Simplifying Video for Enterprise: In conversation with Susan Danziger from Ziggeo
In this series, we talk with the amazing founders who are part of the SAP.iO Foundry in New York — Women-led Enterprise Tech Program. This 16-week program, launched April 18th, provides access to tailored mentorship, exposure to SAP technologies, and opportunities to meet with SAP customers, to help these incredible startups scale. SAP.iO Foundries are in major startup hubs, including Berlin, Tel Aviv, New York City, San Francisco, and Paris.
Susan Danziger is the Founder/CEO of Ziggeo,an award-winning cloud-based video technology company, that is participating in the SAP.iO Foundry in New York. Named both a Woman of Influence and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Susan is also an angel investor and contributor to Forbes on entrepreneurship. She previously founded DailyLit, a pioneer in digital serialization. Susan graduated with a BA in art history from Cornell University and a JD from New York University School of Law. She is an international keynote speaker and avid supporter of female founders.
1) Let’s talk about your journey as an entrepreneur. What inspired you to start Ziggeo?
I started Ziggeo originally to fill our own need. We were building a recruitment platform whereby candidates could record videos for employers to see. We thought we could simply take an existing video API, plug it in and our videos could be easily recorded/played. We soon realized that this seminal video technology didn’t exist — at least with the flexibility and security we needed. So after almost a year of dedicated engineering time, we developed the video technology we needed. We then had an “aha” moment — that the video technology we developed was the bigger business opportunity, bigger than the recruitment platform itself. So, we closed our recruitment platform and eventually became the leading, award-winning video tech company offering video APIs and mobile SDKs.
2) What was your previous experience in tech and how did it prepare you for the role?
I previously launched (and subsequently sold) DailyLit, which was a pioneer in digital serialization. It mostly prepared me to be nimble and flexible, understanding that iterations on ideas, pivots and refinements are necessary for the success of any startup. It also taught me that one doesn’t need to be a technologist to run a tech company (I was an art history major); however, creativity and resourcefulness arecritical for success.
3) Video communication is becoming an increasingly important for enterprise. How do you think its impacting Enterprise tech now — and do you think companies are keeping pace?
Video is becoming a key way for enterprises to communicate both for internal and external purposes. For instance, in recruitment, letting candidates record videos (each answering the same question) levels the playing field; all candidates have then effectively given a first round of interviews, leading to better hiring decisions and retention. Recording of best practices via video for training purposes (e.g., best sales pitches) is becoming a standard on-boarding tool, and can be key to employee success. In ecommerce, allowing customers to record video testimonials and/or video reviews has been shown to have dramatically increase conversion in sales; according to one study, customers were 60% more likely to buy after watching a video associated with a product.
4) As a founder, what do you think have been the most challenging aspects of building an Enterprise tech startup?
Patience! As a founder, I’m used to the quick pace of startup life: decisions are made quickly, experiments are easily conducted, and iterations are par for the course. Enterprises work at a much slower speed, with layers of approval required and much less tolerance for risk. It’s a completely different mindset.
5) What advice would you have for other women entrepreneurs out there who are thinking about venturing out on their own?
Do it! It may be that starting a business sounds overwhelming so think of it as a project. Go ahead and start it. See who your product or service resonates with — and tinker with it so others want it. Are they willing to pay for it? You may just have a business.
6) What’s, what’s your favorite part of being in the SAP.iO Foundry in New York?
Participaing in the SAP.iO Foundry has really allowed me to explore the breadth and depth of SAP’s product range and figure out where the best use cases for Ziggeo might be. These use cases span HR (integrating video in training and onboarding solutions in SAP SuccessFactors), to Customer Experience (integrating video reviews and video testimonials), to Contingent Workforce (integrating video for recruitment and reporting in SAP FieldGlass). There are many possibilities because SAP solutions touch all aspects of a customer’s business, and through the SAP.iO Foundry I’ve been able to meet mentors from SAP, who’ve really helped me navigate all these options.
The other great takeaway has been the advice I’ve received from the SAP.iO team and the amazing SAP mentors that we have been working with, that has been invaluable. And, of course, being part of a community of smart founders has been an added bonus.