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CEOCFO Magazine, PO Box 340
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Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Steve Alexander, Associate Editor
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Softwatch Delivers Remote Productivity Monitoring and OPEX Analytics for Work-
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published – June 22, 2020
CEOCFO: Mr. Leshem, what was the vision when Softwatch was created? What is your focus today?
Mr. Leshem: The company was established 10 years ago, yet over the past five years or so our offering evolved and we now focus on providing customers with a platform that delivers actionable data on the behaviour and deep usage analysis of enterprise applications. Such an analysis serves as a baseline for various IT projects such as a move to the cloud, cost optimization, transitioning from MS Office to G Suite, Microsoft Office/Office 365 evaluation, remote productivity assessments and more. We hold a patent for metering and presenting software usage. The hottest demand today is work from home/remote productivity and associated business insights. How does one evaluate productivity? This is the challenge of the moment. To do this we provide relevant parameters that enable managers to address it.
CEOCFO: Let us talk about your new product, Softwatch RPM for the remote workforce. Would you tell us what you have created and how it works?
Mr. Leshem: The idea for this new product came from our customers who know what we do. We provide the capabilities to really understand how their employees work-
We have just launched the product; the first version was launched last week, but we have a road map for more versions coming in the next few weeks. We basically focus on the real usage. Unlike other solutions in the market, which are intrusive and look at what people are doing, what they type, collect screen captures, open the camera in front of the employee and more, we do not do any of those things! Our platform deliberately does not have such capabilities. This is why we work with so many government institutions and Fortune 500 companies; we work with many companies across the globe because our offerings are proven and we respect employee privacy.
We have taken this technology and its capabilities and created a solution that first of all looks at when users focus on applications. It is very important to stress that we only focus on selected enterprise applications. I, myself, and all of my team are working from home, and yes, once in a while you go to Facebook, YouTube or other personal activities and it is fine, and therefore we do not analyze such non work-
Our focus is on work productivity, so we are looking at those applications that are relevant to specific customers. We work with them to define those applications and those applications can be any offline, online, hybrid, and home-
The first level of analysis allows you to see how people are working on those enterprise applications, keeping in mind that enterprise applications can differ from one company to another. Within one company it can differ between one group and another group.
CEOCFO: Have companies been looking at productivity in this way or looking for a tool prior to the current remote work situation?
Mr. Leshem: I cannot tell you how it was before. We were not there. We serve many companies using our technology, but the scope has primarily focused on evaluating the usage of productivity suites and adoption of Chrome devices. Given this COVID-
CEOCFO: Do people know that they are being monitored, even though it is in an unobtrusive way? Might they keep an application open longer, so it looks like something is happening? How do you guard against that? What are you able to pick up?
Mr. Leshem: That is a good question and actually, let me answer it in a few ways. First of all, talking about an employee’s concern, that has always been something that we cherished and this will always be a subject we talk about. We do not capture any personal identifiable information nor personal data, therefore we provide the analysis and associated deliveries in various formats and can also encrypt the data. As for employees keeping applications open longer so it looks like something is happening -
In addition, specifically in the EU, many of the customers have unions, so that they need to obtain the union’s approval. In most cases, after meeting and evaluating the data we obtain, unions provide the “go ahead.” They provide the approval, because they understand that we do not actually see the personal identifying information. We are GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant. I can say that 90 percent of the projects are approved by unions.
CEOCFO: When you are developing a solution or when you are working with a company, what do you look at that other companies may not take into consideration? Are there things that less knowledgeable people do not realize might be important, whether it is in the new product or projects you do ongoing as well?
Mr. Leshem: That is a good question. When we meet a customer, first of all we want to understand where they are, what the pain points are, and what they are looking for. I want the customer to explain to me what they have in mind, what their objectives are, and how they see their tasks and targets, and then, based on that, we come up with the appropriate approach.
It is important to mention that our solution is SaaS-
What we really do is we seek intelligence; we seek the information, and we really look at all this data. We are talking about thousands if not tens of thousands or even more users. This is a huge amount of data that flows in and out, so we really have to focus, understand and provide the answer in a very simple, yet a very comprehensive way. It is similar to what is known as ‘the elevator pitch’. Our solution is so comprehensive, yet so clear, that I was literally able to present our solution in the time of one elevator ride. We analyze the data and based on different ways of looking at it, we provide the information those customers need.
CEOCFO: Do companies make use of the data you provide? Do you know what the follow through is?
Mr. Leshem: Absolutely. Our customers always make use of the data, no doubt about it. Some change their decisions based on the data provided, some proceed with the projects and use our analysis to measure the progress and some use it as a business case.
CEOCFO: Do you do much outreach now for new customers or are people coming to you?
Mr. Leshem: Thus far, our main channel was Google and its partners. The partners came with projects and we worked with them. Altogether, we are a modest company. Even though we have been in business for 10 years, we see ourselves as a startup. We are a very small team, very eager yet with limited resources, which has its benefits, because it is a challenge, no doubt about it. Thus far we have focused on working with the channel. However, as we move forward with the RPM offering (Remote Productivity Monitoring), we are beginning to see customers who are now approaching us directly.
The goal is to make our solution available to everybody, because it is so important. It is so easy, it is so useful and as I mentioned to you before, companies make so much use of it. In addition, we are developing other layers of analysis, which we call Business Insights for Managers, which will provide managers with the ability to understand how and what we see in the data. That is because the executives seek specific data, while the heads of departments, finance people, etc. -
CEOCFO: What surprised you as Softwatch has grown and evolved to where you are today?
Mr. Leshem: What surprised me is really our ability to reinvigorate ourselves, to be flexible, understand the needs, understand the pain points, and adjust our capabilities and technologies accordingly. Back in February and March of this year, we were very much focused on the project as I mentioned to you before. Now, all of the teams joined forces, followed my guidance and here we are today.
As we began to work with RPM (Remote Productivity Monitoring), we started getting feedback from our beta customers. We started to understand what additional features were needed and it was like “Wow!” It totally opened a new venue for us and everybody in the company is so eager and fully devoted. For me, it was a very good surprise.
CEOCFO: What should people remember most about Softwatch and your RPM solution?
Mr. Leshem: Everyone is talking about COVID-
The aggregation of our services together with the Remote Productivity Monitoring, provides a unique opportunity for companies not only to gain actionable insights regarding productivity, but to also obtain data that enables them to better prepare for the next crisis by adopting Chrome devices, moving applications to the cloud, IT cost optimization and more. Hence, the potential capabilities, deliverables and value are, by far, much more than just productivity.
Softwatch, Remote Employee Productivity Monitoring, Work from home employee tracking Dror Leshem, Softwatch Delivers Remote Productivity Monitoring and OPEX Analytics for Work-
“The aggregation of our services together with the Remote Productivity Monitoring, provides a unique opportunity for companies not only to gain actionable insights regarding productivity, but to also obtain data that enables them to better prepare for the next crisis by adopting Chrome devices, moving applications to the cloud, IT cost optimization and more. Hence, the potential capabilities, deliverables and value are, by far, much more than just productivity.” Dror Leshem