Founder Feature

  • Founder: Zohar Babin, Managing Director of VPaaS, Ecosystem and Community
  • Company: Kaltura
  • Employees: 250+
  • Stage: Growth

About Kaltura

Kaltura is the world's first Open Source Online Video Platform, providing both enterprise level commercial software and services, fully supported and maintained by Kaltura, as well as free open-source community supported solutions, for video publishing, management, syndication and monetization.

Zohar Babin, Kaltura

About Zohar Babin
Zohar’s personal mission is to make media accessible across industries and to maximize its impact in daily life. With deep experience throughout the IT space, ranging from R&D to coding, product, strategy and more, he currently leads the product marketing, ecosystem and community group for Kaltura’s video platform as a service, the cloud platform for all video experiences and media workflows.

What is your most valuable piece of advice for new startups as they shop for tools and services?
Over our almost nine years, we’ve used many different tools at various stages. Some were not good, and were mainly chosen for price, while others were better and have become tools that we absolutely can’t live without. Choose the tools that are right for your stage. Don't be afraid of data migration down the line, but be prepared for it to happen. Tools can make or break your processes and can even frustrate employees and customers, so it’s crucial to use the right ones for your stage, business needs, team and culture.

Which tools do you believe have the power to “make or break your processes”? 
Any tool that deals with your day-to-day operations should be as smooth and seamless as possible. As a director, I spend time thinking about how to remove barriers to collaboration and openness. I want my team to be empowered for creative thinking, and to be able to execute without worrying about processes and bureaucracy. Processes are crucial for smooth operation, so long as they don’t become barriers to execution and a hindrance to efficiency.

Which tools does Kaltura rely on most for its day-to-day operations?
At the top of our list are: Salesforce (sales ops and support), Marketo (marketing), GitHub (development and community), JIRA (development), Confluence (cross-company knowledge), Clarizen (professional services), Kaltura (knowledge, social, training, support, marketing) and Drupal (public websites).

What about tools that help with data management?
Data integrity is a critical topic for startups. Startups, by nature, are chaotic; it is easy to grow fast and lose sight of areas like knowledge management, sales quotes and support tracking. Choosing the right tools for these tasks will help you keep things organized, especially data that will be crucial to your future growth. Keeping data accessible and transparent across the organization will also help you uncover ideas and trends in unexpected places.

Are there any tools you wish you had started using sooner?
Yes--collaboration tools are so important. When we started, there weren’t as many collaboration tools as today, and we grew somewhat fragmented between teams--especially since we have offices and partners around the world, and many remote employees. We have started using more tools like Confluence and Slack, which have helped reduce emails and make it easy to share knowledge. Starting over, I would have collaboration tools set up from day one to facilitate non-email-based team collaboration, knowledge management and smooth processes.

How much of a factor was cost for you as you were selecting tools and services for Kaltura?
Cost-savings versus efficiency of processes is an important topic that evolves over time, depending on a company’s resources and complexity of processes. We almost always default to finding the best-priced tool, but that’s not always the best solution, so then we really need to evaluate price versus ROI. I would warn any team against using tools that are prone to instability just to save money--especially tools that relate to team collaboration, support, community and development. Such instability will cost you big time in the long run.

What’s an example of a tool that you decided to pay top dollar for, even though you could have gone for a cheaper option?
Salesforce. It’s certainly not the cheapest tool around, and since we’re a very technical bunch, we could have set up an open source alternative But building our own CRM platform would have meant a great deal of IT overhead on data that is the lifeblood of the organization. We decided to go with Salesforce because it’s a trusted cloud solution that streamlines sales operations, while enabling us to focus development and IT resources on our core business.

Follow Zohar and Kaltura here: @zohar@Kaltura

Want to learn what tools Kaltura is using?