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HIGH PERFORMANCE COMMUNICATIONS FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES AND BIG DATA

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TORUS PROJECT (HIGH PERFORMANCE COMMUNICATIONS FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES AND BIG DATA)

Reporting period: 2014-11-01 to 2015-04-30

There have been a strategic repositioning of the Torus business idea presented in the project application for Phase 1 of the SME Instrument (TORUS Project). The project shall continue, progressing towards SME Instrument Phase 2, and implementing the new business plan.

The objective of the new business plan is to position TORUS leading the development of optimization & acceleration software for BUS (intra-server) and LAN (Local Area Network) communications, offering always high performance BUS/LAN communications for enterprise, cloud and Big Data applications in a completely non-intrusive way (no changes in hardware / software are required).

The specific new objectives after the Phase 1 Project are:

1. Acquire knowledge on the perceived value TORUS brings to their (prospective) clients and mature the product to enhance the value proposition.
2. Gathering interest from prospective customers to keep on feeding the continuous improvement of the product and the commercial potential of the technology.
3. Understand the sales cycle at financial services industry and cloud / big data projects.
4. Develop an effective go-to-market strategy, considering both direct and indirect sales, and preparing the team to act more effectively engaging with prospects in the proof-of-concept stage and closing deals.
5. Develop partnerships with key players in the industry.
1. Overview of the Work Done and the Results


The key action accomplished during this SME Instrument project has been working with a top internal consultancy firm during the six months of the project, although the activity was especially intensive during the first two months to take full advantage of their work and advice.

a) Strategic positioning of Torus with the consultancy

Work done:

• Ten face-to-face 4-hour workshops with consultancy “Principals” for discussing Torus value proposition, strategic position and business plan.
• Offline readings and calls to progress between workshops.

Results:

• The outcome of the strategic positioning of Torus is seen as a pre-market research for the second phase of the SME Instrument since it was found a new product category, BUS/LAN Software Acceleration, which requires further exploration.
• The company should focus on the Cloud market instead of Big Data. Big data market is still not commercially mature; we are in an era where product positioning in this sector is more important than the final sale.
• Focusing in Linux is necessary due to its size in the business world but a product development for Microsoft is required, since it is established as one of the market leaders.
• Continuity in the FinTech market. Torusware has worked for many years to position itself in this sector and it should continue to consolidate the market.
• Torusware positioning must be independent of the infrastructure and the operating system.
• Strategy of focusing on a single product instead of the former 3-product offering.
• The position of Torusware as unique solution in the BUS/LAN optimization space: it solves a problem any medium/large organization is suffering but very few know about it yet, so it is a hidden market to be discovered by a pioneer company such as Torusware. Therefore, the development of business should show that there is another solution in that market.


With the redefinition of the strategic positioning of Torus in mind, several actions, taken from the work package of the project (WP1), have been developed. The work packaged had three main tasks:


TASK 1. Develop commercial partnerships with industry whenever combining products (either hardware or software + TORUS) add value to the clients. Potential partners have been identified (a high-speed network manufacturer, a storage vendor, a cloud provider, some system integrators and several big data companies) and next steps are generating joint reports and gathering market interest in these joint ventures.

TASK 2. Increase commercial activity developing commercial campaigns, mainly in London, but also exploring US market opportunities. Key actions are meeting prospective customers, buying market-research studies and go-to-market services, hiring a business developer, attending conferences, giving talks and organizing workshops and training for attendants from the financial services and big data industries.

TASK 3. Demonstrate the products in production conditions supporting Proof-of-Concept projects at representative prospective customers, and validating our own methodology (trade secret) for detecting communication performance bottlenecks on software architectures.



TASK 1. Develop commercial partnerships with industry

Torus has been developing commercial relationships with reference partners.

Developing these partnerships and potential resellers is key in the exploration of which Go-to-market technology works better for Torusware.


