The Czech-Canadian company develops tools for data processing and belongs to the best in its niche, standing proudly amongst IT giants like Oracle and IBM.
Although Ataccama might not be one of the most renowned tech companies, figures show that it certainly ranks amongst the most promising organizations, managing a high number of impressive projects. The company continues to grow by 30 percent annually and has generated revenue of $15 million in the last fiscal year. “We want to grow faster” shares the CEO Michal Klaus about Ataccama’s future plans.
In its niche, Ataccama is one of the world leaders—in some solutions, the very best. The company develops software tools for analyzing, cleansing and mastering data. The list of its clients is spread across various industry verticals. Ataccama technologies are chosen by leading financial, commercial, and government organizations for their ability to execute and deliver real business benefits. Some notable clients include American Airlines, GE Capital, The Lufthansa daughter company AirPlus, Canadian Tire, some prestigious US banks, as well as largest local players in telecommunications, banking (CSOB, KB, and others) and healthcare industry.
Ataccama’s software platform competes with giants like Oracle, IBM, SAS and Informatica. When observing the reasons behind its wide success, one of the most evident factors seems to be the speed and agility. “The initial project with GE was completed in about four months,” outlines Klaus. “As soon as we get the opportunity to showcase our tools, the clients buy them almost immediately.” Gartner has listed Ataccama as a visionary in its traditional Magic Quadrant and Teradata is one of the several prominent partners of Ataccama.
Growth by dozens of people
The company currently employs about 65 people in all its offices across the globe: Prague, Canada, United States, London, Germany, and Russia. However, it has now started to hire more rapidly. “Originally we wanted to hire about fifteen people in this wave, but now we are expecting more.” continues Klaus. “It is a good time for the market, and we want to be more aggressive.” The new headquarters in Karlin, trendy Prague neighborhood, is expecting twenty new employees, the Toronto branch expects ten. In addition to developers, the company is looking to hire competent talent for pre-sales, consulting and technical support. That being said, the main interest lies not only in experienced professionals, but also in fresh graduates accounting for more than 50 percent of Ataccama’s new employees.
Since its advent, Ataccama has swiftly been climbing the peak of success. The company was founded in 2007 as a spin-off from the big data company Adastra, when founders found great potential in the tools being developed internally to work with and improve the quality of data. The new venture then began, developing these applications while the Adastra network helped with business expansion. In fact, Ataccama still continues to work this way even today as part of the much larger Adastra Group.
Ataccama has reached a stage where its tools are now being transferred to cloud as a service (SaaS). Historically, it was selling them only with traditional licenses (price based on different modules), and this model dictated launching of new versions, upgrades, etc. With the transition into cloud, the year-long innovation cycle will now get considerably shorter, as Ataccama is building a DevOps development process and a dedicated team. “We will first move one module to cloud, specifically the one for Reference Data Management, then we will gradually transfer all the other tools, which should take about eighteen months.” estimates Klaus.
There are several reasons to switch to cloud. First of all, it is the clear industry trend. It is also required by some of the partnering companies that sell Ataccama software, namely, Infor. “We will need to convince our customers about the SaaS model, but it will also open up a new segment of the market. Everybody wants to know if we are heading this way. We want to be ready when even the major banks get to the point of adopting cloud solutions. We also want to make products for the markets that are currently being formed,” continues Klaus.
Profitable after 3 years of operations
About 65 percent of Ataccama’s revenue is generated by the North American market. The company has more than 250 customers in total from various countries. Historically Ataccama was very successful in Russia, but the latest situation in the region changes the status quo (from 15 employees, there are only 5 left). There are no plans so far for expanding to Asia: it is not part of the strategy, and there is a lack of experience with that region.
The initial funding for Ataccama was provided by the mother company Adastra. All other expansion was funded by Ataccama itself from the established business. “Ataccama became profitable after 3 years. It’s all natural growth,” adds the President of Adastra Group Jan Mrázek. Last year, Ataccama has moved to the new location in Futurama Business Park in Prague’s Karlín, where, among other things, it organizes Hadoop User Group (HUG) meet-ups. Hadoop is a technology broadly used by the company. From the very beginning, Ataccama’s integrated platform has been pure Java, which works well on Hadoop. The company plans to host its future cloud solutions on Amazon Web Services.
SEDLÁK, Jan. Česká Ataccama čistí velká data, roste a hledá nové lidi [online]. 2015, : 1 [cit. 2015-10-22]. Dostupné z: http://www.lupa.cz/clanky/ceska-ataccama-cisti-velka-data-roste-a-hleda-nove-lidi/