We talked to Kleber Bacili, Sensedia’s CEO about API management platform and here is what he said about it.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Sensedia.
Kleber Bacili: Sensedia was founded as a spin-off from another company called CI&T back in 2007. CI&T focuses on digital transformation and software development. I was a Product Manager at CI&T and founded Sensedia to address a challenge most CI&T’s clients faced at that time, which was integration.
In 2014 we pivoted to API Management. APIs are a digital glue being used by most organizations to create new digital experiences. Some are even creating new business models on top of APIs. Sensedia provides an API Management Platform that accelerates the API lifecycle addressing concerns like security, monitoring, scalability, analytics, reuse, and developer engagement. Sensedia platform handles more than 10 billion API calls per month, serving midsize to large organizations in industries such as banking, insurance, payments, and retail. We were positioned as visionaries in the Gartner Magic Quadrant and Strong Performers in the Forrester Wave and have almost 400 employees.
How does Sensedia innovate?
Kleber Bacili: We play on a very new and competitive field. Clients’ digital challenges are the key source of innovation opportunities for us. We also keep up with industry experts and some key players in the market.
Sensedia has a very specialized consulting services team that works closely with some of our key customers, which brings a lot of new insights. We use a lean/agile methodology to test those new ideas that might end up becoming new offerings/products. We’ve recently introduced new products such as Events Hub (that addresses asynchronous communication) and Adaptive Governance (to help organizations better govern their services/APIs).
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Kleber Bacili: We’re almost 400 employees working from home since mid-March. We were more conservatives during March and April in terms of investments and hiring because we didn’t know how hard the pandemic would hit our clients and how that would affect our business. Those were days when we tried to stay even close to our clients to understand the impact and how we would help them go more digital, connected, and open. Sensedia is cash efficient, and during the Mar-May period, we focused on that also. We’re now closing 2020, achieving almost every single KPI we set at the beginning of 2020 (before COVID).
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Kleber Bacili: Several difficult choices, for example, we’re set to grow our office spaces, and now we’re smaller than before because 20% of our team will be permanently working from home and 50% will occasionally (once or twice a week) be present at the office, so we put off the initial plan. We learned that we need to be even closer to our teams (we changed the all-hands meeting that was monthly to a weekly remote session to address the overall status very transparently).
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Kleber Bacili: I guess transparency was the most important element of our strategy dealing with stress and anxiety. We made clear what we did know, what we didn’t, and how would be the drivers for our decision making. Our People and Culture team has a “business partner” model to support the other teams. We created emergency hotline and put together Leaderships training sessions to give our leaders more tools to handle the team’s stress and anxiety. We also run some talks on those topics showing that we’re open to that discussion on every organization level.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Kleber Bacili: We compete against hyper-scale cloud providers such as Google and Microsoft, and also players specialized in API and integration such as Software AG, Kong, and Axway. We’re growing very consistently over the last 5 years and taking steps to broaden our offering while also entering new geographies. Being a niche player gives us the focus and velocity to better address our clients’ needs in a more tailored way.
Your final thoughts?
Kleber Bacili: This year was challenging in many different aspects. We have changed our strategies and adapted very well to this scenario. I believe that keeping an open channel with our customers and employees and being very transparent from day 1 kept us closer despite being apart. This was paramount to keep a fast-paced growth for Sensedia in a challenging year such as this one. The resilience of our team and the ability to adapt and change were keys to our success. It also showed us that digital initiatives were crucial to our customers’ businesses. It helped them get through in many different ways. We are very happy that our team is doing great, working from home, growing, and safe.
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