Interviews and Reviews

From MDM to UEM: Scalefusion CEO Harishanker Kannan Reveals The Journey

Scalefusion CEO Harishanker Kannan

Kindly provide a brief description of the company.

Scalefusion is the flagship product of ProMobi Technologies. It is a mobile device and endpoint management platform. Since its launch in 2015, Scalefusion has been on a steady trajectory of growth and evolution. The company has achieved numerous milestones along the way, like the Android Enterprise Gold Partner badge, recognized by G2 in its 2024 report as Leader in Winter and High Performer Enterprise. Scalefusion was also recognized by G2 in various prestigious categories in its 2023 report – one of the best IT management products, best support, high performer, users most likely to recommend, fastest implementation, and best-estimated ROI. Scalefusion is also positioned in the Mid-market Context: Magic Quadrant for UEM by Gartner, recognized as a Great Place to Work and achieved a high Capterra rating of 4.7/5. Throughout this journey, Scalefusion has consistently delivered on its mission to provide world-class customer service and make device management simple and effortless for businesses worldwide.

What is the company’s long and short-term vision? What is the core belief behind running the company?

Our mission is to simplify endpoint management for companies worldwide with a customer-centric approach, and we strive to foster a culture that places the customer at the center of everything we do.

Our long-term vision is to be a global leader in mobile device and endpoint management, providing innovative solutions to businesses of all sizes. We strive to be the go-to solution for organizations looking to streamline their device management processes and improve their overall security posture. Our goal is to continuously evolve our platform to meet the ever-changing needs of a connected world and to be at the forefront of the endpoint management space. We aim to continue expanding our solution set, widen our presence in key markets, and build strong partnerships to deliver excellence to our customers.

At Scalefusion, our core belief is that technology should empower businesses, not complicate them. And so, we strive to make our dashboard experience as easy as it gets. Through this, we want to empower IT admins to manage devices and endpoints effortlessly and streamline IT operations.

How did you get inspiration to start the company? How did you go about researching and validating the idea? 

The journey of Scalefusion (formerly known as Mobilock Pro) commenced in 2014. What began as a basic Android kiosk-based locking application evolved into a comprehensive device and endpoint management solution. Initially, we launched a standalone free Android app on the Google Play Store to gauge market interest. We developed the dashboard based on what customers asked for. In turn, customers themselves helped us get to Product Market Fit.

Our vision was to simplify mobile devices and endpoint management, a vision we wholeheartedly realized. Today, we proudly position ourselves as an MDM solution dedicated to streamlining your device management journey, removing complexity from the equation.

Our journey started as a product primarily focused on serving SMBs in the Android device management niche. However, we expanded our horizons, extending our MDM capabilities to encompass iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux management. This transformation marked a significant shift as we evolved from an Android and SMB-centered solution to becoming a full-fledged MDM provider suitable for small, medium, and large-sized businesses.

What is the product you provide? How does it work? What problems does it solve? What are your USPs and innovation?

Scalefusion is a mobile device and endpoint management solution that helps IT admins manage, monitor, and secure organization devices like laptops, mobiles, smartphones, PCs, tablets, rugged devices, and digital signage. It supports the management of Android, Windows, Linux, iOS, and macOS platforms across different industry verticals.

In simple terms, if a company has 200 devices used by its workforce, Scalefusion helps the IT administrator manage and monitor these 200 devices. Organizations can remotely push and manage configurations, content, and applications to meet business needs. Enterprise IT teams can remotely resolve/troubleshoot device issues and have a ubiquitous view of the devices on one single console, which is the Scalefusion dashboard.

Our USP lies in the simplicity of our solutions, seamless integration, and top-notch security features. Some of the major technologies that we work on are Ruby on Rails, Java, React, Angular, Kotlin, C#, .NET, C++, Objective-C, and Swift, built on a network stack of HAProxy, NGInx, ELK, and other tools.

How did you meet your co-founder? What are your roles? How did it all evolve into what it is today?

Arnab Chakraborty and I co-founded Scalefusion. As the CEO, I oversee the strategy and day-to-day operations of Scalefusion, taking charge of functions such as hiring, legal, growth, and expansion. My role includes setting the overall strategy and direction for the company. Arnab is the CTO at Scalefusion. He leads product development, engineering, support, and design. Basically, he is all things tech!

Arnab and I initially crossed paths as colleagues in 2007, working for a product-based startup. Our shared passion for startups led us to brainstorm our entrepreneurial venture during our time there. We were both driven by a deep conviction. Subsequently, we gained valuable experience working in other organizations, learning the processes necessary to launch a successful venture. In 2014, we realized our dream and founded ProMobi Technologies, the parent company of Scalefusion.

