South African software company making big impact State-side

Cape Town managed software company Personera is now part of Facebook’s elite Preferred Marketing Developer Program and building a strong customer base in the United States.

The company was the first to introduce white labeled photo products for Facebook and their software allows businesses to put their own brands and label on software developed by other companies.

Sheraan Amod, a Capetonian, is Chief Executive of Personera, which was founded in 2009 and expanded into the USA when the commercialisation of the company’s products began at the end of 2010.

Speaking to HumanIPO, Amod said: “We are the first in the world, that is why we’re very much a US focussed company. We don’t have any South African customers. I’d say 80 percent of Personera’s customers are in the United States. We expanded (into the USA) because we had to, the South African market is just not that big.”

Personera’s sales, marketing and business development is in New York City while the software development and design department, as well as customer support is in Cape Town.

Amod describes Personera as the “world market leader in this space” because the company was the first to introduce white labeled photo products for Facebook. The company also forms part of Facebook’s elite Preferred Marketing Developer Program.

There are currently only around 260 developers from 35 countries who are on the program which is made up of social experts at the forefront of helping marketers and advertisers establish and grow lasting connections with customers.

As described on Personera’s website, the software created by the company “enables brands to offer their communities custom merchandise and promotional products that fans can personalise in seconds with their Facebook content”.

Labelling means a business can buy software initially created by another company, but can then be branded under the name of the company who purchased it.

“We’re the first company to combine software driven personalised publishing that is very, very easy for brands to use and offere it as a marketing-type program. Personera is a B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) company,” says Amod.

This means the company only sells their software to enterprises, businesses and agencies who in turn make the software (under their own brand) available to their end-users.

The personalised physical products the end-users receive range from printed calendars, posters and photo books to T-shirts and canvases. Personera is not in the business of printing, which is usually done through the companies making use of the software for their own customers.

“There are no physical servers that our customers need to deploy or software that you, the consumer needs to download, it is completely cloud based,” added Amod. “We see the way social media is transforming the Internet and we believe that it will transform the photo products industry too.”

Essentially, Personera is harnessing the power of social media and is “forging new ground in the areas of rapid product personalisation, viral marketing and data collection”. The Personera software platform requires no infrastructure or IT staff to utilize it and is user friendly.

Personera’s global partners include the printing giant, Xerox corporation.

Posted in: Social Media

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