October 30, 2012

Sudbury-Based Vuuch Makes Product Development Social

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.