OpenSesame - Crunchbase Company Profile & Funding

Situational Summary

OpenSesame is a TechEd company, whose mission is to help companies develop the world's most productive and admired workforces. They envision a world where everyone can easily access the training they need to advance their purpose.

Today, online learning has never mattered more. OpenSesame harnesses the power of technology to help organizations of all sizes to create and deploy training to do great things, regardless of industry. Through their comprehensive catalog of elearning courses from the world’s top publishers, they are an end-to-end solution for their clients: finding courses, mapping to core competencies, syncing them with LMS, increasing utilization, improving L&D programs, etc. Clients engage with the company either through their premier offering, OpenSesame Plus, or their “pay as you go” model, for companies with more modest use levels.

The profile of those Clients range from Enterprise Companies to  SMSBs.  They also work with Publishers to convert their material into courses that are then sold to their Enterprise and SMSB market. Those Clients recognize OpenSesame is not just a reseller of learning content. Rather, OpenSesame ensures the learning content meets very high-quality standards, expertly curated so that the content meets their Client’s goals and the learning style of their workforce.

While the Company was founded in 2011 in Portland, OR, the Pandemic has accelerated their ongoing journey to becoming a remote first organization. Now, their current 250 employees are more distributed. Nowhere is this more the case than in engineering. Their 40+ engineering team (and growing) are located all over the US.

OpenSesame closed a successful D round in July of 2021, with $50mm in investment coming from JMI Equity, FTV Capital, and Altos Ventures.

To support future growth of their engineering team, OpenSesame believes it will be important to build a long-term partnership with a leading global Service Provider. This will be critical for them to grow as an organization, delivering on company goals, and being mindful of how engineering dollars are spent.

They have a lot of aggressive goals. Given the demand for top talent in the US, it is time and cost prohibitive to rely solely on domestic channels. Talent in the US is very expensive and not readily available in the US. As great an organization as OpenSesame is, they can’t compete with the FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google) companies. A great remote Partner will help them avoid these issues.

However, they are not looking for a “vendor” to provide “coders”, As they are a company that truly cares about people –that puts people at the front and center of their business– and they are keen to build a relationship where the remote team becomes a fully onboarded, collaborative extension of the OpenSesame team.

This is an ongoing scope of work, with a continuous pipeline of work for the foreseeable future.  These vendors will not be treated as 2nd class citizens or staff augmentation but a true member of their agile teams - expected to produce quality work alongside their fellow engineers.

Their vision is to add 15, remote engineers in 2022. They will want to work with the selected partner on the best pathway to that 15 number without sacrificing quality.

Their tech stack is broad but includes: React, Typescript, Node, Javascript, SQL, PostgresSQL (a plus), AWS, Terraform, Docker, Lambda, Step-functions, Okta, PHP (legacy), Drupal (legacy).

As far as location, they will consider Service Providers in any of the traditional outsourcing regions. However, the team constructed must be able to work at least 4- 6 hours of  the Portland (PST) business day. A majority of their Leadership (6) is in PST time zone, while the rest (2) are in EST.

It would be ideal if the Partner had TechEd experience and demonstrated capabilities in Machine Learning and Data Science. Having an AWS certification will be important. The Partner should be highly experienced in building teams that are reasonably fluent in English.

There is some concern they will be able to find the quality of talent needed. Even with a 4-6 hour overlap, there is a worry there may be a drop off in production when working with their existing engineering teams.

As far as budget, they are targeting $34/hr or $6k/mo. They have some wiggle room but would like to stay in this range, at least for mid level engineers.

While OpenSesame has never outsourced before, there is great experience within at least half of their team. Some have personally set up and run offshore development companies and teams. The general sentiment is there are pros (deeper pool of talent, speed to hire, 24x7 coverage, pricing) and cons (timezone, cultural, language) when outsourcing.

OpenSesame is an Agile organization, with some slight changes. While they do not rely on dedicated SCRUM Masters, teams otherwise feature Product Owners/Product Managers, Dev Managers and/or Technical Team Leads, Dev Team, and UX Designer. They use a “Trio” approach (Team Lead or Dev Manager, PM &  UX) to help guide the Dev. Teams delivery and sprint goals.  Each Agile team functions differently but held to similar standards of delivery and quality. On Average a team would be 5 to 8 people in size.  

