How Tigerspike captured the momentum of mobile technology to achieve global leadership in the dynamic personal media sector.
Unlocking the power of Personal Media
Tigerspike is the world's leading provider of personal media technology solutions specialising in consulting, user experience and enterprise-grade middleware.
In the last decade the company has gone from Sydney start-up to global enterprise with 200 employees operating from seven offices serving the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific markets.
Tigerspike's heavyweight technical vision and innovative approach to bringing projects to life on new and emerging platforms is responsible for its continued growth.
Its customer base comprises an impressive list of blue chip corporate and government customers including The Economist, Woolworths, Shell, Westfield, Tesco, Suncorp, News Corporation, American Express, Standard Chartered, Kaiser Permanente, the US Army and Tourism Australia.
The company has been featured in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 for six years in a row, and is recognised as one of Forbes Top 100 Most Promising Companies.
Personal media (smartphones, tablets, e-readers, smart TVs and gaming consoles) is rapidly changing how people live and work.
For companies seeking to engage with consumers personal media offers extensive benefits including delivery of relevant, personalised content; improvement in customer retention and acquisition; and insights into consumer behaviour. Personal media is also proving to be a major enterprise technology. Its applications and tools are set to transform business environments by improving efficiency, collaboration and knowledge sharing in the workplace.
Establishment and Growth
Tigerspike was established in 2003 as a mobile technology company, pioneering user-generated content (UGC) and mobile messaging. It was a pivotal time to enter the industry – just as mobile technology entered its extraordinary growth trajectory and before the game changing development of smartphones.
The co-founders of the company include Group CEO Luke Janssen; Head of Innovation, Oliver Palmer and Chief Technology Officer, Dean Jezard. Their highly innovative and entrepreneurial approach led the company's operational focus to mobile and later to tablet and other personal media platforms.
The technical innovation that has underpinned Tigerspike's growth is the development of the Phoenix platform, which enables the secure, scalable delivery of content and services to multiple personal media devices.
The company's business model is to provide consultative services in personal media, user experience, design and development and license modules of the Phoenix platform, middle-ware as a service, to customers.
Deployment of Phoenix in local and overseas markets has not only been driven by their customers' business response to customer needs but by demand in their own workplaces.
This is due to the rise of a technology-savvy workforce creating demand for enterprise systems, which deliver a better user engagement experience and increased mobility via personal media devices. Increasingly this is being associated with productivity gains.
In 2008 the company set up the Innovation Lab with a growing team of scientists, engineers, and strategists to focus on emerging technologies and cognitive behaviour.
The Innovation Lab acts as a centre of excellence in personal media and develops intellectual property (IP), patents, proof of concepts and software prototypes and drives development of the Phoenix platform to ensure it stays at the forefront of innovation.
Tigerspike has been quick to engage globally by establishing offices in key markets to act as regional servicing hubs.
In 2006, just three years after establishing the Sydney office, Tigerspike London opened its doors. Two years later the company opened an office in New York to act as a hub for the Americas.
In 2011 the company geared up for further growth by selling an $11 million minority share to media and digital company Aegis Media.
The funding has accelerated Tigerspike's export expansion plans, particularly in the Asia Pacific region and it has since opened four new regional offices in Melbourne, Singapore, San Francisco and Dubai.
Factors for Success
- Continuous Investment in Innovation: Tigerspike's investment in future technologies and development partnerships with Apple, Blackberry, Microsoft, Samsung and SAP has been a key factor in achieving its corporate goals. In addition, the Innovation Lab is currently developing new technologies in encryption and compression – two areas ripe for development of next generation mobile technology. The company's new high performing quantum-resistant mobile encryption technology, Karacell now has patents pending in 144 countries.
- In-house Service Delivery Platform, Phoenix: Tigerspike has invested heavily in its proprietary middleware-as-a-service platform, Phoenix. By using the platform to speed up the delivery of applications, Phoenix also provides on-going licensing revenue and continued engagement with its customers.
- Strategic Expansion: Tigerspike realised its international vision very early in its development - taking less than eight years to build its current network of overseas offices. Its impressive growth attracted interest from private equity investors but the partners elected to employ a corporate advisor to match the business with potential investors, to ensure the right fit. The Aegis investment (though a minority partner) not only brought an injection of cash which would be used principally to fund R&D and reposition the company for enterprise but also access to overseas networks and a worldwide introduction to clients in more than 80 countries.
- Products Division: As mobile and tablet devices have become more prevalent in the workplace, Tigerspike has recognised the need for enterprises to take advantage of these devices as a means of engaging their workforce and increasing productivity. Tigerspike has been developing a suite of off-the-shelf engagement focussed Software as a Service (SaaS) products which highlight the benefits of its Phoenix platform as well as providing useful tools for organisations to utilise.
- NSW Business Environment: Tigerspike began operations in Sydney and benefited from the availability of highly skilled and qualified staff and its linkages with the University of NSW, University of Technology Sydney, and Charles Sturt University. Its home market was also an ideal stepping stone for global expansion. Sydney is strategically well placed for access to lucrative Asia-Pacific markets and is Australia's hub for media, advertising and digital industries - all of which have proved to be integral to the company's success.
Tigerspike's challenges are intrinsically connected to the rapid-fire development of personal media.
They include: the need for significant and continued investment in R&D; creative and technical challenges associated with constant customer demands for highly differentiated user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) on multiple devices; the challenges of assisting customers to monetise applications in light of subscription changes by distribution platforms and the complexity of building enterprise systems for a plethora of customers.
However given its performance to date in the personal media space, the company is well primed to remain at the cutting edge of global developments and will continue to transform business by unlocking the power of personal media well into the future.
Download the Tigerspike case study
Publication date: February 2013