Thursday, December 9, 2004
Interview with Tom Politowski, President of Waterford Technologies
My interview today is with Tom Politowski, President of Irvine-based Waterford Technologies (www.waterfordtechnologies.com) . Waterford is developing applications in the email management and archiving market, and recently moved its headquarters here from the UK.
BK: What does Waterford's MailMeter application do?
TP: MailMeter is in the fast moving email management & archiving market that is getting a lot of attention recently, thanks to recent regulations and high profile lawsuits. We do several things uniquely that differentiate us from other vendors in this space.
First, MailMeter delivers an archive solution because we capture, store and index into a database every email that a company sends and receives, including attachments and header information.
Second, MailMeter provides a unique web-based reporting interface that allows users to view email summaries, trends, and problems within their email system. Clicking on list items, users can easily drill-down to other reports to investigate any anomalies as quickly as possible.
Third, MailMeter also has an advanced searching capability that allows managers, investigators, or legal researchers to very easily and quickly find a "needle in a haystack" of corporate email, which can save companies thousands of dollars in time, costs and even court fines from not being able to produce information quickly.
With these combined capabilities, many regulatory and policy compliance problems can be solved.
BK: What are the issues your customers are trying to solve?
TP: Regulatory Compliance is a major concern today and requires companies to retain certain business documents. Many companies forget that even seemingly casual emails can constitute real business records, especially if it involves a financial transaction, approval or legal contract.
Since MailMeter creates an archive of all incoming, outgoing and internal emails and attachments, MailMeter helps companies meet these regulatory concerns. And for organizations that simply wanted to archive email records to improve their business practices, or for disaster recovery, MailMeter has been an ideal solution.
Although it is rarely discussed publicly, email investigations are a common activity that IT, legal or HR staffs perform by logging into an employee's email account and browsing through their emails. This is an extremely inefficient way to discover information for legal cases, employee misconduct, or performance evaluations. MailMeter enables searching across all email accounts, by keywords using Boolean, fuzzy and proximity search techniques to find the relevant emails.
With the web drill-down reports, companies can delegate to business managers the ability to manage their workforce performance with an additional metric, as well as identify storage abuses and inappropriate or suspicious attachments. Although this type of productivity improvement is not as high profile as the other uses, MailMeter customers typically report the most immediate cost savings and ROI based on these improvements.
BK: What kind of email applications do you support, and what does your product look like (software/hardware/service)?
TP: We support Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes/Domino. MailMeter products are software for purchase only at this time.
BK: What kind of customers do you target?
TP: Our customers have been from a wide range of industries and company size. We feel our target are companies in regulated industries such as financial and healthcare, as well as public sector or technology companies in the SMB and mid-market.
The only commonality among our customers is that most have had an "incident" where they have had to search through their email records manually for a lawsuit, regulatory compliance request, or employee performance issue.
We have had some customers who have not had an incident; however they usually have a corporate culture that is pro-active and take preventative action so incidents never happen in the first place.
BK: What is your channel to market for your products?
TP: We sell direct in North America, and through the resellers/consultants in the rest of the world.
BK: How is Waterford Technologies funded?
TP: Waterford Technologies is privately funded.
BK: How many employees does Waterford have?
TP: We have about 80 employees worldwide, the majority in the UK/Ireland. We have 12 here in Irvine, and hope to double that in the next 6 months.
BK: Why did you decide to move to Southern California?
TP: Waterford Technologies investors and management team realized there was a great market for our technology in the U.S. and targeted Southern California due to its proximity to technology companies and a good source of knowledge workers.
The investors purchased a different business which was located in Anaheim, and the two companies shared office space until our move to Irvine in August.
BK: Finally, where are you in terms of availability of your product?
TP: Our original product, MailMeter, has been available since March 2002. Our most recent product, MailMeter MBA was just launched in October, 2004. We will have additional product launches in Q1 2005.