Roambi, which is changing the way data is displayed on mobile, is seeking to widen its customer base by offering a cloud-based subscription service.
The move is intended to help Roambi bypass big sales efforts and enter the corporate walls through individuals or departments. Right now, Roambi has 450 big customers, who buy and install in-house servers and offer up the Roambi service to its many salespeople. There's also about 7,000 pro-customers who use Roambi, and pay $9.95 per month.
The new offering is $40 per user, per month, with a minimum of 10 users. "It's easier for companies to buy," said Quinton Alsbury, one of the founders of Roambi, who's main focus is product. "This now becomes an operating expense vs a capital expense."
At the moment, corporations pay around $795 per user, per year. Alsbury wouldn't disclose what the average number of users are at its large customers. But he did say that the company has had one million downloads of its app.
It's not a surprising move for Roambi to offer such a service. Cloud-based services have been all the rage: It's easier adoption and lower cost on the sales effort. Companies trying to land an entire company-wide account seems like a distribution model from a different era, though of course it's still done.
So what's the idea of Roambi?
Data is useful if it can be displayed in an organized and useful way. Amen! Some customers using Roambi are retail chains, such as Sephora. In the old days, information may be on binders, or spreadsheets on computers. But the beauty of the iPad is the way people can swipe, expand and drill down into information. The user interface opens up the opportunity for the way data is displayed and accessed. "We make data more accessible and visual with our pre-built visual applicaitons," said Alsbury.
Hence Roambi's mission to give structured templates to organizations so they can take their data and make it an elegant piece of artwork.
I'm not an expert on data visualization and the players. This article seems to do a good job talking about some of the players from IBM Cognos, and other data visualization products within SAP, Oracle and Tibco Software.
But as the iPad was just introduced in 2010, clearly the field is open for a new leader in this new era of mobile, data and visualization.