Today, our Scalefusion family has grown to 200+ strong. We stand by 7 core values in our company: empathy, respect, communication, curiosity, innovation, ownership, and impact. We firmly believe that the behavior of leaders in a company significantly influences its culture. We take pride in the fact that we’ve been successful in imparting these values from the team leaders to their extended teams. We’ve cultivated an office atmosphere where people are not only eager to work but also inspired to contribute innovatively.

Our approach to hiring is straightforward: we prioritize passion, character, integrity, and drive. Once individuals join our team, we assume the responsibility of providing them with opportunities for personal and professional growth.

How did you come up with the name and tagline for your company? 

When we were deciding on a name for our company, we wanted something straightforward and a name that described what we do, encapsulating our core value proposition within the name. That’s how we came up with “Scalefusion,” which comes from the “fusion of endpoints at scale”.

How did you launch your company when you had just 0 users? Which channels/ tools/strategies worked the most for acquiring the first 100 users? Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers? 

In 2014, we launched the free version of our product, which was initially called Mobilock, on the Play Store. By then, the mobile device management industry had been there for quite some time in a niche category. People were downloading and using our app, and this motivated us to start working on the backend of our mobile locking software, which we later named Mobilock Pro.

Securing our first 100 customers was an incredibly rewarding experience. Right from the outset, we were committed to two key principles. First was providing exceptional customer support. We wanted to be there for our customers every step of the way. At that time, our team consisted of about five people, and all of us took on the role of customer support.

Second, we were focused on the concept of ‘instant gratification’. We wanted to create a user-friendly and intuitive solution with a simple learning curve. When our customers could easily enroll 100 devices on our dashboard in just 5 minutes, that’s when instant gratification happened. This immediate positive feedback helped us build a group of satisfied customers.

Again, going from 100 to 10,000 is a whole different story. What are the key strategies that you have been following since the beginning? 

To scale more, in addition to the first two strategies, we focussed on reaching out to small and medium-sized businesses. They usually have a small team, and there are times when the IT person is the founder of the company. SMBs have simple processes, and they require simple solutions. So, we targeted SMBs and helped them solve the challenges they faced with their enterprise mobility management. Through this, we also got a diverse idea of different industries and the nature of operations in different companies and startups. With this experience, we got prepared to get to the next level of our business.

We also focused on expanding our region-wise partnerships and region-wise teams conversing in the local language to acquaint ourselves with the native markets and customers of different global regions. Our extended teams are based in LATAM and APAC.

What were the major challenges faced, and how did you solve them?

The most challenging part was scaling the team. From the initial phase, we have strived to build a core team that is dependable enough to lead their respective domains, be it product, engineering, marketing, sales, HR, and operations. Scaling people, teams, and processes has been a bit challenging while retaining our company’s values. We have developed a carefully sanitized hiring process to overcome this. And it has worked out well for us.

As a self-funded startup, effectively managing our finances was another challenge during our early days. We implemented a strategy of establishing monthly targets to ensure a consistent positive cash flow. As we began generating revenue, we extended our financial runway from three months to six months and beyond, but closely monitoring our expenditures was a hurdle we initially faced.

Share your most successful marketing campaign’s details which helped to scale or boost your sales.

Our marketing strategy in our initial years at Scalefusion was different than it is today. Our primary target audience comprised small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and our marketing strategy was centered on inbound tactics. This approach proved advantageous, given our limited team size, as it eliminated the need for extensive customer education. Our conversions were swift because we provided precisely what our customers were searching for.

Our emphasis was placed on organic channels, including SEO and user-friendly content featured on our website and blog. Additionally, we implemented geo-marketing during the early years. Avoiding an excessively corporate tone and the use of overly intricate content and messaging was a key factor in our success, as it prevented overwhelming our customers.

Gradually, we focussed on capitalizing on the simplicity of our dashboard. Our customer support and success received so much positive feedback from our customers for our simple and easy-to-use dashboard with a very short learning curve. We started marketing it with a campaign and tagline ‘It’s Simple. It’s Scalefusion.’ It was everywhere – on our website, campaign pages, videos, social media. That campaign was successful in increasing our website visits, demo calls, and signups.

Let us know if you have received any awards or been recognized by any reputable organization. 

