Unitask Is Out to Cut Consulting Costs With Apps for Oracle Business Software
The founders of Unitask aren’t afraid of change. They started a consulting company in Israel, and have since moved to Cleveland, OH, and most recently Bloomfield Hills, MI. And they’ve transitioned their business from a services operation to a software developer.
Israeli Navy veterans Michael Segev, Alex Protas, and Yechiel Tushia started their consulting firm in 1995, focused on helping clients with Oracle software products, says CEO Dale Royal. Less than a decade later, the company branched out to Cleveland, OH, (but at that point kept its headquarters in Israel) looking to transition its services into software products.
Unitask has attracted funding from Draper Triangle Ventures of Pittsburgh, PA, and Cleveland-based Early Stage Venture Partners, first in a $2.5 million investment, and then with another $1 million deal. Royal joined in 2008, to help the company fully transition out of consulting, to “drive it to being a product company.”
Unitask, which moved its headquarters to Michigan last summer, is looking to automate tasks that were traditionally performed by consultants (for a hefty price), or with lots of labor on the customer’s part.
The company has two main products on the market now. One, Output Director, “takes care of a very, very basic problem,” says Royal. That would be printing from Oracle E-Business software. I don’t really think twice about printing, but I can get my job done with a Web browser and Microsoft Office. The Output Director software product allows users to securely and remotely print reports from the Oracle suite, without the tedious configuration traditionally required for the complicated reports, Royal says. One Unitask customer, UGI Utilities, calculated that it saved $200,000 using the software instead of the hours of consulting work at $175 per hour that it previously needed for each report it put out.
Unitask’s other main product, Migration Director, enables users to change data, like product numbers, across different applications within Oracle E-Business software. “It makes those changes automatic for you, rather than making it a labor intensive process,” says Royal.
Unitask’s move of its headquarters to Michigan was aided by a $250,000 investment from Automation Alley, a Troy, MI-based technology business association. The dozen-person startup is focused this year on expanding its customer base and the industries it serves, Royal says. Currently, companies in the construction and engineering, healthcare, and manufacturing spaces make up a big chunk of its customer base.