Maiofis. The evolution of the project
Most of our readers of course have heard about the software package Maiofis, but with the product itself familiar not too close. Let’s face it, as we are: a year after the high-profile announcement of the project in 2015, the company was somewhat out of sight of ordinary users, and our review of the starter edition of office Suite is the first and last major publication project of the company “New Cloud”. However, readers who closely follow the news on our website, you know that Maiofis is actively developing in the last few years has grown from a set of office applications into a complete platform for automating jobs.
We decided to fill the information gap and to tell about the company, people who work in it and the product that it develops — in the end not a lot of young Russian companies are able to offer a product of this level. However, a review of the composition and features of the platform Maiofis in its current state should precede the story of the development of the company “New Cloud”, to whom we dedicate this material, and review product will focus on the following.
The idea of creating
In the early 2000’s no one thought that the word “office” to mean “a package for document editing” can mean something else, besides Microsoft Office. The American company has cleverly used their near monopoly position in the PC market to promote this product. MS Office and the file formats seemed immutable standard and the market for other solutions, it would seem, was not. However, we love the it industry, nothing is immutable it does not happen, and for the “pozivanje on our laurels,” she’s punishing very strictly.
Already in the 2005-2006 year was the first shift, subsequently the tectonic. In 2005, Apple released iWorks package, that’s not trying to compete with MS Office in features, but those features that were implemented, was superior to the relevant developments of Microsoft. A year later, there was one little noticed at the time of the revolution — Google has acquired two companies that were involved in the development of online text editors and spreadsheets. These projects eventually become the basis presented in 2009-m to year of Google Docs, showing the world that cloud office has a right to exist.
And although the Russian company “New Cloud” appeared only three years — in 2013, as told by founder and CEO Dmitry Komissarov, just then, at the end of the first decade of the two thousandth, it became clear that the market is AT the office waiting for the global changes and had the idea of creating a Russian project: “In the’ 90s I was one of those who developed the version of the Russian text editor “the Lexicon” for Windows. So we can say that since the office is firmly established in the area of my interest. Quite a long time it wasn’t clear what the segment development prospects, in addition to improving the capabilities of existing software. However, in 2008-2009, Google for example, their “Documents” clearly showed that such ON is where to develop – it can work in the cloud. Therefore, until 2013, we modified the concept of the future product, has formed a team of programmers and was looking for investors.”
The official birth of the project Maiofis is considered to be the summer of 2013, when the company “New Cloud”, which included more than 100 engineers, who previously worked on text editor the Lexicon editor and mobile QuickOffice. Founder, shareholder and CEO Maiofis is Dmitry Komissarov, with over 25 years of experience in the IT industry. Dmitry has worked in senior positions in the company’s Arsenal, was headed by IBS DataFort, “the Penguin of softver” and the developer is Russian FOR “Dew”.
In 2014 with Maiofis met Andrey Cheglakov — known businessman, investor, philanthropist, founder of “Stipler”, one of the founders of video game consoles Dendy, former owner of Formula 1 team Marussia, former Vice President of the company “Rostelecom”. However, at the start he is quite skeptical of the product idea: “Six years ago we lived in the old world, where the leading role in the office FOR one played a company that develops may not be perfect, but the already familiar office software. And there is nobody around who suddenly stood up and said that a usual model can and should be done different, better than it is now. The alternative was free software, but enthusiasts who made it, didn’t offer anything qualitatively different, just reproduced the already existing architecture.”
But the real breakthrough for the project was 2015. By the spring of this year was prepared a beta version Maiofis and announced the impending launch and early closed testing. And in June, the company presented the project for the competition startups conference Startup Village 2015, which brought the platform Maiofis a grant of 120 thousand dollars. Funds went to the development and testing of cloud product releases.
