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From Internet Pioneer to Cloud Innovator: Doolli

Positioned as one of the fastest growing markets for the cloud-based infrastructure and platforms, Doolli led by CEO & Founder, Scott Baxter, is riding the cloud wave and is itself, a disruptive force; introducing a whole new way of managing, viewing, using and delivering the client’s data for multiple applications.

The cloud is a boon to businesses due to the security, cost-cutting, profits along with hassle free handling of operations and data ownership, which it offers. The cloud has been and will continue to be a disruptive business force for some time to come. Spending in this market is expected to grow 30% per year through 2018 versus just 5% growth for overall IT, according to most sources and Gartner estimates that by 2020 roughly 60% of businesses will be using office system capabilities from the cloud, up from just 15% today.

A graduate from the State University of New York College at Buffalo with a BS in Information Systems Management, Scott started Icon CMT in 1991, after working for Data General (now EMC) and Sun Microsystems. Icon, was one of the early backbones of the Internet and served as a carrier’s carrier, as well as provided infrastructure to many Wall Street and major media companies. The company went public in 1998, and was acquired a year later by Qwest Communications Inc.

After serving as the president of Qwest’s Data services unit and subsequently as chief strategy officer of the entire organization, Scott invested in a number of new businesses through his investment and consulting firm, Hawk Holdings, LLC and Baxter Investments, LLC. One of those early investments was Teoma Technologies, where he also served as Chairman.

He founded Doolli, a disruptive cloud platform designed to become the standard for millions of users to build and publish datasets and views into that data for private and commercial use and for multiple audiences. Users can do this from scratch using a simple intuitive user interface, by building an application and template and using it multiple times, or by simply using an existing app from the Doolli Marketplace that the client was either granted permission to use or that has been made publicly available. Founded in 2012, the company has offices in New York, NY and Buffalo, NY.

In conversation with the Leader

Q. Can you brief us about the history of your company?
What has become Doolli started as an idea that I have had for at least 10 years. However, until there was a social media infrastructure, I did not quite see how it would be successful. So, I waited and around 2011/2012, it looked like the timing might be right. After testing the concept, I started the company in 2012. Since then, we have been building and maturing the product. We launched a beta in January 2015 and we are looking forward to an upcoming launch in 4th Quarter of 2015. Dropbox, Box, and others that simply moved an old paradigm into the cloud will struggle long term.

Q. What are your product offerings and why have you chosen such products?
I chose to build Doolli due to the fact that data is now everywhere and more and more difficult to manage, share, and access. The cloud had largely been an efficiency play, in that it’s cheaper to deploy and manage in the cloud. However, there is now a true paradigm shift occurring that Doolli is ushering in that empowers users to do things they previously couldn’t do at any price point. This does not happen in technology often.

Q. How does Doolli balance technological developments with business objectives?
First, Doolli is a platform. So, we bump shoulders with many companies in the cloud-computing domain. We are often compared to many different companies, but none are quite like us. These include MS Sharepoint, Caspio, Dropbox, Box and others. Doolli is what Dropbox and Box want to be. And, just recently we have added a file syncing and directory storage capability to Doolli. So, now clients can not only store files in the cloud like they can with Dropbox, Box, and others. but, more importantly, with Doolli clients, can now use those files for databases and applications and build entire ecosystems around them.

Q. What is the target area of your clientele? Any specific sector you want to highlight?
I think Doolli is ultimately going to be used by everyone. That said, every new technology has to find its early adopters and we have found traction in the Education and Research market. This is a natural market to spawn new technology like Doolli, which has very strong collaboration features and capabilities. Many successful companies have started in this environment. We think the old school companies like Blackboard and others will need to reinvent themselves and deploy in this new paradigm Doolli represents, or ultimately fail.

Q. What is it in you that make you different from others in the domain?
We do not think anyone else currently competes directly with us. Doolli is very easy to use for non-technical workers, while also being powerful enough for the most sophisticated users. Doolli will change the way people fundamentally think of and use the cloud.

Q. What are the challenges faced by you and your company?
It’s always the same: Access to the best talent, capital, and the challenges of early adoption. We seem to be on target for all three at this point.

Q. What are your present and future focus areas?
Presently we are very focused on Education and Research as early markets. In addition we think any sector that has to deal with data and the need to propagate it to specific audiences are great Doolli markets. Collectors and Archivists, Bloggers, and virtually any enterprise are examples of this.

Q. What is your learnings from the previous fiscal year that you are keeping in mind while crafting your future road map?
We’re focused on getting as much feedback from our customers as we possibly can regarding their priorities in the use of the product, the needs that Doolli can address and, as a result, the features we can improve or add that will have the greatest impact. And, finally, mobile is going to be really important for us. People use their mobile phones to collect a lot of data and it’s not a seamless process to get it off their phone for use in other applications. Doolli helps solve this in a big way.