Azuki CEO Looking to Grow Mobile Software Business By Making it “Brainless”

8/2/10Follow @xconomy

Azuki Systems, an Acton, MA-based maker of software for helping video and other data-rich media content providers deliver their material through mobile devices, has announced that it hired a new president and CEO.

Azuki‘s new leader is John Clancy, a cloud computing exec who most recently served as CEO-in-Residence at Schooner Capital in Boston.

“I’m looking forward to taking great technology and building a highly scalable growth business,” Clancy told me in a phone interview. He says the company, whose backers include Kepha Partners and Sigma Partners, has remained relatively quiet so far, particularly because its products run on the back-end of mobile apps.

“Now it’s time to air it out and that’s why I’m on board,” he says.

Before heading to Schooner, Clancy was president of the digital unit for Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM), the Boston-based storage and data protection company. That’s where he helped the build the company’s cloud-based business data protection and archiving business. Prior to that, he was chief operating officer of Connected Corporation, a cloud-based data security software maker.

Azuki’s technology targets content providers and aggregators who lack the IT expertise needed to distribute to the mobile phone. The company has helped build mobile apps for individual recording artists, Fox, Sony Music, and even Sports Illustrated. Azuki does the heavy lifting to help content applications run across different mobile platforms like the iPhone or Android phones, and look good while doing it, Clancy says.

“If you can take it to a desktop, we can take it from there,” Clancy says. “We make it brainless for the content folks.”

So far, Azuki (formerly called Peermeta) has delivered its product using a software-as-a-service model. But in late September it will be shipping the third version of software, which will be able to run on both the cloud and customers’ own servers. He says adding this outlet will allow the company to focus on selling not just to the makers of mobile content, but also mobile carriers and service providers. For example, companies looking to deliver corporate webcasts to mobile phones can run Azuki’s software on their own servers.

“We’re going to let customers decide how they want to employ the technology,” he says. This greater balance and flexibility in the business will help drive the Azuki growth Clancy is looking for, he says.

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