February 1, 2017

Sonian - Celebrating Its 10 Year Anniversary, a Look Back and the Road Ahead

One would argue that very few companies start and end with the same product vision.  As a company enters into the market, there’s a variety of things that will prompt a company to pivot or alter the product roadmap.  

These changes might come from speaking with customers, as one learns about their pain points or it could be major shifts in the every changing technology landscape.  Or, in Sonian’s case… both. 

Tim McKinnon, President & CEO, Sonian
Tim McKinnon, President & CEO

Sonian, which is located in Waltham, Massachusetts, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.  The company’s product has evolved over the years to address the needs of their customers and it has continued to make advancements to their platform.

What was once a cloud-based email archiving solution, has evolved to what is now the only pure public cloud archiving solutionwith over 27,000 customers in 43 countries.

I had the opportunity to speak with Sonian’s President and CEO, Tim McKinnon, to learn more about the company’s technology and the road ahead.

Matt Noonan:  What does the 10 year milestone mean to you?

Tim McKinnon:  We have seen so much growth over the past 10 years with the technology of the public cloud accelerating and going beyond where many people thought it would be at this point.

We have created the tools to protect people on an archiving compliance perspective, which is still very important today, but we’ve also gone beyond that vision.  It’s very exciting.

MN:  How has the company evolved over the past 10 years?

TM:  Compliance archiving has been the bread and butter for this company for a long time.  However, earlier this year, we launched business insight solutions where we’re able to go in and analyze data by providing insights with the focus on security.

I also think our business model has evolved tremendously.  We are unique because there’s not many companies that white-label and sell their services through an OEM model.  As we’ve increase our partnerships, we seen a dramatic increase of customers, where we have over 27,000.

MN:  How do you stay on top of industry trends and adapt to what your customers want?  .

TM:  We have some really intelligent people inside our company, folks who keep up with the industry and technology trends.

Our founder, Greg Arnette who is also our CTO, spends a lot of time talking at various conferences, discovering more about what other companies are doing, and identifying the market needs.  Plus, we have great partners and customers who are keeping us informed.  We’re able to get a wide view on the market through them.

MN:  It’s been about two years since you joined Sonian.  What is it that you enjoy about the company?

TM:  Anytime you come into a market where you can offer a product and know that you can massively disrupt a market is really interesting and exciting.  What makes it even more interesting is that we are solving some really important problems.

These problems are around regulatory issues or big security problems that we are helping companies solve.

Our employees and culture makes a difference too.  We work in a serious industry, so we try to relieve the stress by creating a fun culture.  We have an open office with a beer fridge.  Our employees are able to take breaks at any given point in time to hangout and decompress.  
People generally eat lunch together in a picnic style area in our office and every month, we do some fun social events like carving pumpkins to having costume contest to bowling.

Matt Noonan is a contributor to VentureFizz. Follow him on Twitter: @MattNoonan11.