Severa is a Finnish "startup" that focuses on creating one SaaS-solution to managing company's billing, project management and sales. They have just released a new version of the service - Severa3. I have to admit, looking at their website and statistics - they are doing very well. Severa was founded in 2004 and has grown a staggering 1304% over the last four years.
According to Inoa, their 2007 revenue was around 790k euros with a 121k operating profit. Other stats on their site are also pretty impressive - they help manage 130 000 projects, around 42 000 invoices and 10 million hours of work. Their business model is also relatively inexpensive - 30 euros per user per month and the first person to sign up gets the service for free. I have to disclose, that this is not a paid blog post by Severa, but I seldom am this fascinated by management tools!
Software as a Service (SaaS) is the obvious way to go with this sort of solutions. One thing that I've always found fascinating is the added value information can bring when it is put into the form of a graph or picture. Therefore, I found Severa's dashboard views extremely usable. The reason behind this could be that Severa has developed the software together with their customers - something startups ought to be doing more to begin with.
One area, that all management tools seem to be avoiding to disclose is the portability of their data. In the future this will become a must as people will definitely be asking the question: "how easy is it for me to download the data I own?". Consider the data as your mobile phone number that you can transfer to any operator - it's still perhaps too optimistic to talk about data in this form, but I personally see this as the direction we're headed in. Furthermore, with people constantly on the move mobile solutions is another must. I have no use for services that require a computer to operate. I'm so much on the move and rely to my dear Nokia E75, that the method of use could be a show stopper no matter how fancy and otherwise usable the service is.
Severa is a fascinating company growing fast - we'll definitely follow them in the future as well. They were also one of the Red Herring 100 winners this year.