November 11, 2013 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
Product and Technology Solutions for Commercial and Government Sectors
About Spin Systems
Spin Systems is a product and technology solutions provider that brings data
to life. Through collaboration with our clients and partners, and a focus on
technology, people, and processes, we maximize the value of enterprise
information and transform the way decisions are made.
Cloud Based Applications Platform
conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published –
November 11, 2013
CEOCFO: Mr. Ali, what was the basic concept when you started Spin Systems and how has that played out?
Mr. Ali: I started the company about fifteen years ago. I was an IT consultant for years after college. About fifteen years ago I decided to start my own company and invited a couple of the IT engineers who I had known throughout my career, to come in to the company and formed my own corporation to continue to give the same type of IT consulting services. That was fifteen years ago and during that phase we decided that as we were providing IT consulting, we could, at the same time, build our own products and professional services. That has evolved over the years and now we are supporting both commercial sectors and government sectors.
CEOCFO: Would you tell me a bit about the services you provide today?
Mr. Ali: We have two kinds of services. The first service is the professional services, which is catered to our products that we build in house and that we sell to our customers. That is specific to this niche. The other type of service is really a broad type of IT service that is everything that has to do with various types of software development, integration, hosting, advice, consulting and so on.
CEOCFO: What have you developed and why the need to develop solutions as opposed to what may already be available. What have you figured out that others have not?
Mr. Ali: We came to the conclusion that every time we worked on a project for different clients, we always developed solutions from scratch. That is because every time you tackle a business problem you tend to start building the solution all the way from the first layer, all the way down and all the way up. For example, even if you purchase COTs products, you still have to tweak and configure it to meet the business needs and requirements. We decided that we needed to find a quicker and faster way to market our solutions. Development takes a longer time to go through all the different series of levels. Therefore, we developed a very agile platform to quickly allow us through configuration to build an end to end enterprise solution. That gave us an edge over many other companies where we do not have to start from scratch every time. We already have a reusable platform where, through a quick turnaround, we are able to configure those platforms to quickly meet the businesses requirements and needs of our clients, deliver cost effective solutions, and help tackle the problems that plague our industry today.
CEOCFO: What types of problems do you address? When would a company come to you? What would they be looking for?
Mr. Ali: Typically, we specialize in government, healthcare, and commercial verticals. In the past fifteen years we have developed a very good customer base. We have targeted special verticals, especially in the healthcare sector, the financial sector and in legal case management. We became subject matter experts on those verticals. We have grown our customer base to the point we get referrals from our customer base. That is why many customers come to us - because we have a very good track record, we always deliver on time, on budget, and show customers the value and innovation of our solutions.
CEOCFO: Would you be providing complete systems for these companies? Are you focusing on certain parts of the business?
Mr. Ali: We do both. Sometimes we have customers that come in and do not have IT shops in their businesses. Therefore, they would rely heavily on us to give them a turnkey solution. We would provide the entire infrastructure; the data center, the hardware and the software and the entire custom solutions, and maintain it for them. In other instances, we have customers who already have IT departments within their firms, but need our help to develop a solution for them and hand it back to them. We have different customers; it depends on the situation.
CEOCFO: Are you doing much government work these days?
Mr. Ali: A lot, actually. I would say about seventy percent to eighty percent of our business is with the DOD and with the various federal agencies like the DOJ, USPTO, OPM and DEA. We deal with various government agencies, but I would say DOD is our predominant federal customer.
CEOCFO: Would you like to see the mix changing to have more on the commercial side or is all business equal?
Mr. Ali: At the end of the day “business is business”. I would agree to that. However, in terms of our services, our delivery and our tackling different customer bases, I would personally like to have more commercial. It is just much easier to handle than going through the government. Government tends to have a lot of ”red tape” andwaiting periods. It becomes more challenging for us when working with the government. It is much easier workingwith the commercial customer base.
CEOCFO: How do you reach perspective customers? You mentioned referrals, but you have three large verticals that you are looking at. How do you grow that side?
