Colin Smith joins Cyclr as Chairman
23rd April 2018
Why did I join (and invest in) Cyclr?
Having worked in the ERP space for many years, I have a good appreciation of the value of integration to clients. Historically, clients have been forced to decide whether to buy best-of-breed independent applications to service discrete operational needs such as CRM, or to implement less sophisticated applications that are complimentary to their core systems (typically from their ERP vendor). It’s a big trade-off, but the ability to easily integrate to core systems usually wins; especially for larger companies who typically need to manage processes that span many departments or regions within their business.
However the industry is changing. Most of the businesses that I have invested in recently offer ultra-modern, cloud-based applications that address a very specific, focused need, for a specific focused industry. These applications are typically stand-alone but offer incredible productivity gains and/or cost savings over legacy systems. Clients want to use them, but they need to find a way to safely hook-them-up to their back-office systems – which is exactly the need that Cyclr fulfils.
With the right, cloud-based technology now available, instead of buying everything from a single (large, expensive) vendor, the creation of a well-articulated ecosystem of applications & data will become the way forward for most industries. Software developers will narrow their scope of work to produce digital solutions for specific problems that can be plugged together with other applications, creating a scalable architecture that facilitates a low-risk, incremental way to build enterprise-wide systems. Clients will then be able to choose the best tools for each business need on a plug-in/switch-off basis. Best of all, they’ll be able to do this, without having to make the trade-off on functionality and for a fraction of the cost they currently pay.
Cyclr is unique. It is the only integration platform built specifically for SaaS companies. It provides the infrastructure needed for applications developers and systems integrators to participate in this new ecosystem, to the benefit of their clients. It allows them to focus on building functionality and competitive advantage, without wasting their time and resource building infrastructure. Faster, better, cheaper! API Orchestration is the way forward.
In addition to investing personally in Cyclr, I have also taken-up the role of Chairman. I have done this because I believe that Cyclr is at a real inflexion-point and I want to be fully involved in the development of this business and the fulfilment of its’ promise. I believe that it will become part of the global infrastructure facilitating applications and data ecosystems that will drive a step-change in software usage across the world.
I look forward to working with the team.
Colin is an experienced software entrepreneur with successful track record in building market-leading, international SaaS businesses.
With strong sales and commercial skills, plus extensive experience and a hands-on approach, Colin has built substantial shareholder value both from start-ups, as well as established technology businesses. A respected industry figure, with extensive knowledge of both SaaS and on-premise models, as well as all key aspects of international business and corporate development, usually working closely with banks, VC’s and Private Equity.
As Angel Investor and Non-Executive Director, Colin has a portfolio of early-stage SaaS/Cloud technology businesses. He is Chairman at ContentCal a cloud-based Social Media planning and publishing now widely used by some of the world’s leading brands.
In addition to the above, Colin works as a Mentor at The Accelerator Academy an accelerator program for advanced stage tech startups seeking up to £500k of seed investment. The program is well established, with over 150 graduate companies thus far.
Colin joined the software industry in the early 80‘s graduating through the ranks of support/implementation, sales and marketing, then senior management positions in the 90‘s including Sales & Marketing Director at Mentor Systems plc, then (following a management buy-in) 6 years as Managing Director of COINS, a leading construction ERP vendor in the UK & the USA.
Early in 2000, Colin founded BIW Technologies which became the UK’s leading supplier of SaaS-based project management software. Having sold BIW to Munich-based Conject Holding GmbH in December 2010, Colin became Group CEO and led the strategy to position the Group for growth & profitability by re-shaping the businesses, integrating disparate entities and both building and buying new regional operations throughout Europe, the Middle East & Asia Pacific. Conject was sold to Aconex – recently acquired by Oracle for US$1.2bn.
Colin then became President of European operations for Textura (NYSE:TXTR) provider of a full-suite of cloud-based applications for the global construction industry. With a market capitalisation of around $520m and c.600 staff in offices throughout North America, Australia & Europe, servicing around 8,000 main contractors and 500,000 subcontractors. Textura was sold to Oracle for US$663m.