By @SimonCocking, interview with Sami Linnanvuo, CEO of Screenful.

Describe the company – the elevator pitch …

Screenful develops business performance dashboards that help companies to track and optimise their operations. Our product integrates with the most commonly used task management tools (such as Jira, Trello, or Pivotal Tracker), and creates visual dashboards and automated project status reports that can easily be shared within the team and with outside stakeholders.

A key part of the concept is the use of large screens as a medium for communicating project status at the office. We call them Information Radiators since they “radiate” relevant information for the people working in that space, or for those passing by.

Analytics is about making decisions based on facts. In marketing and sales this has been commonplace for some time already. When you create a campaign, you measure the results and based on the outcome you make a decision on your next steps. However, the production side is still a black box. There’s a lack of transparency in the process and more often than not, the management has no real visibility on whether their production processes such as coding, design, content production are working efficiently.

We wanted to create an out-of-the-box solution to solve this problem so that our customers can get instant dashboard without extensive configuration.

How are you different?

We focus on bringing our users metrics and better visibility for their projects. There’s are plenty of good analytics tools on the market for sales & marketing data but we are focused on tracking the production side of things.

We integrate with tools like Jira and Trello to create dashboards for users of those tools. Rather than introducing new tools to the mix, we help our customers to create more value from the tools they love to use and have already invested in.

Why will the company/product do well?

We have a background in managing complex software projects so we’ve experienced the challenges in them. Our product is something we would have wanted to have for ourselves in those situations. So we’re a classic “scratch your own itch” type of case.

I had been working on data analytics for quite a few years already and one thing I noticed was that the while there were plenty of good tools for data storage and the analysis step, I couldn’t really find a good tool that would allow me to create nice visualisations easily. I found that most business dashboards looked horrible and did not do a good job in turning data into information that the viewer could act on.

That’s why we’re investing heavily on design and usability. We don’t consider design as something that can be added on top of the product afterwards but something that is core to everything we do.

Where are you based?

We’re a distributed team scattered in three different locations: Helsinki, Berlin and Yerevan. Our headquarters is in Helsinki and that’s where the company was founded.

When was the company launched?

Screenful was incorporated on March 2013 and our product was launched on March 2015.

What have been your biggest wins to date?

We have now 200+ customers from 30+ different countries and we’re constantly getting positive feedback from our users. That we consider our biggest win since happy customers keep us going.

What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?

I came up with an idea of a simple dashboard that would be laser focused on serving one group of people, software development teams. I had seen how many of these companies had displays set up in their offices showing some aspect of their process like the status of their builds or a Trello board displaying their tasks. Some had custom built dashboards that pulled data from the API:s of their tools. They looked mostly awful but served a purpose. I loved the idea and that’s when Screenful was born.

It has changed in the way that at some point we realised that it’s not only software companies that are using our product. There were teams doing marketing, manufacturing, legal work, and teams from many more domains that we hadn’t thought of initially. We realised that the potential market is much bigger than we had thought. It also meant that we had to add much more flexibility to our product so that we can support all those different use cases. That’s still a work in progress but I’m happy to see that the working processes that were first popularised within the software development domain are now gaining a wider audience.

Tell us about your team?

We’re currently a team of three having a background in software development:

Sami Linnanvuo (CEO) http://fi.linkedin.com/in/samilinnanvuo

Tuomas Tammi (CTO) http://fi.linkedin.com/in/tuomastammi

Gevorg Harutyunyan(Fullstack developer) https://www.linkedin.com/in/modularcoder/

What are your long term plans for your product/company?

Our ultimate goal is to be a recognised leader in the Business Analytics domain. Rather than aiming at a quick cash-out we want to create a long lasting company where people enjoy working, and which creates value to its customers.

What are your favourite tech gadgets?

My favourite tech gadget is my MacBook Air, which is the first laptop that is lightweight and powerful enough so that I can carry it with me wherever I go, effectively allowing me to work without being forced to stay at the office.

What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?

Teleportation device would be nice 😛

Anything else you’d like to add/we should have asked?

What is the dream behind the startup? The analytics product of my dreams is one that shows me the information that I’m interested in and nothing more. I don’t want to go looking after that information but the right information should come to me at the right time. The information should be presented to me in beautiful visualisations without distractions.

How do people get in touch with you?

They can email us at [email protected] or get in touch via social media channels at https://twitter.com/screenful or https://www.facebook.com/screenful/


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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