Sudbury-Based Vuuch Makes Product Development Social

Wednesday Oct 31, 2012 by Susan Johnston - Contributor, VentureFizz

Countless software systems control data, but Sudbury-based enterprise software company Vuuch focuses on improving communication and relationships in enterprise resource planning.

“When we realized the way to accomplish the goal was to take a social approach and represent the reasons why people are connected in the business,” says Chris Williams, CEO of the 10-person company, which he founded in 2009. “While we started around engineering objects and CAD models, what we quickly realized is the approach is really applicable to any business process inside the company.”

The company name is a variation on the word vouch, meaning “summons the truth,” according to Williams. “One of the ideas behind naming the company was that it should be a noun/verb/adjective, so we use the word vouch,” he explains. “We think we know the truth about what goes on at work and how people are related at work.”

Vuuch’s enterprise software caters to large industrial companies including Whirlpool, Rubbermade Medical Solutions, Tupperware, and Nacco Materials Handling, connecting discussions from emails, notes, and supporting documents to keep the conversation focused on deliverables.

“First, it understands common file types such as Office documents and CAD formats,” explains Williams. “Second, it ‘fingerprints’ those files so that Vuuch can maintain the social relationship between the file, the metadata the team associates with the file and the people invited to the Vuuch page that represents the file. Vuuch adds a social capability to PDM that PDM would otherwise not be able to achieve.”

Vuuch releases a new version about every 90 days, with the most recent version, Vuuch 5.2, released on October 15. Vuuch 5.2 includes a new activity stream and daily digest, among other features.

In September, Vuuch joined the Autodesk partner network, which allows Vuuch to embed its software into Autodesk Design Suites for manufacturers. “Autodesk is really the only PLM provider that has really embraced the cloud,” says Williams. “It’s really a huge opportunity from a marketing and presence perspective. They put a lot of emphasis on an app store that’s focused on applications that connect to their products. It helps solve a customer problem and for us it’s a significant marketing opportunity.”

Looking ahead to the next six to twelve months, Williams says, “our focus is to just continue to acquire customers and users and focus on making those companies successful.” He also plans on raising more capital (Joe Alsop, Co-Founder of Progress Software is one of their investors). “We’re still funding the company off of seed capital,” he says. “We need to raise our first venture round, so we’re aggressively pursuing that now.”

Susan Johnston is a journalist and contributor to VentureFizz.  You can follow Susan on Twitter (@UrbanMuseWriter) by clicking here.

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