CronLab CEO claims that acquisitions have left customers with no middle market, as he looks back on a successful first year

Opinion by Dan Raywood

At the start of this year I met with the CEO of a new Swedish email security firm and I recently caught up with him as the company marked its first anniversary.

At the start of this year I met with the CEO of a new Swedish email security firm and I recently caught up with them as it marked its first anniversary.

CronLab's first permanent base has now been set up. Its CEO Daniel Axsäter has followed this with the announcement of a distribution agreement with Provision Software Division from Romania, to follow the closing of the company's first external financing round, raising equity capital from European Angel investors and investment companies.

Speaking on the distributor appointment, Axsäter said: “We are delighted to enter this new market together with such a strong local partner. We look forward to helping bring our solutions to new clients and customers in Romania. In addition, this agreement represents another important and exciting step in CronLab's international corporate development strategy.”

Marking this latest step, Axsäter told me that there is a need for CronLab to prove that the company is in for the long term and that its customers want to see consistent delivery ‘month after month, year after year'.

He said: “They want simplicity and they like the kind of innovation that we can bring to the product and I think this is really where the larger companies are lacking. They usually have extortionately high pricing and have very complicated processes and complicated setups.

“I even heard of one large vendor that acquired IT consultants to basically sign up every single employee on a web interface she'd just launched as a new client and the reason I was saying that is why we do not do this. We do something that is very simple and very straightforward and that is why they come to us.”

He went on to claim that acquisitions have damaged the industry, as ‘very large companies acquire the smaller companies and then their clients all of a sudden see that prices are skyrocketing and administration becomes a lot more cumbersome'.

“Also look at the size of companies and vendors; they do not necessarily want to go to the very smallest players. There are some companies out there that cover one to three products in one or two countries, then you have quite a few of these very large companies that cover all basically global markets who have ten to 20 different products. In-between you have key players and I think a lot of resellers and end-users do not necessarily want to go to the smallest ones but also do not want to go to the largest ones,” he said.

“That is where we come into the market. We do not necessarily want to be this really big, very boring, tough company that is really hard to deal with where you just get to call centres and you do not know what they are asking. We want to be a slightly smaller, nimbler company, but still a company that is large enough and I think that is the secret.

“We are not going to be the next AVG, we are not going to be the next McAfee. We are smaller than that, we are not in that field but we want to be the smaller player but still large enough.  In order to gain people's trust I do not believe that you need to have hundreds of thousands of users; you do not need to have support organisation across the world, but you just need to be large enough for them to know that you can actually deliver, that you have delivered top end products over a period of time to large enough clients and that we have.”

Looking to the future, Axsäter claimed that customer feedback on the range is surprising considering that it has only been around for one year.

He said: “There is a lot of people think that spam filtering is complicated, but people are generally very surprised that it is very easy actually, as we do not have any administrative cumbersome overheads; we just quickly set them up, add their server, click the submit button and you are up and running. So that's the way it's supposed to be.

“I think we just have a smarter way of developing our products. Yes, we do utilise open source but it is not efficient and not good enough for 100 per cent of the way, but it is good enough for 50 per cent of it and then add your personal touch to it for the simplicity. I think that's really where we want to take the company.”


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