Making documents, and companies, smarter.
The trouble with the Information Age is sometimes the breadth and depth of all that information. Companies have worked to go digital, and have saved some trees in the process, but businesses still have to store all that data and find a way to access it. Juice Software is intent on taming the paperless tiger with a way to get from the desktop to the database. The company’s CEO, Eric Yau, muses on the need for Juice.
Juice produces enterprise platform software; what exactly does it do?
It allows business users to access and place live information from any back-end data source into Microsoft Office. For example, people who use SAP or people who need information from existing databases and want to be able to bring it down to the desktop tools level can use our platform to do so.
How does the company distinguish itself from competitors?
With Juice, business users can easily create and share “smart” documents — live documents that update automatically — combining information from many different corporate databases and IT systems. The expense of manually accessing and moving information between IT Systems and Microsoft Office documents and spreadsheets is an enterprise-wide problem and we are unique in offering a way to solve the problem. What we have built is highly-geared to make it easy for common business users to access, analyze, and present information.
It is our focus on how business users consume information and empowering them to access information, in real time, from the desktop tools they use to make decisions that makes us unique.
Why do you think companies should employ this strategy?
There continues to be a major focus on the importance of information in companies. You hear about people building large data stores to capture information so they can have better access for quicker decisions. The issue is that there currently is no real capability to make that information available to the world’s most widely-used business application, Microsoft Office.
Right now, if business users want to gain access to those data stores, they have to go through some type of customized front-end application. But if you think about what a business user is familiar with and uses on a daily basis, it’s their desktop tools. So we thought, why not make databases accessible through Office? It would make it much easier for the typical user, and with 9 to 11 million users of Office, that’s a large target market for us.
With tightened IT spending, how do you convince companies that this is something they need to implement?
Certainly, the length of the sales cycle is longer lately. But we actually see this as being a very good opportunity to take our time and pay attention to each company. We can go in and say, look, here is a less costly alternative for you, this is something you seriously want to pay attention to. We tell them that we can implement this at a low cost, and they can take their time to think about it and realize how much this could add to their organization.
Also, the reduction in spending has helped us in another way. Since we build a system that is exactly what they need, as opposed to giving them a huge system that is more than they could ever need, it keeps costs down. Because of that, it’s a good time to be doing what we’re doing.
Microsoft Office seems poised to grow even more in the future. How will you take advantage of that?
We’re dealing with a very big market, so our strategy is to make sure we understand the target market and expand very aggressively. We’ll do that via sales, but also we plan to add technology partners and system integrators. From a technology perspective, we plan to integrate in a variety of other information channels, such as wireless and email messaging. So, you could be in your email system and be able to pull information from back-end databases. That’s very exciting.
do you know a local company we should cover? Let us know about it. Send your local profile candidates to [email protected]