Careers at Splashtop
Splashtop’s mission is to build a bridge to anywhere through its remote-desktop software.
Mark Lee worked at Intel for seven years. He left it to launch OSA, a startup that embedded software in servers. It got acquired by Avocent, and he stayed on as an employee. However, at a certain point he realized that there was a huge market for a related service -- embedding software in PCs. So in 2006 he left Avocent and founded DeviceVM with his college friends Thomas Deng and Philip Sheu.
DeviceVM’s first product was Splashtop OS, an instant-on computing platform based on Linux. It was designed to be integrated into PCs as a companion to Windows to enable faster boot-up times (as little as five seconds). The company partnered with various computer firms to incorporate the technology into their products. In its first year, it was able to raise $10.5 million in Series A funding.
Over the next few years, more and more people used mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets for their computing needs. Lee realized he needed to shift DeviceVM’s focus. So in 2010 he introduced Splashtop Remote, an application that enabled customers to remotely access apps, files, and data on their PCs from their mobile devices, and vice versa. It then renamed the firm Splashtop.
Business model of Splashtop
Splashtop has a segmented market business model, with customer segments that have slightly different business needs. The company targets its offerings at consumers and large organizations (businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, and non-profits).
Splashtop offers three primary value propositions: convenience, accessibility, and brand/status.
The company offers convenience by making computing easier for customers. Its solution enables users to remotely connect to and control their desktop PCs from their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. They can interact with the computer using intuitive touch-to-click controls. The solution can also create connections between devices connected to various networks -- for example Wi-Fi or 3G. No proximity between devices is necessary.
The company creates accessibility by offering a wide variety of options. Its application is available for Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), Android devices (including Nook and Kindle Fire), BlackBerry PlayBook, HP TouchPad, and Windows and Mac computers.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. Its application has been downloaded by more than 18 million people and adopted by thousands of organizations. Its prominent customers include Target, AT&T, DuPont, NEC, and Harvard University. Splashtop‘s manufacturing partners have shipped the program on over 100 million devices. Lastly, it has won many honors, including the “Most Innovative Product” award from PC World, the ”Best of 2012 CES” award from LAPTOP Magazine, and the “Best of What’s New” honor from Popular Science. It is the only firm to win the “Ones to Watch” Emerging Companies award from NVIDIA two years in a row (2012 and 2013).
Splashtop’s main channel is its website. The company promotes its offering through its social media pages and participation in conferences.
Splashtop’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature.
Customers utilize the product while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website provides self-help resources such as demo videos, app downloads, and answers to frequently asked questions.
That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support.
Splashtop’s business model entails designing and developing its software for customers.
Splashtop maintains technology partnerships with manufacturers, who incorporate its software into their devices. Specific partners include HP, Lenovo, Dell, Sony, Asus, Acer, Toshiba, Intel, and AMD.
Splashtop also maintains partnerships with resellers, who sell its products to their customers. There are three types:
Resellers of Remote Access Products – These include the following:
- Managed Service Providers (MSPs) that manage their clients’ computers and servers; they sell Splashtop Business for Remote Support
- Resellers that provide remote access to small teams or individuals; they sell the Splashtop Business package
- Resellers that sell products to businesses or MSPs that have their own IT; they are allowed to sell any of Splashtop’s products or packages
Resellers of Education Products – These include education product resellers and AV solution providers; they sell Splashtop’s classroom collaboration products
Resellers of Splashtop for MDM/MAM – These include vendors that resell Splashtop for highly secure remote support, mobile application access, and mobile worker remote access
Specific reseller partners include Troxell, Betis Group, Kore Image Technologies, OnBoard Academics, HoverCam, Palindrome Consulting, Cost Guard, MobileIron, AirWatch, and Good Technology.
Splashtop’s main resources are its human resources, who include the engineering employees that design and develop its software and the customer service staff who provide support.
As a startup it has relied on funding from outside parties, raising $45.5 million from 13 investors as of June 2010.
Splashtop has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions.
Its biggest cost driver is likely research and development, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of product development and customer support/operations, also fixed expenses.
Splashtop has one revenue stream: the subscription fees it charges consumers and businesses to use its program from anywhere across the Internet in order to remotely access devices. Subscription plans are as follows:
- Splashtop Personal – Remote access for home and personal use. Priced by user (best for individuals). Costs $16.99 per user per year.
- Splashtop Business – Remote access for business use. Priced by user (best for a small number of users). Costs $60 per user per year; packages start at $180 per year for three users.
- Splashtop Business for Remote Support – Remote access for business use. Priced by computer (best for a large number of users). Packages start at $199 per year for up to 50 users.
- Splashtop On-Demand Support (SOS) – Remote access for business use. Priced by technician. Packages start at $100 per year.
info: Mark earned a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and an Executive MBA at Arizona State University. He previously served as Senior VP of Avocent, as Co-Founder and CEO of OSA Technologies, and as a manager at Intel.
info: Thomas earned a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. He previously served as Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of OSA and as CTO of Avocent’s Embedded Software and Solutions division.
info: Robert earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at MIT, with a concentration in Economics. He previously served as Co-Founder and VP of Finance & Corporate Development at OSA and as a VP at Citibank and Salomon Smith Barney.
info: Philip earned a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. He previously served as VP of Field Applications at OSA Technologies and as a technical lead in server hardware engineering at Hewlett Packard.
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