Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Colony Logic: Helping The Enterprise Overcome Legacy Systems
Story by Benjamin F. Kuo
It's not often that startups come out of the gate, backed by a private equity investor. However, Los Angeles-based Colony Logic (www.colonylogic.com) is one of the few, having gotten its initial backing from private equity firm Blackstone. The company is focused on the enterprise software area. We spoke with Andy Vogel, COO of the company, to learn more about Colony Logic and its business.
What is Colony Logic?
Andy Vogel: We're essentially answering the basic question, if technology is supposed to make life simple, more organized, and more efficient, why it does not do that. We're finding that companies have many obsolete, legacy systems which they are using, rather than new solutions, which are essentially creating that flawed environment. Companies are spending as much as 70 percent of their typical IT budget on supporting legacy systems, as opposed to investing in new systems that could make a business more efficient. We're here essentially to solve that problem.
How do you do that?
Andy Vogel: We do that by providing deep integration into a variety of CRM sytsems, ERP systems, and tying it all together on the back end, with a reporting and analytics toolset, which allows you to create business intelligence to make the right decisions for businesses.
Who are your cusotmers?
Andy Vogel: Typically, we are looking at people who have complex or very large product catalogs. They usually have a CRM which is operating in a silo, and they have lots of distributed sellers across a wide geography, which gives them issues about getting to that single source of truth across all of their systems. We've created one system to pull it all together for them, so that they operate more efficiently on sales, operations, order entry, fulfillment, and billing. Ultimately, we also offer up all the analytics to help them make better decisions for their business. It's usually a large enterprise with lots of moving parts.
What's the story behind the company?
Andy Vogel: We originally started back in 2010, when Blackstone making investment in companies that weren't very obviously companies they were going to spin out. As they started to make thse investments in technology companies and technologists they liked, they create Talus Labs. Talus Labs was a rollup of a variety of different technology companies. Gumiyo is one of the companies we acquired. As we went along that path, we decided to focus on creating a platform, really focused on the back office automation area. We've spend the last two years in the lab environment, and have tested it with one large customer, and are now rolling it out to commercial customers.
How are you backed, it looks like you're entirely private equity backed?
Andy Vogel: Blackstone is our primary funding partner. They gave us our initial raise.
What's your hardest challenge as a company?
Andy Vogel: Our biggest challenge is hiring sales talent. It's very hard to find really great talent. We're actively hiring, and are specifically looking for sales people.
What's your next big goal?
Andy Vogel: Our big goal right now is to get lots of customers in different industries. We have four customers in different phases of launch, as we continue to grow we want to be able to point to use cases in different industries, such as a use case for financial services, another use case in the automotive area, another in insurance, and so on. That's our biggest challenge, and our biggest focus now is to show traction with customers, show our ability to scale, so we can grow.