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1Mby1M Deal Radar 2012: Mansa Systems, San Francisco, California

Posted on Monday, Nov 26th 2012

Mansa Systems, a San Francisco–based provider of cloud, mobile and social enterprise solutions, was founded on one entrepreneur’s passion to build a great IT company. The company, which describes itself as a “boutique consulting partner with a global presence,” not only provides the IT services of a larger company but specializes in providing enterprise-level apps as solutions to Salesforce customers. Services include solutions for cloud storage, secure document sharing, transactional email service, cloud telephony, and more.

In 2006, cloud computing for enterprise applications was just making its start. An IT professional who has worked for companies such as IMR Global, Oracle, and Verisign, Mansa founder and CEO Siva Devaki had always wanted to build an IT company with a focus on both services and products. Taking his experience in enterprise applications, ERP, and CRM, Devaki initiated a small venture with a focus on this niche area.

Devaki’s initial focus was on Salesforce CRM and platform solutions, focusing on high-growth markets and developing one client at a time. He partnered with Salesforce, and soon Mansa Systems began building apps for Salesforce customers and publishing them via AppExchange.

Currently, Mansa Systems constructs integration templates or connectors for specific areas, which will provide leads to specialized customers and projects, like integration templates for Advent software. One such example is a connector Devaki and his team are building for Service Now, which they believe will position them well in the practice and will be a good addition to their more than 120 customers, mostly small and mid-size companies, which include enterprise-level names such as Paypal/eBay and Topcon. Also in Mansa’s near future is Facebook’s enrollment in one of their apps, designed to sync data between Slideshare (recently acquired by LinkedIn) and Salesforce.

With a U.S.-based potential market of more than 40,000 customers, Mansa already has $2 million in annual revenue through traditional marketing to Salesforce customers through trade shows, partner channels, email, webinars, and blogs, as well as building strong partner relations with other Salesforce partners such as Informatica. Mansa develops apps for Salesforce customers by leveraging their own partner solutions: Watchdox, SendGrid, Slideshare, Citrix, and Amazon AWS (app development currently in progress). Additional leads are generated via company apps in AppExchange, and services are cross-sold as well.

Each app developed is priced according to its specific attributes. For example, the base cost of Cloud Drop is $500 per year, which covers 10 users, with an additional charge of $10 per year per additional user; in the case of SendGrid, Mansa Systems charges 50% of what SendGrid charges for each edition. As a general formula, service costs are either project-based, or calculated according to time and materials spent — both of which vary from project to project.

Mansa Systems targets companies sized at 100 to 5,000 employees within the financial services and public sectors. The company aims to differentiate itself from boutique firm competitors Appiro, Bluewolf, and Astadia by combining the quality and capabilities of a large company with the warmth of a smaller one. They provide not only traditional IT solutions to their enterprise customers, but also sell out-of-the-box apps as solutions.

To add to the individualized feel, Devaki explains that Mansa Systems was wholly self-funded. Money was raised through company services, and continues as such, with no plans to raise funds from external parties. Devaki also takes charge of his management team, which he describes as a small group, made up of one sales director and one marketing and business development director, with a shared vision to one day see Mansa Systems become a billion-dollar company.

To reach this goal, Devaki cites solid marketing, business development, and sales as a foundation, along with innovative technology delivery services via cloud, mobile, and social domains. With a focus on building the right solutions and carefully positioning them within the market, Mansa Systems believes it will create a successful program that negates the need for an exit strategy and supports a company to hold for generations.

This segment is a part in the series : 1Mby1M Deal Radar 2012

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