TASK 2. Increase Pre-Commercial Activity


Work done:

• Market characterization. Torusware, as a result of the strategic positioning study, has quantified the current addressable market (1 million unvirtualized Linux servers), the value generated.
• The addressable market could reach 20,4 million servers in 2017, and more than 71 million servers in 2020. There is a multibillion opportunity.
• As Torusware offer is in a new area, BUS/LAN optimization, the commercial activity needs an important component of evangelization on the solution and business development. During 2014 H2 (until December 2014) Torusware has contracted Matrix Solutions Ltd, a consultancy specialized in business development and technology marketing in FinTech in London.

Results:

• The outcome of the commercialization activities previous to the strategic position is that sales argument is not standard and a previous development to generate revenues is necessary.
• It is key to explore and strengthen strategic partnerships with several players in the chain: network, storage and server manufacturers, application and cloud service providers.


TASK 2.1. Participation in Accenture FinTech Innovation Lab London 2015

TASK 2.2. Participation in Innotribe Startup Challenge 2015 in London

TASK 2.3. Business Development in London

TASK 2.4. Initial Steps in Business Development in Silicon Valley (April 2015)

TASK 2.5. Business Development in Telcos through OpenFuture Accelerator

TASK 2.6. Working on the Strategic Positioning of the Brand



TASK 3. Develop Proof-of-Concepts

Work done:

• Creation of a blog (http://blog.torusware.com/search/label/cloud?view=sidebar) to publish results of Torusware PoCs.

Results:

• The blog is receiving thousands of visits a month, and it is attracting interest from the potential prospects.


TASK 3.1 Feasibility studies on Big Data technologies

Work done:

Proof of Concept with several Big Data technologies to characterize performance benefits.

Results:

• Hazelcast, 75% performance increase. PoC develop in cooperation with Hazelcast and with some Tier-1 banks in mind:
http://blog.torusware.com/2015/03/extreme-performance-with-hazelcast-on.html?view=sidebar
• Solr and ElasticSearch, 300% performance increase, PoC developed based on the interest of a retail provider:
http://blog.torusware.com/2015/03/accelerating-solr-and-elastichsearch.html?view=sidebar
• MongoDB on Docker on Microsoft Azure cloud, 175% performance increase, PoC developed as part of the diffusion campaign of Torusware on Microsoft Azure, where its product is being launched. Torusware is Premium Partner of Microsoft Azure.
http://blog.torusware.com/2015/05/increasing-performace-of-mongodb-docker.html?view=sidebar
• Redis on Docker 200% acceleration, PoC developed based on the interest of a T prospect:
http://blog.torusware.com/2015/04/optimizing-communications-between.html?view=sidebar


TASK 3.2 Feasibility studies on Cloud technologies

Work done:

Proof of Concept with several Cloud technologies to characterize performance benefits.

Results:

• Docker 200% acceleration running Redis, PoC developed based on the interest of a Tier-1 bank:
http://blog.torusware.com/2015/04/optimizing-communications-between.html?view=sidebar
• MongoDB on Docker on Microsoft Azure cloud, 175% performance increase, PoC developed as part of the diffusion campaign of Torusware on Microsoft Azure, where its product is being launched. Torusware is Premium Partner of Microsoft Azure.
http://blog.torusware.com/2015/05/increasing-performace-of-mongodb-docker.html?view=sidebar

• Torusware Speedus is available in Amazon Cloud (AWS) MarketPlace and Azure Cloud. In both cases several PoCs have been run, and will be publicly disclosed during the launching campaign. An agreement has been signed with Microsoft for working on the diffusion of the joint solution Torusware+Microsoft.
TORUS has validated the feasibility study and it has prepared a 5 year business plan with funding needs in the order of 3.6M€. The objective is to position the company as world leader in BUS/LAN optimization and to do so, it is needed an important effort in:

• Continue with product development to scale-up the addressable market. Add new features and supported products (such as virtualization and full Microsoft support) for the product development, validating the technology, and especially in Proof-of-Concept and demonstration activities.

• Foster the commercialization in financial services and cloud computing markets, requiring business development for both markets and specific commercial activities.

This way, the addressable market will multiply by 70 times the current addressable market.

It is expected that the company will have +100 employees and 42M€ revenues in 2020, generating all this revenue from the feasibility study here presented.