The company culture is all about autonomy and  flexibility. They do not fear failing, rather their concern is not learning anything from that failure. Ultimately, you need to be able to deliver what you promised when you promised it. 

As mentioned, this is very important to their business. They believe that a successful experience here will influence how they onboard future remote engineers, whether FTE or contracts. Because of this, they would like to get going ASAP.

When selecting a Partner, they will consider (again) time zone overlap, pricing, and references. They will also want to know about the general retention rate. They will need visibility into the quality level or resources proposed for the team. Those engineers will need to show a pattern of loyalty to the projects (companies) they have worked with previously. The review and selection process will involve the CTO, VP of Engineering, and relevant Managers from OpenSesame.

Our Recommendations

Accelerance has considered your objectives and partner selection criteria in the context of all members in the Accelerance Global Partner Network. Given your declared needs and objectives, Accelerance is delighted to introduce the below Certified Partners as our top aligned choices to work as a dedicated Partner.

These accomplished groups are excellent representatives of the 60+ Members of our Global Service Provider Network.

 

View the Partner Matrix

View the Partner Matrix

Partner Matrix

 

Partner Information and Other Relevant Materials

Accelerance gathers and compiles relevant due diligence information on our Partners to share with you. This includes presentations, Assessments, blogs, and Accelerance Video Interviews of Partner leaders discussing topics of outsourcing interest. To review information and other relevant material for your top aligned Accelerance Partners, click on the links below.

What Tekton Labs has to say about your project

Ryan,

How are you doing? I'm so glad to hear from you! I hope you have been very well.

Based on the summary you shared, we see many opportunities for synergies between your Client and Tekton.  Below are some details around Tekton that we’ll be more than happy to dive deeper into on our first call.

Tekton Overview

  • We have over 14 years of experience providing value and top talent across multiple industries and markets, primarily in the US, Canada, and LATAM.
  • Our main delivery hubs located in Lima and Mexico result in time overlap and similar working schedules as our US clients, allowing us to work in real-time- creating more collaboration, smoother communication, easier management, and boosted productivity.
  • More than 150 engineers, designers, and consultants are distributed within our delivery hubs based in Lima, Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia.
  • We recruit world-class talent from top local universities and organizations around Latin America. Due to our extensive recruiting efforts, we are able to scale quickly with top talent from Latin America’s most prized talent pools.
  • Our HQ in Sunnyvale, CA, allows us to be closer to our clients and therefore provide a much more direct point of contact, in-person if requested, in a short time.
  • We have a world-class account governance process, where we make sure all clients and projects are handled exceptionally, the Tekton way. We have the required skillset on board to provide the correct input at the right time.

Given our experience, we believe we can add significant value to your client. We have been engaged in several opportunities regarding Machine Learning and Data Science. We are more than familiar with the ramp-up and management process of a team with the required skill sets, successfully providing driven teams with excellent technical skills and fluent in English. 

Regarding specific experiences in the field with Machine Learning and Data Science, we are working with a leading regional airline, helping them with a reverse engineering process, which is core for their business intelligence application, besides a smart data integration. 

Technology

We have deep experience in different tech stacks. We work with several languages like Javascript, Typescript, SQL, PHP, HTML, and more. Libraries like React and JQuery, databases like SQL Server and PostgreSQL, and different frameworks such as Next.js, Angular.js, and Bootstrap. We also work with cloud services such as AWS, Azure, Lambda functions (AWS), and Step functions (AWS). We use software tools like Terraform and Docker.

Engagement Model

  • Our engagement model ensures a thorough understanding of our client’s goals, and mutual expectations are set accordingly. We offer a complete solution from ideation/UX to development, testing, and deployment.
  • During our onboarding process, we suggest having our PM and Tech Lead at your office for some time to establish a relationship and better understand processes moving forward. We will also travel throughout the relationship to ensure clear communication and goal alignment.
  • Last but not least, we highly encourage having our client visit our main offices in Lima, Peru, to meet the team, determine best practices on how we will work together, and experience our beautiful country and culture.

