The company of the day is TeamSupport.com, based in the US. TeamSupport.com is a diverse, flexible ticket management solution. You will find below an interview with Robert Johnson, CEO of Muroc Systems, Inc. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Robert Johnson CEO of Muroc Systems, Inc
Who are you?
My name is Robert Johnson, and I am the CEO of Muroc Systems, Inc. We are a software startup focusing on business applications delivered via the SaaS model. Our flagship product is TeamSupport.com which is a hosted customer service application which focuses on technology companies.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘company of the day’ per Microsoft?
Being selected as Microsoft’s most promising company is a great honor for Muroc. We have worked hard at designing and developing our products and this is excellent validation of our hard work. Microsoft, as a pioneering technology company, knows what it takes to create successful software and brands and has recognized similar traits in Muroc.
What did you do before creating your company?
I ran a very successful software company which served the television and broadcasting industries. We sold that company in 2006, and several people then followed me to Muroc. The other principles in Muroc all worked for me at that company and we share the same philosophies about running a company and treating customers well.
How did you get the idea? What s the genesis?
The idea behind TeamSupport.com came from a problem we faced at my previous company. We developed software for television stations and broadcast facilities around the world, and we recognized early on that customer service was critical to the success and growth of the company.
We wanted to have the customer service group and the development team working with the same piece of software to track customer issues, bugs, tasks, and feature requests. We found that there were some great help desk applications and some very good bug tracking applications, but there were no systems designed for both groups to use. After doing a thorough market search we were not able to find anything so we ended up developing our own.
After selling that company, I realized that there was a market for better customer service software targeted towards technology companies and founded Muroc Systems, Inc. to pursue that vision.
What do you sell? What is your company’s mission?
Our mission for TeamSupport.com is to create world class customer service software for technology companies. Our belief is that customer service does not just come from the customer service department, but rather from the entire company. In any technology company it is critical that the support group has a very tight relationship with the software development team both for resolving any issues and for getting customer feedback in the form of feature requests into the software. Too many companies have developed internal “silos” which prevent internal communication and end up making the company more distant from their customers. While technology can’t solve all a company’s communication problems, TeamSupport can go a long way in making the various teams in a company work more closely together to solve their customer’s needs.
What is your market?
We offer three versions of TeamSupport.com and they focus on three different market segments. The Enterprise Version is designed for software companies who want to integrate their help desk and bug tracking systems into one piece of software. The Enterprise version also can operate as a very good standalone bug tracking system, and integrates with various source control systems. The Professional version is targeted towards companies who need an externally facing help desk. It tracks issues and tasks on a per customer basis and offers a variety of customer portal options to let customers log and track their issues. The Basic version is a perfect, and inexpensive, internal help desk solution. While we generally focus on technology companies, the Basic version of the software is really applicable to any industry.
Funding history? VCs? BA?
Muroc is self funded at the moment.
TeamSupport has experienced excellent growth since our launch about 3 months ago, and we have customers signed up from around the world. Having come from a traditional “heavy” software company where we installed large systems at our customers’ locations, it is very refreshing to see how easy it is to scale and deploy web applications globally.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
Muroc is a focused team with 7 people currently. The majority of the team are developers, with sales and marketing rounding out the rest of the team.
Are you hiring? If yes, what? Where?
We are always interesting in talking with motivated and creative people.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We are a Microsoft house, and are developing everything in ASP.NET, primarily with C# but a little VB.NET tossed in for good measure. We serve with IIS and our database backend is SQL Server 2005.
Do you have any Software IP? Is there something that you’re the only one to do on the market?
TeamSupport offers a unique way for technology companies to manage their customer support, and to break down internal communication “silos” which naturally evolve in most companies. The truly successful companies take care of their customers extremely well, and TeamSupport can help companies deliver on this promise.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet areas?
We have been at a crossroads for the last several years with respect to the delivery model of software. SaaS is a wonderful business model for both vendors and customers alike and it will continue to be a disruptive technology for the foreseeable future. Of course, the delivery model is only part of the equation – Excellent software which solves a problem is the key, and we feel like we have done that very well with TeamSupport.
Looking for funding? If yes, how much?
Muroc is interested in holding conversations with companies or individuals looking to invest in a rapidly growing software company with a proven management team.
What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think? Are you going to join? Why?
We signed up for BizSpark almost as soon as it was launched and have been very happy with the program. We made a decision early on to stay with Microsoft technologies for a variety of reasons, and BizSpark has made access to the software we need very economical. Our thanks the Microsoft for offering this program!
Any advice to young Software entrepreneurs?
Make sure you are solving a real problem! Writing the software is easy – Making sure you have a solution to a problem that people are willing to pay for is the hard part.
Anything else you’d like to say?
The primary difference between good companies and great ones is customer service, and TeamSupport can help companies be more responsive to their customers and have much better internal communications. The end result will be happier customers, and happy customers generate more customers! This is an exciting time to be in the technology business, and we are glad we have Microsoft as a partner.