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Totango takes home CloudBeat 2013’s midstage Innovation Showdown

Above: Guy Nirpaz, chief executive of Totango, presents at the Innovation Showdown at VentureBeat's 2013 CloudBeat event.

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

SAN FRANCISCO — It seems that a new software-as-a-service company pops up every day with a freemium business model in tow. Many, if not all, of such startups want to become going concerns with consistently paying customers. Totango, a company that simplifies that process with a simple monitoring tool, won the Innovation Showdown today at VentureBeat’s CloudBeat 2013 conference.

Totango helps companies identify the right trial users to focus on in order to turn up the volume on subscription signups and renewals.

The service ingests data from external services such as customer-relationship management software, and it also derives signals from actual user behavior, said Guy Nirpaz, a cofounder and the chief executive of Totango.

“The application becomes the core of your customer data,” Nirpaz said. That data is used to display dashboards showing which users are just kicking the tires, might be on the fence, or may be planning to buy.

Among other companies, Jive Software uses Totango. Nirpaz joined Oudi Antebi at Jive onstage at CloudBeat on Monday to talk about the importance of keeping users engaged.

In winning the Innovation Showdown, Totango gets to lunch with Robert Abbott, the general partner at Norwest Venture Partners, and a question-and-answer session with Jai Das, the managing director at SAP Ventures. Alongside Abbott and Das, the panel of judges included Andy Vitus, a partner at Scale Venture Partners, and John Lee, a vice president at Silicon Valley Bank.

Totango beat out four midstage companies that presented at CloudBeat:

  • Averail provides iPhone and iPad apps that can search for, access, and edit documents sitting in various clouds and cloud applications a company uses. Averail “doesn’t require an organization to move its content to a new storage location or a new repository,” said John Drewry, its founder and vice president of product. “Instead, we map the content at its source.”
  • CloudVelocity focuses on moving applications from on-premise data centers to public clouds and helping companies use the cloud for disaster recovery and testing. During a demo of the web-based product, Anand Iyengar, a cofounder and the company’s chief technology officer, showed how easy it is to drag and drop applications from an on-premise environment to a public cloud.
  • ElasticBox¬†helps customers spin up the resources they need to run applications in multiple public clouds and determine operational policies for repeated use. Alberto Maestro, ElasticBox’s chief technology officer, talked about how cloud management is incomplete if it doesn’t account for the management of actual applications. “Every enterprise has been trying to implement this [service] for the last five to 10 years,” Maestro said when asked about competitors.
  • Piston provides a version of OpenStack, additional management tools for adding and removing cloud resources, and customer support. Piston cofounder and chief scientist Christopher MacGown said the product has been getting deployed in many countries on bare-metal servers that have not implemented private clouds before. That differentiates it to some extent from companies focusing on OpenStack deployments on servers already running hypervisors for handling multiple workloads per server.

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