IOL | Taking branding to the cloud for SMEs
Johannesburg – An entrepreneur is taking her software concept and making it suitable for other small, medium and micro enterprises.
Paula Sartini, CEO of BrandQuantum – which she founded three years ago – says she is now moving from servicing a blue chip client base to an enabling smaller companies to use the software.
This is because the branding product will now be hosted in the cloud.
Speaking from her office in Rosebank on Monday afternoon, Sartini explains the tool is a toolbar that is currently built into the Microsoft Office Suite that allows branding to be consistent across the organisation.
And, as far as she knows, it’s an offering unique to her company – as no-one else has developed anything similar, in SA or globally.
Sartini explains the built-in toolbar has a variety of customised aspects available at the click of a button, such as letterheads, logos, terms and conditions, and PowerPoint presentation templates.
It is installed in such a way that only staff who need access to certain functions can get them, and changes are handled by only those with permission to update them.
This, she explains, negates what is often a common issue in companies: having multiple and different versions of a tool – such as a letterhead – spread across a company’s network.
Sartini also explains the tools can easily be updated if, for example, a company undergoes a brand refresh, and this is then rolled out across the system overnight so the change is seamless. This, she explains, negates the chance of someone inadvertently using an old logo.
“How do you change [your brand] when you don’t even know what you have?”
The concept for the business, says Sartini, came from her branding background, when she realised it was ineffective to be micromanaging – or brand policing – brands at companies. She also didn’t want to be chasing deadlines until she was 65, she quips.
The company, which started in her dining room, now has 15 staff members and is seeking a bigger office, she adds.
Sartini’s pipeline is to roll out the solution to Office 365 – Microsoft’s cloud-based solution – which is currently happening and then to other software providers, such as Gmail.
This, she says, will make it possible for entrepreneurs to benefit from the offering as they tend to adopt to cloud solutions quicker than big businesses as these offerings are cheaper, and SMEs are agiler.
Sartini adds the offering can be scaled depending on a clients’ needs and user base. The offering has also been tested to ensure it’s as immune as possible to hackers, she notes.
Article originally on IOL
Written by Nicola Mawson