Monday, 14 September 2015

Meeting the Industry - Sixteen Limited

Sixteen Ltd is relatively new in the hectic business market and yet it can boast quite a number of achievements since it first started operating a year ago today. A few weeks ago I met Mr David Seisun, managing director of the company, at a lunch. Talk turned to what his latest business venture was all about and he kindly allowed me the opportunity of an interview on the occasion of the company’s first anniversary.

Together with his team, Mr Seisun works from Sixteen’s inviting offices which are situated at 29, Triq is-Sliem, Marsa. From behind his white oak no-nonsense desk, he explains that the company is a Cloud Systems Integrator with the motto Analyse/Design/Implement. I admit I am not a very technical person so he explains, “We implement software from different cloud software vendors worldwide into our clients' business to make it run more efficiently and most importantly gather valuable data and convert it into instant information for the business owner to understand and take action based on realistic information and not just on gut feeling or unfounded prediction.”

He makes a joke about how in the past ‘being in the clouds’ led students into detention and now, rather, “The cloud is the future, as the industry shifts more and more to shared resources.” One very obvious positive attribute to this type of software integration is how  it allows even the small and medium-sized businesses to afford this “wide variety of processing power”. In fact, David elaborates, Sixteen Ltd also offers IT consultancy services. The main aim of the company here is to work ‘with’ the businesses and offering them what is really needed.

This is not Mr Seisun’s first business venture and he’s heard “numerous stories of companies investing hundreds of thousands of euro in ‘State-of-the-Art’ systems that are no longer relevant to today’s world. These companies,” he elaborates, “are not willing to change the system even though it is strangling their businesses.” The reason is that the Capital Expenditure made makes it difficult for these companies to step away from their past mistake and start anew. Having a system where they pay-as-they-go, so to speak, provides them with a cost effective solution. This, David admits, is how the idea for his latest business came about.

I ask whether Sixteen Ltd is the only provider of such a service locally. It is not, and yet the company strives to distinguish itself through the quality of service and a personal touch. The key, he advises, is 24/7 support following the implementation of the system.

So what, exactly, does Mr Seisun’s team provide the client? During the preliminary meetings the team Analyses the client’s current work processes. This is followed by the Design phase, during which the new system is mapped out so that it can be Implemented. It is here that David points out just how important it is for the new system and processes to be implemented properly. The company sees the Implementation process through from beginning to end, and even provides training for employees. He explains all this to me using examples, mentioning scenarios that would require various software applications. I come to know of the existence of cloud applications such as Timely (an appointment manager), Vend (retail POS) and Xero ( a user-friendly accounting package). All of these and more come at the low cost of a monthly subscription fee, rather than a major one-time fee or the need for expensive hardware to accommodate it.

So how possible is it to provide a customer with the service if that customer is based in a
different country? This poses no problem as Sixteen Ltd has partners in Austria, Albania, Macedonia, Dubai and Estonia. Whilst the design and implementation still happens through the Malta branch, the partners take care of the initial data collection and the training. With all the systems being on the cloud, there is no need for any hardware installation, therefore making the procedure simpler, requiring only a simple web browser in order to set up the systems.

It is time to end our interview and I can’t help asking, “Who or what inspires you and are there any noteworthy entrepreneurs that you aspire to emulate?” His biggest influence seems to be the phrase ‘Impossible is nothing’ and he is very adamant about the fact that he’d rather find challenging business opportunities to handle successfully than follow what everyone else is doing. People he aspires to include Steve Jobs (founder of Apple Inc) and Jeff Bezos (founder and CEO of as well as Sergey Brin and Larry Page, co-founders of Google Inc.

I walk out of the Sixteen Ltd offices accompanied by its founder and director who cannot help but proudly add “we are changing the way companies in Malta and abroad are doing business, our goal for 2016 is to increase that number as much as we possibly can.”

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