prooV co-founders Toby Olshanetsky (L) and Alexey Sapozhnikov .
(photo credit: PROOV)
Whether it’s Nokia, Kodak or Blockbuster, the road to corporate success is strewn with companies that failed to innovate. To remain at the head of the pack, or even to survive, businesses need to constantly embrace cutting-edge innovation.
Faced with relentlessly accelerating technologies and increasing numbers of competing start-ups, businesses need to run more proof-of concepts (PoCs) to determine which solutions provided by external vendors fit their developing needs.
Using traditional and time-consuming PoC methods, increasingly complex decision-making processes can take years to conclude, resulting in businesses adopting nothing more than innovation history.
Following two decades of building software start-ups and pursuing PoCs in large enterprises, Israeli serial entrepreneurs and former corporate rivals Toby Olshanetsky and Alexey Sapozhnikov were well aware of the pains of the old-fashioned testing environment.
In 2015, Olshanetsky and Sapozhnikov teamed up to found prooV, the first PoC software solution as a service. Their patented cloud-based platform aims to streamline and speed up the evaluation and adoption of new technologies for all stakeholders – businesses, start-ups and, ultimately, customers – and enable early-adopters to beat the competition.
For both vendors and enterprises in regulated and unregulated industries, there are five key pain points in the PoC process, chief executive Olshanetsky told The Jerusalem Post
at the company’s Herzliya headquarters.
Issues of potential security breaches by connecting to external vendors, data privacy and opening networks to malicious cyber actors are three key security-related barriers in PoC processes.
These are combined with the difficulty in comparing technical and business KPIs (key performance indicators) of multiple vendors with different technologies, and the challenge of multiple vendors requiring different integration needs for the enterprise’s production environments.
“We started the journey as Israeli entrepreneurs trying to solve problems that we were facing when selling to the enterprises,” Olshanetsky said. “We were surprised to find that the pain experienced on the vendor side is much greater on the enterprise side.”
ProoV’s platform enables enterprises and vendors to conduct PoCs through a remote, secure and customizable testing arena, simulating the environments needed to conduct a trial without revealing any sensitive information - particularly important among financial industry, insurance and healthcare partners. The platform also provides accurate predictions of what will happen once the technology is transferred from the testing environment to the production environment.
“Now everything can be tested at the PoC phase and you can run a PoC with multiple vendors at the same time. Before prooV, this was a serial process due to the effort required and internal costs. Opening up one PoC with one vendor could take almost one year,” said Olshanetsky.
“Suddenly, enterprises are opening as many as 12 PoCs simultaneously, each with three to four vendors. Without us, this is a cycle of three to five years.”
The fastest growing verticals on the company’s platform, Olshanetsky said, are heavily-regulated industries, such as banking, insurance and pharmaceuticals. The retail sector is increasingly looking toward expediting innovation adoption as it seeks to compete with the likes of Alibaba and Amazon.
“Our greatest competition is the old traditional way of running PoCs, and changing the mindsets of enterprises that are used to running it a different way,” said Olshanetsky.
“We are disrupting the ecosystem, because we are allowing enterprises to test and evaluate much faster technology, which means they are purchasing technology much faster. As a result, vendors can sell technology much faster.”
While speeding up innovation adoption is important for prooV, the company also emphasizes its goal to “democratize PoCs.” By accurately evaluating more technologies, rather than relying on a strong sales pitch, previously-disadvantaged vendors from outside Silicon Valley are presented with greater opportunities.
“We didn’t just create a new layer of how to run a PoC, but up-shifted the industry in a very smart way. This is what creates a new ecosystem, and I’m proud to say we have disrupted the industry.”
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