their offerings.

Funding history? VCs? BA?

Cedar Fund provided Pre-Seed and Series A financing.

Growth? Internationalization?

As a SaaS company, it’s easier for us and we plan to offer our solution to companies globally, but as a startup we have to focus. Right now our focus is on the Americas.

How many employees do you have? How many developers?

15 employees, 10 developers.

Are you hiring? If yes, what? Where?

As we approach our paid version launch we will be growing the team (QA, Ops, Dev, Sales lead), listings will be available on our site.

Which platform are you building on? Why?

Our app currently runs in Windows environments, we’ve got additional platforms on our roadmap. Our SaaS operations are currently hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Do you have any Software IP? Is there something that you’re the only one to do on the market?

We have some secret sauce that we have filed patents for, that enable us to do what we do without agents, and without additional infrastructure on the customer’s premise. We like the fact that there are competitive offerings, but we’re the only ones that will be able to provide the a full SaaS suite of apps as a subscription based service, at a lower cost, with a time to value that is measured in minutes and is non-disruptive. Plus our app looks cool.

Who’s your role model?

We have several role models, but as a company we admire what SolarWinds has been able to do with such a small team. We hope to do for data (file) management what SolarWinds has done for network management.

Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet areas?

We feel that the next wave of SaaS IT Management Applications is the place to be. IT organizations are tasked with enabling business through technology, and that comes with infrastructure to manage. SaaS IT Management helps IT organizations focus on their core competencies, relieving the additional infrastructure overhead that comes with on-premise IT apps. Data growth and security, and emerging cloud offerings, present new challenges and opportunities to innovate.

Looking for funding? If yes, how much?

We will be looking for funding again in 2010.

What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think? Are you going to join? Why?

We are already members of the Microsoft BizSpark program, and it has proven to be an invaluable resource for all things Microsoft.

Any advice to young Software entrepreneurs?

Get started now, there will never be a better time. At Aprigo we have a mantra called L3 (Launch, Listen, Learn). Listen to customers, and iterate quickly. Persistence pays off, eventually…

Anything else you’d like to say?

If you’re an IT professional or know somebody who is, or if you have ever dealt with IT Management applications, come to www.aprigo.com and try out Aprigo NINJA, we’re eager to listen to your feedback and improve.