Roseta Spotlight: 
Meet our founder

Roseta Spotlight: Meet our founder

Anna profile image
3 months ago

We believe that integrations should be simple and easy for everyone. Whether you are an experienced business user or just getting started, our mission is to provide you with fully serviced cloud integrations and ongoing support.

We asked our CEO and founder, James Blackburn, a few questions about how he built our Roseta Platform.

James Blackburn - Our Founder & CEO

James Blackburn - Our Founder & CEO

Why did you build the Roseta platform?

I founded a software development agency in 2013 called New Vision and over the course of 7 years we began to build a lot of integrations for our customers, in particular within the eCommerce sector. Building a vast amount of bespoke integrations on a 1-to-1 basis soon became unsustainable and we realised that a lot of customers were looking for the same functionality, so we have utilised our wealth of experience to bring this product to the market, at a time when many businesses have a massive integration challenge to solve.

Was there a reasoning behind the name Roseta?

We wanted a name that was non-technical. What the business represents is simplicity, and getting things done. Software as a Service (SaaS), but with strong emphasis on the service. We chose Roseta because it has a simple identity but also historical meaning. The Rosetta Stone sits in the British Museum as one of its most important historical artifacts. The stone allowed modern historians to understand Egyptian hieroglyphs as it contains translations to Ancient Greek. This simple translation of one thing to another neatly represents what we are trying to do as a software platform. 

What is your background in the industry?

I studied BSc Business and Computer Science at University, graduating in 2008. Since 2013 I have been the Founder and MD of New Vision, a bespoke software development agency. I started it out of my bedroom at my parents house, and grew it to have a great office in Bristol with an awesome team of staff servicing customers across the globe. Before starting New Vision in 2013 I held various eCommerce roles in the Automotive and Logistics sectors. Most recently, I worked at Fidessa PLC implementing City trading systems for Brokerage firms and Investment Banks. I was always really impressed with how well financial institutions were able to standardise their integrations. For more reading I highly recommend investigating the FIX protocol. eCommerce could learn a lot from that.   

Roseta’s mission is to “Make integration simple. For everyone”. How are you achieving this?

We use a combination of both Service and Product to achieve our mission. Our setup process is very detailed and an integration expert is with the customer every step of the journey to offer best practice advice and guidance to ensure the integrations are fit for purpose. On an ongoing basis, we keep things simple for customers by providing them with clear controls and monitoring tools and of course, one of the team is always on hand if they are needed. We give everyone access to this service by offering a low entry price point and fair volume-based pricing model so that even the smallest businesses don’t miss out. 

How do your core values show up in the service you offer?

I’m a firm believer in two core principles:

  • Have a “Can Do” attitude
  • Go the extra mile

We can’t achieve our mission if our people don’t get on board with these principles. Customers can expect our service to be positive, informative and helpful. We don’t just do the bare minimum, we use our initiative to ensure that at every opportunity our service not just meets expectations, but exceeds it. Customers can expect this level of service at every stage in their lifecycle with the business, from initial setup to maturation in support. 

What are the big challenges facing the industry right now?

As a general point, I think the first big challenge is the high numbers of SaaS vendors offering very similar services in the same markets. It’s difficult for customers to really understand who is best, and who perhaps has the biggest marketing budget! In every market there are very mature vendors and there are new players too. It would be easy to stereotype and say that the mature vendors are operating legacy technology, and the new vendors have untested, buggy products. But this is not true and I believe that a one size fits all approach to buying SaaS software does not work. Customers should evaluate based on a careful mixture of the right questions, product demonstrations, recent product reviews and gut feel.

Secondly, a bit closer to home, I think the data integration challenge is ever-present. The size of SaaS vendor offerings is becoming more specific and smaller. A system that once performed multiple functions such as website sales, order management, product management and warehouse management has now become an eCommerce Store (e.g. Shopify), an OMS (e.g. Dynamics), a PIM (e.g. Akeneo) and a WMS (e.g. SnapFulfil). This is something that we refer to as fragmentation. 

How can Roseta show leadership when overcoming these challenges?

Ultimately as a business what we are trying to do is address the fragmentation challenge. Having fragmented systems in 2020 is unavoidable, but having a clear and precise integration strategy will put businesses in the best position to succeed. We can provide industry best practice advice to try and lead our customers in the right direction. We remain impartial about recommending vendors to use, but some do have better APIs to work with than others. This makes the integrations run smoother, so in these unique cases we can provide recommendations. 

How easy is it to get started? 

It is possible to get some integrations up and running within 48 hours. We can quickly provide estimates and timescales when you speak with one of our integration experts.

Not all integrations (and APIs) are created equal… that’s why some integrations have a longer more drawn out setup time but we will always advise of when this will be the case and offer as much guidance and support as possible. Just get in touch...