Case study: Found AS

How Found went from being a small startup to one of the best providers of hosted Elasticsearch

Denne artikkelen er også tilgjengelig på norsk.

How to sell a new product and new technology few are familiar with?

A double-digit percentage growth each month bears witness to Founds success - all without a single sales person on the payroll.

Found provide an online, cloud based search service. The company develops and maintains the search application and infrastructure for their customers, where customers only pay for what they use.

The website is Founds main sales channel. Due to the importance of their digital expression to drive sales, the quality of UX and design on their web page are of the highest importance. To aid them with this they chose Savant AS as their full range provider of design, front-end development and productive user experience.

The choice of Savant as provider

Found wanted a provider that could contribute in all areas of the process, ranging from the idea stage and strategic development to design and development of websites, marketing material, brand and social media, etc.

“Furthermore, we wanted a provider with a business minded approach, who we were able to see the big picture and who could be closely integrated in the process. Savant has been like this all the way.”

Choosing Savant was natural to Found. “Where else would we be able to acquire this broad competence?”, Cecilie Myhre asks, CMO (‘Chief Marketing Officer’) at Found AS. “The alternative to Savant would be to buy different services from different vendors and agencies. This would have made the process both costly and extensive.”

“Furthermore, we wanted a provider with a business minded approach, who are able to see the big picture and who can be closely integrated in the process. Savant has been like this all the way.”, Cecilie continues.

Found and Savant share a strong passion for technology. Both are companies that challenge established hegemonies, and focus on ability to evolve and react to changes in a marked exposed to constant development of new technologies.


“We operate in a new and unexplored marked. There are many unknown factors; who are in the target market?; what is the customers purchase process?; what is the rate of adaption for cloud technology?; just to name a few. How do you sell in such a market?”, Cecilie asks.

The product and technology Found provides is revolutionary. Of course, being one of the early providers in a new market is an advantage, but it is also very challenging. How, for example, do you profile unique properties and advantages of a technology few are familiar with? This was an obvious challenge for Found.

The market for cloud technology is growing and the range is global. Knowing this Found realised that building a sales force would be very costly and a high risk.

“Considering our challenges, we are dependent upon solutions that drive traffic into a functional and selling website. This has been the pivot point for our success.”, Cecilie Myhre states.

The solution

The tasks were

  • to drive traffic to the website

  • to convert traffic into sales

Building the brand - a consistent visual expression was created. This included choice of language, form of communication and graphical elements. Giving Found a personality was therefore one of the first challenges for Savant.

We created a personal communication that focus on being playful and uncomplicated, an expression that fits both Found and their target market well. The blue dog has become Founds mascot. Aided by its other four legged friends, other services and products are illustrated and crystallised in a fun and inviting way. E.g.: The smallest solutions is a Chihuahua and the biggest is a St. Bernhard.

To create a consistent and recognisable brand, we made sure that this expression is used in all of marketing material, products and sites, etc.

Create traffic - To build a market position in an unexplored market, it was important for Found to be a driver of information, as well as a provider of knowledge and competencies.

Build a channel - ‘Found Foundation’

“Amongst the content that drives traffic into our web pages, I want to highlight Foundation”, Cecilie says. “Foundation is a part of our website where we share our knowledge and experiences through articles. Additionally it is a playground for our users to test our solutions”, she continues. Foundation alone contributed to a quadrupling of the number of users - over night.

“Based on the help from Savants solutions and excellent market and business understanding, the number of unique users on our website increased from 600 to 10 000 each month during the first six months. That is 16 times more traffic or put in another way; a growth of 1566%!”

Converting traffic into sales - High traffic has little value alone when you measure this from a financial perspective alone. The need to communicate an easy to understand and selling message was strong and central in order to achieve success.

“We know that great user experience converts traffic into sales, and this is something Savant has proven that they are excellent at doing.” Cecilie says. The turnover numbers confirm this, with a solid and stable growth every month. Since September 2013 the sales has increased with over 12%, every month!

The solutions are also built responsive and adaptive, ensuring that they can be used consistently across different devices. 20% of Founds customers visit through their smart phones. Without a user friendly solution for mobile, these customers might have been lost.

Savants design and development efforts also cover newsletter templates and a system for delivery of these.

Measuring the effect of design

Monitoring and business understanding - Savant has utilised modern tools to monitor the traffic and user behaviour. Solid measuring and follow-up of such behaviour has provided a more qualified base for continuous adjustments. In this way the user experience, and by extension sales and conversion rates, is improved.

“We would never get this type of close follow-up if we had bought the various services from different providers, and is an example of the value of working with a full range provider with cross-domain competence.”

The result

Savant has provided Found with a complete and consistent platform for sales and marketing. The result has been very satisfactory:

  • In september 2013 Found had 600 unique visitors on their web sites. In February 2014 this number had reached 10 000.

  • The launch of Foundation alone quadrupled the number of users over night.

  • With more than 12% customer growth each month we have proven that the platform succeeds at converting traffic into sales.

“The value Savant has added to Found, means that we are able to continue without a costly sales force. Instead we can focus on further technological development and innovations, while the business is basically running itself.”, Alex Brasetvik, system developer and founder smiles.

Update: Elastic (formerly Elasticsearch) announced on 10th of March 2015 their acquisition of Found. Both a solid well-founded technology behind the Found Hosted Elasticsearch as well as the marketing experience were strong factors to the acquisition.