At the same time to the project as an investor and joined Andrey Cheglakov: “I saw a well-coordinated team with experience in creating sophisticated original products and strong enthusiasm to challenge the world. It would be a shame to miss this opportunity. Two factors, professionalism and courage, are the proportions of the coveted all drink victory champagne. In the team it was.” In 2015 Cheglakov has acquired 40% of the company. Today he owns the largest stake and their investment does not regret. It is important that Andrey Cheglakov bought the shares of “New Cloud” from the foreign owners of the company, making it thus completely Russian.
Of course, talking about the company’s development can not ignore the issue of import substitution, which gave the company the opportunity to “storm” the domestic market where the lion’s share of users have worked with Microsoft products. Maiofis has found themselves in the right place at the right time — fully Russian company, has a product for automation of jobs. Main customers Maiofis began authorities and state corporations – customers, according to company representatives, conservative and meticulous. “We really adjusted the product strategy, adding functionality that is not planned to develop at startup, – says Dmitry Komissarov. – This decision was well justified, the market – almost 10 million jobs, and the interest of public customers in the product was much higher than we expected. This is a great opportunity to understand what users need, and to form in them the habit of working with our product”.
Today, the project no doubt can be called accomplished and successful. The number of users Maiofis – the Railways, the Russian Post, the Office of the President, “Aeroflot”, the Federal government and many other government agencies and state-owned companies. The company employs more than 400 people, it is growing and is looking for new staff.
We should also mention the company’s investments in education: 2017 launched the product “Maiofis Education”. “Craving for discoveries should be taught at school, to give children the opportunity to experience something new, to try different solutions to familiar problems,” explains Dmitry Komissarov. “So schools and other secondary schools, we give their programs for free, and universities – at a discount of 93%. So prepare for the advent of the new generation – those who grew up and formed permeable in the information environment.” The company said that this category of users is very valuable to developers a different perspective on many things.
Finally, the created ecosystem appreciated “Kaspersky Lab”, the world — famous developer. In April 2019, the company acquired a share of 29.5% and was among the owners of “New Cloud”. In an interview to the newspaper “Vedomosti “, the head of Eugene Kaspersky explained the decision to invest in the NOTES: “We had the technical expertise for this project, and we believe that he has a very big future. It is a system equivalent to Microsoft Office, but it can run on completely different operating systems, not only Windows. She works on Linux, and on mobile works. Have Maiofis very correct architecture, which has no “generic” injuries. For example, Microsoft Office is a set in General independent of the applications, they have slightly different formats are slightly different languages. If we talk about the office from NOTES – this is the correct complete solution which has all equal components and each component has the same standards. If you just told me: “Zhenya, you need to make office software”, I would have done the same.”
In the five years that have passed since the appearance of beta, Maiofis went from sets of a pair of raw (to be Frank) online editors to full-fledged platform, including online, local and mobile version editors of texts, spreadsheets and presentations, email client, contact Manager, calendar, file Manager, collaboration tools, secure cloud storage and even corporate messenger!
But the basic product concept was formulated by the founders in the process of working on the beta. First, the product had to support collaborative editing. Secondly, the service had to be hosted in the cloud, and provide the ability to store data in a private cloud, deployed on its infrastructure – it has died down WikiLeaks leak and the scandal with Snowden. Data security at the moment has become a priority even for ordinary people, not to mention corporate clients. And thirdly, Maiofis should have been allowed to fully work on mobile devices. According to Dmitry Komissarov, the third possibility was “the point at which the company could compete with large corporations”: the future was in smartphones, but the interface for the convenient processing of documents from the screen of the gadget has not been invented.
The first releases were prepared on the basis of this installation. In beta tested the cloud file Manager and two web editors: for documents and spreadsheets, as well as prototypes of mobile applications for iPad and smartphones with Android. The company planned that the focus should be on mobile apps, they had to give a startup a competitive advantage. “Initially the idea was that we make a cloud service for collaborative editing of documents without sighting focus on corporate customers. Then wanted to go across all segments,” says Peter Shcheglov, Deputy Director of products.