Culture

  • Tekton is a people-oriented company where all decisions and strategies are settled with our Tektonians in the first order of priorities.
  • We have created a culture meant to align with US business culture. Our team has strong English skills and is willing to go the extra mile for our clients. We’ve created a culture of transparency and collaboration where we’ll be the first to admit when we’ve made a mistake and ideas are won on value instead of seniority.
  • We enjoy a culture of feedback that allows us to celebrate victories, adapt quickly if needed, and try different things to grow faster and more robust.

Certifications

  • Tekton is an Endeavour Entrepreneur, and our founders are all endeavor members and advisors.
  • We partner with leading cloud providers worldwide, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
  • We have Scrum Alliance certified practitioners, Scrum Masters, and Product Owners with 4+ years of expertise using Scrum.
  • We are serious about our work and joyful about life, eager to learn because growth goes beyond a single project.

We are interested in meeting with your Client to have an exploratory call, get to know each other, and better understand the type of profiles they are looking for in more detail. When could we meet?

Let us know,

Barbara Bazo

Business Development Manager, Tekton Labs

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What Applaudo Studios has to say about your project

Hi Ryan:

We have gone over the document and we definitely see an opportunity to support.

The tech stack described definitely resonates with our capabilities and the fulfillment requirement (that pathway to achieve up to 15 engineers) is well aligned with our scalability capacity.

We see a great fit in terms of our culture and their work on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity; as you know the creation of spaces and opportunities that merge diversity and social development is at the core of Applaudo (aligned to our motto “Code That Changes Lives”).

Pricing is something that we can elaborate during the calls or conversations; of course, it is above SE Asia as we are providing an administrated service on which we take ownership of the deliverables and engage through our developers with quality and convenience as the center and upfront premises for the client.

We would like to proceed with the conversations, so if you could set a prep call with you and an introduction call with them we would appreciate it.

Best regards,

Gerardo Paredes

Head of Sales, Applaudo Studios

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What Eclaro has to say about your project

Hi Mike, 

Thank you for sharing this opportunity. I have reviewed the details and believe Eclaro would be a great partner for the following reasons.

As you know, Eclaro is a leading IT and business consulting firm. We were founded in 1999 and are headquartered in New York, NY with offices across the United States, Canada and the Philippines.

  • With our three offices in the Philippines (metro Manila) and over 850 employees, we definitely would be able to support this Client as a long-term partner, providing them with the dedicated talent that they are looking for.  
  • As you know, our core business is recruiting and making sure that we find the right people that match each client’s culture and environment.  As we recruit specifically for each individual role, we feel it is important to involve our clients in the interview process, allowing them to select who they want to be on their team.
  • We provide the management oversite, but our employees work directly with and report to our clients on a daily basis, working US hours.  As you indicated the Client is located in EST and PST time zones, and we can setup a shift schedule that works best to overlap with both teams – whenever works best for the Client.
  • The tech stack they are looking for is readily available in the Philippines with a large talent pool of highly skilled developers at extremely competitive rates.  We are currently recruiting for some very similar skills for other clients, so we already have a candidate pool I can tap into quickly.
  • Eclaro provides all of our clients with the flexibility to develop their teams as needed, and the ability to scale as necessary.

In general, Eclaro has had a lot of success finding React and Node developers, with SQL and AWS experience. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with your Client to better understand their specific requirements.

Best regards,

Jeff Metz

VP Sales and Marketing, Eclaro

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What V2 Solutions has to say about your project

Ryan, 

Thanks for sharing the opportunity. We are looking forward to meeting them so we may demonstrate why would be an ideal partner for them.

Why are we the ideal partner? Because at the core values level, just like OpenSesame, V2Solutions takes pride in itself for being the trusted advisor rather than just another Outsourcing Company for our clients. When engaging with our clients, our goal is to be trusted advisors - first. The outcome of the business partnership, SOWs, revenue, etc. is - second.