Scalefusion is a:

  • Android Enterprise Recommended Solution (we have also been Android Enterprise Silver and Gold Partner prior to this)
  • G2 recognized Scalefusion as the Leader in Winter 2024
  • Scalefusion MDM Listed #36 in G2’s list of the Best IT Management Products for 2023
  • Positioned in the Midmarket Context: Magic Quadrant for UEM by Gartner
  • Capterra rating: 4.7/5

If you have raised funds, let us know the details (amount, stage, valuation, investors).

There is no funding raised to date; Scalefusion is a 100% bootstrapped company.

Kindly share the names of some top competitors. 

  • ManageEngine Endpoint Central
  • Microsoft Intune
  • Workspace ONE
  • Jamf Pro
  • Hexnode UEM
  • IBM Security MaaS360
  • SureMDM
  • Citrix Endpoint Management

How is the company doing today?

We are headquartered in Pune, India, with other offices in Gurugram and Bangalore. We also have overseas offices in France, Mexico, the US, Canada, and Latin America. We have recently shifted to a new and owned office space that reflects our company culture and values.

We are recognized as leaders by G2 in Winter 2023 and in Gartner’s Mid-market Context: Magic Quadrant for UEM. Additionally, we have a Capterra rating of 4.7/5 for our service. Our Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is consistently 95% for 3 years.

During our course, we have garnered the trust of 8000+ customers – Radisson, Magna, Go Air, Decathlon, Talabat, to name a few.

Please brief us on the business and revenue model. 

Our pricing structure is designed with flexibility in mind, catering to businesses of various sizes and their feature requirements. As of 2024, our pricing starts with an ‘Essentials’ plan, priced at just $2 per device per month. Next up is the ‘Growth’ plan at $3.5 per device per month, offering additional features and capabilities. For those seeking our top-tier offering, the ‘Business’ plan is available at $5 per device per month, providing a comprehensive set of tools. We have the ‘Enterprise’ plan available at 6$ per device per month for large organizations with complex use cases.

In addition to these competitive pricing options, we also provide valuable benefits to our customers, such as the flexibility to customize solutions to meet specific needs, the option to purchase licenses in bulk and activate them in batches, and the convenience of reusing licenses for lost or damaged devices.

Our revenue model is subscription-based, offering a predictable and cost-effective approach for businesses. To support our global expansion, we’ve established partnerships with key players in the APAC, US, EMEA, and LATAM regions. These partnerships are integral to our mission of extending our reach to diverse markets and geographies, ensuring that our solutions are accessible and effective for businesses worldwide.

Where do you see your industry going in the next five years? Where do you see your company 5/10 years down the road in your industry? 

The UEM industry has experienced remarkable growth since the onset of the pandemic. With the sudden shift to remote work, companies sought effective ways to manage their dispersed workforce. Among the exciting developments on the horizon for our domain, we anticipate a surge in the adoption of IoT-based solutions in various business applications bolstered by the widespread rollout of 5G technology.

The key question is no longer “if” or “when” these innovations will take root, but rather “how” well-prepared businesses are in harnessing these technologies to drive superior business outcomes. The responsibility for efficiently managing these cutting-edge solutions often falls on MDM solutions like ours. It’s the age of fast-paced technology. To be at par, we will continue to do what we do best – keep our customer needs at the focal point of everything we do.

Speaking of Scalefusion, we want to expand globally. We’re actively developing a robust feature set to accommodate UEM across a wide range of platforms, with a particular emphasis on IoT devices. We have recently launched OneIDP, our inbuilt user identity and access management solution. Our long-term roadmap foresees the integration of a multitude of devices, especially as the future promises an increasing role for AI and self-service devices for public use. Consequently, managing, controlling, and securing these devices and the associated data will continue to become imperative.

What are your future plans for the next 1-2 years? Share your future plans about your product features or any business expansion plans. 

Over the next two years, our strategic roadmap encompasses both regional expansion and the enhancement of our product’s feature set. One major development on the horizon is introducing support for managing Chrome OS, offering a broader spectrum of compatibility.

To streamline the enrollment process for companies that lack individual company IDs for their workforce, we have launched OneIDP, our inbuilt user identity and access management solution. This innovation will make onboarding smoother and more accessible for our clients.

We will also look to expand our AI capabilities as we already have an AI scripting feature in the form of AirThink AI. With IoT touted as the future, we would want to get into the IoT device management scheme of things as well.

Furthermore, we aim to extend the reach of our product by forging substantial partnerships within the European and Middle Eastern & African (MEA) regions. These collaborations will be pivotal in our pursuit of expanding our market presence and serving a wider range of businesses.

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