According to eMarketer, over-the-top (OTT) mobile messaging services were used by more than 1.4 billion consumers in 2015, recording a 32% growth over the year. Total users are expected to grow to 2.19 billion by the year 2019 and will account for 68% of mobile phone Internet users. Two years ago, Japan’s mobile messaging service Line had abandoned plans to list. But early this year, the company finally took the plunge.
Sramana Mitra: Automated tax filing has been around for a long time. I did a story on Sabrix. That must have been 2007. We are in 2016.
Peter Horadan: You’re right. It has been around for quite some time. One of the things we find amazing is that it has not yet been automated. Most companies are still dealing with transactional taxes manually. There is a lot of opportunity to help customers by automating this. When you’re going after trends, there’s a couple that are related to each other to make this an interesting space. The first is the incredible growth of online sales. Forester estimates over $350 billion in online sales this year.
Online selling continues to grow. Beyond that, businesses of all types are realizing that they need a multi-channel strategy. We’ve seen pure play digital >>>
Entrepreneurs are invited to the 323rd FREE online 1M/1M roundtable mentoring session on Thursday, September 29, 2016, at 8 a.m. PDT/11 a.m. EDT/8:30 p.m. India IST.
If you are a serious entrepreneur, register to “pitch” and sell your business idea to Sramana Mitra. You’ll gain straightforward feedback, advice on next steps, and she’ll answer any of your questions. Others can register to “attend” to watch, learn, and interact through the online chat.
The increasing adoption of electronic commerce and the related national/global nature of the business has created challenges for merchants on the tax calculation and filing front. Read on to learn more.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to Avalara and yourself.
Peter Horadan: I’m EVP of Engineering and CTO for Avalara. We help customers with managing their transactional tax. That includes sales tax, VAT, or GST. Our business is to deal with the staggering complexity of dealing with transactional taxes so our customers can get back to business.
Sramana Mitra: Can you talk about your customers? What kind of customers use this technology? >>>
Tech has become a 5-horse race: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft being the five horses fighting for dominance of Techdom. Google dominates Search and Mobile; Apple dominates mobile; Amazon dominates Commerce and Cloud; Facebook dominates Social; and Microsoft, despite its size, dominates nothing. >>>
Sramana Mitra: It’s very similar to the strategy that you’re following, but with a very different segment. You’re working in the $50 million to $500 million segment. They are working in the very small business segment. Their end customer is the 5 to 10 people company. A lot of what he is interested in doing is having these vertical value-added resellers build on top of his ERP.
You’re seeing the verticalized cloud trend everywhere. The only way to get to that is through these partner networks.
The three-day TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016 wevent as held in San Francisco from September 12. This TechCrunch article covers the highlights of the event. The winner of the Startup Battlefied this year was visual e-sports analytics platform Mobalytics. For this week’s posts, click on the paragraph links. >>>
Sramana Mitra: I’m going to ask the previous question a slightly different way and see if I get a different answer from you. If you were starting a new company in vertical cloud, what would you start? What might be an are where you would dig to find an opportunity?
Himanshu Palsule: Let me step back and say this. Most providers, Epicor included, rely on the ecosystem to complete that last mile from the customer’s office into the cloud. While cloud has been able to outsource a lot of the complexity from the business, the services area still remains a premium. We’ve seen cloud services revenue go up in some of the research I’ve looked at even as more and more costs are being driven down. If I were starting a company or advising someone to start a company, I would look at the services arena. It could be consulting services. It could be web services. >>>