“Publishers and marketers rely on third-party reporting to run their businesses,” said James Curran, CEO of STAQ, a systems integrator specializing in advertising technology. “They have multiple log-ins, multiple accounts, and multiple partners. All those UIs and platforms deliver reporting, but the data is siloed, so people go crazy cutting and pasting into complicated spreadsheets to get an overall view.”
It’s an inefficient and time-consuming process. STAQ, which has raised $1 million in seed funding from angel investors and California-based investment firm The Hive, designed its technology to aggregate reporting from disparate partners and consolidate it on a single dashboard with a single UI. The company does this in part via integrations with 100 ad-technology platforms.
Curran spoke with AdExchanger about the company’s new cloud-based tools: STAQ OS (released last Friday) and STAQ Connect, designed to alleviate the headaches induced by tech fragmentation.
AdExchanger: Why didn’t some large incumbent platform beat you into this market?
JAMES CURRAN: Because this is the unsexy part of ad tech, and we have no vested interest. You have to start from the very beginning and from neutral ground. You can’t begin with a pre-existing technology and then try to pull everything else into it. We’re not an ad server. We don’t buy or sell media. Making integrations is the only thing we do.
So you let your customers continue to use a best of breed strategy when they seek new partners.
Yes, and the really important thing to understand is that we make that strategy scalable. Since the beginning, our premise has been based on integrations, with everything from DSPs (demand-side platforms), DMPs (data-management platforms), SSPs (supply-side platforms), CRM and analytics tools. It’s clear that there will be no meaningful standardization anytime soon. There will only be more platforms to contend with as the universe continues to expand. We want make it easy for our customers to continue to partner with whomever they choose because we know there’s value in having lots of partners. We just want to help end the spreadsheet madness.
Your main service is for marketers and publishers, but you also have a solution for tech providers.
STAQ Connect lets them tap into our integration layer and leverage a data feed in the cloud to update their own platform and systems. They can collect data points for their own platform, numbers they’d normally have to ask their clients to deliver in yet another spreadsheet.
What are your goals for your services in the near future?
To help as many ad ops people make their manual reporting more programmatic to the greatest extent that we can and to maintain a very fluid integration layer for ad-tech platforms to use to connect with one another. Some integrations are extremely simple, and some take much longer, but our goal is to continue making more of them as quickly as we can and to embrace whatever new technologies come along. So far we’ve been able to integrate every platform we’ve encountered, and we intend to keep going.
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