The brand promise on which OpenSesame has been founded, as reproduced above, and its ultimate goal for its clients – Employee Engagement, are very close to our heart at V2Solutions. Employee engagement is one of the core values we practice at V2Solutions with our own employees, who we fondly refer to as, Vibrants. Just as we stay in touch with our customers via C-SAT surveys, we stay in touch with our employees' and their families' well-being via F-SAT surveys!

V2Solutions was founded in 2003 and has grown from humble beginnings of less than 10 employees hired for a specific client, to over 900 plus employees engaged with 40+ clients. V2Solutions' footprint spans multiple US (East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast) and India locations (Navi Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Udaipur, to name a few). We have a broad range of services to offer in addition to Digital Engineering. These include Cognitive technologies (ML, AI, Data Sciences, Data Insights), Digital Platforms (Mainly SalesForce), Robotic Process Automation, Digital Experiences, and Digital Workforce.

Seeing the talent recruitment and retention challenges, we undertook a massive hiring and upskilling program in 2021. Through this program, we have created a Ready-to-Deploy pool of more than 100 professionals across Digital Engineering, Digital Platform, Cognitive Tech, Digital Experiences, and Digital Workforce practices

Additionally, Vijay Shah, the CEO and founder of V2Solutions, has imbibed employee centricity as his personal and professional core value right from the start of our first hire. We are proud of the Vibrants that have been with the organization from its founding days, and many employees have been at V2Solutions for the majority, if not all, of their professional careers. V2Solutions has built successful and lasting relationships with clients that span multiple years - where our Vibrants feel, behave, and are seen as an extended arm of the client team based in the USA.

From the letter of introduction, here are a few areas I wanted to highlight:

  • Engagements where clients drive the deliverables and V2Solutions works with key stakeholders in traditional/modified sprints and Minimally Viable Product implementation - are all very familiar to us.
  • We pride ourselves on recruiting and developing Vibrants that are inquisitive, think outside the box, and while they complete tasks on the one hand, they are mindful of the larger picture, collaborations, and communications on the other.
  • Our leadership prides itself in putting itself not only in the shoes of the clients, like OpenSesame, but also the customers of the clients.
  • We take to heart the credo of - Fail Early, Fail Forward, Learn From Failures, Communicate Honestly.
  • We currently have customer engagements that span the entire time zone spread of USA – EST to PST.
  • Some of our customer's key stakeholders find themselves paired with Vibrants that have been on the engagement for four, five, or even six years more than they have spent in the organization.
  • Vibrants and key stakeholders developing a trusting relationship is welcomed and very common on our teams.
  • We are well equipped to undertake a fruitful journey with clients who have varied experience in the outsourcing partnership arena – novices to experts.

We look forward to going to the next steps with OpenSesame, including meeting with the right stakeholders at OpenSesame. After we learn a bit more about the opportunity, I am very confident that we will successfully showcase our relevant capabilities in the Tech Stack, the Ed Tech space, AWS capabilities, and ideas about leveraging Machine Learning + Data Sciences.

Sincerely.

Hemant V. Ajbani, MBA, PE

SVP Customer Success Management Group

PS – At a personal level, I am a teacher at heart. Additionally, I completed my MBA as a part of an asynchronous cohort where interactions and instructions were delivered online. I also have firsthand experience in using online courses for improving and maintaining technical and soft skills for myself and my teams. Thus, at a personal level, I have more than a passing interest to engage with a client like OpenSesame!

Learn More →

Recommended Reading

Conclusion

After you review this proposal please respond with feedback and questions so that we can clarify your needs and preferences.

The next recommended step is to have a brief 1 hour video call with two or more recommended partners using a simple agenda below. You will use the calls to validate shared information while exploring other related topics like how they work with clients and how they would create and ramp up your team, what software development methods they use with clients, case studies, metrics, etc... You can choose to keep the call at the business level or you can make it more technical.

Partner Intro Video Call - Recommended Agenda

  • 15 min: Overview of your company background and project goals and objectives.  
  • 15 min: Partner overview and review of their ability to support your software development needs
  • 25 min: Q & A 
  • 5 min: Next Steps
Ryan Schauer
Partner Success Manager
Accelerance Inc.