However, in 2014-2015, when a product was already on, started to set the trend for import substitution. A new segment of the audience was a challenge and significantly influenced the direction of product development – government were not prepared to work through the mobile interface and the web application. “The public sector is a specific information environment. Most of the jobs out there with desktop computers, some of them not connected to the network or connected to only local in the cloud can not work,” explains Peter Shcheglov.
A strategy had to be adjusted, and the shift could quickly: in September 2015 was ready app for PC, allows you to work offline. Commercial release in October 2015. Package at that stage consisted of two desktop editors (text and spreadsheets) and e-mail client that allows to work with all popular email systems and protocols. In parallel, the modified cloud file Manager – now it supported mass download and conversion of files from MS Office and LibreOffice. The same version was able to implement the initial idea on all smartphones and tablets came mobile offers for working with documents and e-mail client.
Another area of product development — multi — platform- was also the consequence of shifting the focus on government clients. “The first version was designed for mainstream users with a common OS and browser, but in the segment of corporate customers of the application had to work with a large list of operating systems and browsers, and work correctly,” explains Peter Shcheglov. Compatibility was an important task – a significant proportion of computers in Russian public sector worked on early versions of Windows. In the framework of import substitution some organizations beginning the transition to Russian Linux-based OS, and the desktop version Maiofis, had to be equally well compatible with all. At the moment Maiofis works on dozens of platforms.
Evolution Maiofis was progressive: in 2016, the “New Cloud” has introduced a new solution – a corporate messenger Logo, which allowed users to engage in discussions during the joint work with documents. The emergence of a fundamentally new product in the company is attributed to the fact that collaborative editing requires continuous interaction between the employees. Logos – a logical continuation of this interaction. The messenger not only combines the best practices for your enterprise communication, but also integrated with the cloud-based office system.
Another important priority, according to Peter Shcheglov was the idea of the control data. She originally was laid, and getting feedback from customers, it became clear that the issues of information security for many are in the first place. Realizing this, in 2015, in MUSIC opened its Department of cyber security and in the same year launched a regular external audit of its security products. The result of this work in 2015 there is a “Private cloud” – a product that allows you to store data inside the security perimeter of the company. In the third quarter of 2017 important for customers apps for PC also learned how to connect to private cloud users became available full cloud functionality inside the corporate network.
Maiofis has long gone beyond the usual package of programs for office. Now the user gets a ready-made platform for content that can be easily integrated into the infrastructure of large corporate customers. Peter Scheglov explains that, although at the start it was about the product, which itself solves a specific set of business tasks, this vision has changed in the six years of existence of the company. “The accumulation of practice introduction it is the vision of the “platform” on which we and our partners can build end products and solutions for customers.” Now, according to him, the company began to narrow and this frame: “We want to come to the ecosystem in which the development of different companies successfully integrate technology based Maiofis. This will effectively solve significantly larger range of tasks. But the ecosystem is not only a product, even if it is very good.”
“New Cloud”, indeed, interpret the term “ecosystem” is widely, implying not only new solutions for the package Maiofis, but also a complete service at all stages of the project life cycle: from aid partners (now only in Russia distribution deals with over 1,300 companies) at the stage of preparation of the transaction to user support. The sale was organized on the model of distribution: a distribution package from the very beginning became engaged partners. NOTES left behind only the role of the vendor.
About ideas for the future and the next steps in the development of the package Maiofis representatives of the MUSIC I try not to spread. However, Dmitry Komissarov, told that the strategy for the coming years aimed at large corporate customers, and plans on international expansion, work with small businesses and access to the mass market.
Eugene Venusin, Director of product Maiofis: “We understood back in 2013: does not matter works with office package an ordinary person or an employee of a large Corporation, users need a simple, understandable product. He should not limit or define the ultimate conditions: work in the office or in our cloud,” he says. The main objective of the product has not changed since then – “New Cloud” gives users the freedom of choice to work wherever is convenient (on the laptop, on the web, from your smartphone) to save time due to the joint work on the document group of employees, and thus full control over your data. It is this concept, the company says, has always been and remains the main factor that defines the priorities of product development.