If you are a SMB (and that includes startups), building a piece of technology is still a challenge and while there are outsourcing options available on the web (odesk/elance), you still need the entire development platform, an ecosystem of verified professionals and companies for outsourcing of software.
Infact, I have seen some of the non-tech founder startups ripped apart by consultants who sell them services that the startup doesn’t need. Sometimes, the challenge is not knowing the right stuff (which technology/architecture design..etc), and sometimes, the challenge is not knowing the right people/team.
While the former is a bigger challenge, latter is where 8KMiles can be of help to SMBs.
8KMiles is a Bangalore based startup that is building an ecosystem/marketplace of service providers and clients, and goes beyond the regular match-making. 8KMiles provides infrastructural services (using Amazon EC2 cloud), which lets services provides work on their virtual servers.
The 8KMiles ecosystem is made up of:
- Buyers: Companies outsourcing work through 8KMiles by taking advantage of virtual computing environment and other features.
- Providers: Independent professionals or IT services companies offering services to buyers (the company has tied up with MeritNation in India to ensure the authenticity of the players).
- Service Brokers: Sales and account management professionals can get buyers into the system and act as their online and/or offline interface and help them get work done. Service Brokers can also hire providers and form virtual teams.
- Project Managers: Project managers can use our simple collaboration and management tools to coordinate project activities effectively and ensure quality deliverables within time and budget. Project managers can help buyers efficiently utilize 8KMiles’ services.
8KMiles platform offers SMBs
- No capex, Lower cost, i.e. control over cash flow
- Secure cloud based Virtual Computing Environment (based on Amazon EC2)
- Project collaboration/tighter control/visibility on the project.
As far as business model is concerned, 8KMiles, in order to create the marketplace doesn’t charges the clients (even then, buyers will have to register their credit card), and charges 10% of the transaction fee to service providers.
Earlier incubated at IIMB (NSRCEL), 8KMiles’ differentiation comes out clearly in the form of having project managers onboard (the team works closely with individuals/firms to ensure that they bring in solid project managers who can handle global projects) and most importantly, the virtual computing platform to manage the entire project.
What’s really important for them to watch out is the growth of oDesk and eLance (they have sort of bounced back) – these two players already have an edge when it comes to marketplace, so would be interesting to see how compelling is 8KMiles ‘cloud’ story.
What’s your opinion?