NETtime Solutions: The unSoftware Company That Almost Wasn't. - AZ Tech Beat
The cloud has revolutionized data access and consumption. It seems like most of today’s tech startups depend, in one way or another, on a cloud component. But, in 2007, pitching a cloud-based startup to a venture capitalist was like pitching a flat earth theory to Pythagoras: tough to sell. In that atmosphere, Bahan Sadegh saw opportunity, and he made a huge gamble in the viability of cloud-based computing. He called the company NETtime Solutions. Today, the Scottsdale-based company has 48 employees across two continents and a Board of Directors made up of Arizona tech titans like Todd Belfer and Jim Armstrong (JDA Software). Sadegh’s influence has also garnered national interest from the likes of Wain Kellum, CEO of Atlanta-based VoIP provider Vocalocity, and another NETtime Director. Not bad for a company that wasn’t exactly a hot-ticket item when it was started.
NETtime Solutions delivers ubiquitous SaaS time and attendance solutions to companies all across the country. What started as a 9-employee startup is now the time and attendance servicing company for companies like FedEx, Fairchild Semiconductor, Benjamin Moore Paints, and Grubb Ellis, just to name a few. In just four short years, NETtime Solutions has shown year-over-year gains, and it’s done so while competing in an HR industry that’s in the Late-Majority or Laggardly areas of the Tech Adoption Curve.
NETtime capitalized on a stagnant HR market. Client-side software management was a drag on company’s HR-department budgets. Compliance with federal laws meant annual audits to ensure their software was up to snuff and, if it wasn’t, that meant big bucks in buying new software licenses, installing new software, troubleshooting it, training employees on how to use it, and maintenance and support. After one year, they had to rinse and repeat.
In 2007, pitching a cloud-based startup to a venture capitalist was like pitching a flat earth theory to Pythagoras: tough to sell.
This is how NETtime got a foot in the door: customers no longer needed to manage licensing, and I.T. support on local machines. Compliance issues in the software would be rolled out automatically by the company with minimal invasiveness to the software’s function – and to the user experience. To HR departments, those Late-Majority and Laggardly adopters, this meant less time and less capital spent on tools, and more time getting business done.
Other SaaS time and attendance solutions sprung up after NETtime, but the Scottsdale-based company holds itself out as the “pioneer of SaaS time and attendance.” In 2010, they released the NETOne Cloud Clock, touted as the world’s first truly SaaS time clock, which sends employee time-punches directly to the NETtime service, an industry-first.
Part of NETtime’s organic growth may be because of its CEO’s refusal to take an exorbitant office, or his insistence on an open-door policy. Or, perhaps, the company continues to grow because of its personnel who’ve cultivated its free-thinking culture because their voices can be heard up the chain of command, supportively. When asked how NETtime sets itself apart, Sadegh says, “Service, innovation, and service. We are a service company first and a software company second.”
In their target market, better service and less time fiddling with technology means more money in everyone’s pockets – and that’s just fine for the millions of employees who make their living while they’re on-the-clock.
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