Even though it occupies three floors of the Heritage Building in downtown Meridian, Zennify is running out of space.
Formerly SaasFocus, the tech consulting firm changed its name this year and parted ways with its overseas offices.
Zennify will focus on expanding in the U.S. — and that could mean doubling the size of its Meridian staff in the next two years, Chief Executive Officer Nathan Mueller said.
Zennify employs 20 people in Meridian and has offices in Sacramento and, as of this summer, Salt Lake City. The company helps small and medium businesses use cloud computing software, particularly Salesforce, Mueller said.
The rebrand and amicable split from SaasFocus was an effort to give the U.S. firm its own identity, Mueller said. SaasFocus, he said, is prominent in its field in India and Australia.
“Us being a global company gave people the impression that they weren’t going to get local service,” he said.
But local service, he said, is one of the firm’s main priorities. Zennify only works with clients in the western United States.
“It’s local people serving locals,” Mueller said. “And then we try to get really involved in the community.”
Mueller, for example, is on the board of the Meridian Development Corporation, the urban renewal agency.
Mueller said he and his business partner, Chief Financial Officer Manvir Sandhu, have chosen to open offices in underserved markets rather than flagship markets such as Chicago, Phoenix or San Francisco.
“We’re running our business very differently than our competition is,” Mueller said. “We’re either complete idiots or very brilliant, and I guess time will decide.”
The strategy means Zennify employees travel less than they would at another tech consulting firm, Mueller said. Traveling might sound adventurous at first, he said, but it gets tiring.
“By the time you’re on a plane no less than three weeks of every month, no matter how young you are, that gets really old,” Mueller said. “We actually want our employees to have a good work-life balance.”
The balance, along with competitive wages, is a needed edge in the “recruitment battle,” Mueller said.
“There’s a huge shortage of people who understand all this emerging cloud technology, because it’s new,” he said.
Zennify has found success with its internship program. Five of Zennify’s 20 employees in Meridian started out as interns.
“We have a killer internship program that keeps turning out these genius kids that start making anywhere from $70,000 to six figures a year — and a lot of these kids don’t even have college degrees,” Mueller said. “A lot of them are computer nerds that taught themselves ... how to code.”
Mueller doesn’t have a college degree, either. He started working at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Boise after high school and stayed there for 14 years. When he got burnt out, he grew a tech consulting business on the side. Sandhu had been Mueller’s manager at HP, and together they merged with a firm from India in 2013, which became SaasFocus.
The company has worked with over 300 U.S. clients in the past four years, Mueller said. Zennify has 25 active clients and expects to hit $5 million in revenue this year, he said. The biggest area of growth is in the financial services sector, as banks, credit unions and financial advisers make the switch to cloud computing.