Mr. Ali: Besides referrals we do have an in house business development division. They are really focused on our niche products and our niche services. Therefore, they usually go into many network meetings and conferences all over the country, where we meet potential customers, leads, and so on. Our business, marketing, and sales departments also do their due diligence by reaching out to other sectors and potential customers in both the government and commercial industry.
CEOCFO: Are there services that you would like to add or pieces that you would like to add to your solutions or that you are working on?
Mr. Ali: We always look for new business. If there is any new business that makes sense for our products and services, we definitely would be interested after it goes through a full cycle of evaluation. We have an internal evaluation process to determine if a new opportunity is a good fit for our products and services.
CEOCFO: What is the key to keeping up with new technologies and new trends? There is something new every day. How do you know what will stick and what might go by the wayside?
Mr. Ali: It is very crucial for us to keep with current and future market trends.
We conduct a lot of research and development in the company, and whatever the latest trends are in the markets, we are always up to speed. We definitely keep our ear to the ground as much as possible to continue to probe for any trend changes and market changes. We want to make sure that our products and services are always leading edge and that we do not fall behind.
CEOCFO: Your website indicates “Innovate to Elevate” in your mission and values. You talk about innovation as well. Would you give me a concrete example of where innovation has come in and how you have helped a client in that respect?
Mr. Ali: I can give you our DOD Air Force Medical Service customer as an example. They came to us a few years ago to tackle a problem they had been trying to resolve for ages. The problem was; they have military treatment facilities, you can think of them as hospitals, and those hospitals are on military bases across the US and overseas. They wanted a solution to be implemented where you can select medical records in “near real time” from all of those hospitals and bring in all of that data into an enterprise repository. They did not know how to handle this problem. They tried Oracle, they tried SAS, they tried all of those large vendors and they could not get it exactly right, as the Air Force wanted to have it. Plus, it was always very expensive to develop. They were never successful. They came to us, and I was able to give them a high level prototype using our platforms; how we were able to easily deploy to the field and how we could reach out to all of the hospitals in “near real time”, collect all the data and bring it into a centralized repository. They gave us an opportunity to come in and do a live pilot. We brought in our solution, our platform, called SDACA, which stands for Spin Data Acquisition Collection Application. Within about two and a half to three months we were able to deploy our solution on six different hospitals in the US and overseas. In “near real time”, we were able to pull all of the medical records down to the centralized location, which is something they had never seen done before. Not to mention that with all of the different challenges to deploy such a solution in a military environment or military network, there is a lot of scrutiny on what data you can push, receive, and share in a very secure environment. We were able to meet all of those steep challenges in no time. In two and a half to three months we were able to deploy the entire solution and six months later we deployed the entire solution on all 100 military bases in the US and overseas. Just to give you an idea, we pulled between 1 billion to 1.2 billion records a day for all our men and women in services. It was a huge hit! The DOD was fully aware of it, military health services were fully aware of it, and we were funded for the next 12 years. We have been working on this for 12 years now, supporting all of the different services. That is just one example of how our platforms were able to be quickly deployed and in a relatively cost effective manner to solve this problem.
CEOCFO: What surprised you most as the business has grown and developed?
Mr. Ali: I cannot say that anything has surprised me. We work very hard. I was always a true believer that if you work hard, you deliver on time and you deliver on budget, your business IS going to grow. Clients want to see success. You tell them you can deliver, you can deliver on time, you can deliver on budget, you make them look good, and they will always come back to you, as well as refer new customers. I have always believed in that simple philosophy. You get out what you put in. Now, 15 years later, we have grown from six people to 50. I am happy with the growthand progress. However, I cannot say it was a surprise. I would say it was just payback for all of the hard work.
CEOCFO: Why should people pay attention to Spin Systems?
We are a fast growing
company, and very eager to continue to grow. We have a very robust and
proven technology that is being deployed in the DOD and in the commercial
sector and has continuously gained a lot of ground. Sooner or later people
are going to start hearing about Spin Systems. We have already won the
Innovation Award for Red Hat for this year for the best middleware
implementation solution for 2013. If you follow the open source or open
status standards community, you will start seeing and hearing about Spin
Systems; how we were able to take open platform open solutions and turn them
into a very productive, powerful solution. Spin Systems is on the right
track to become even more successful.
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