By RICH KEITH, LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Somnio Solutions Inc. — one of the fastest growing companies in the nation — moved headquarters to Four Points several months ago.
The company creates digital sales and marketing tools, such as videos and corporate applications, for Fortune 500 companies.
“Our clients include IBM, HP, Dell, Intel, Fujitsu, Samsung, Cisco, Emerson among other leading brands,” said Harold Valderas, CEO and Steiner Ranch resident for 12 years.
For the second year in a row, Somnio made the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America list, and its 2013 ranking is 2,170. The Austin Business Journal ranked Somnio as the #10 Fastest Growing private company in central Texas in their revenue category. ABJ also ranks Somnio among top twelve largest advertising agencies.
Valderas worked in sales and marketing with high tech companies for many years at Apple Inc. Then in 2002, he set out to build a digital agency along with Somnio’s other senior executives, Garrett Goeters, Chief Operating Officer, and Scott Killingsworth, Chief Financial Officer. All three are long time Steiner residents.
“We saw digital sales and marketing tools were the future. Austin is the perfect place for a digital agency with technology resources and creative resources,” Valderas said.
They started their company in the Riata Business Park near the Arboretum. When they searched for places to move headquarters, Four Points came out on top in lot of the different areas they were measuring. They even got support from employees that didn’t live in Four Points, Valderas said.
So in the spring, Somnio moved their headquarters to a custom, 18,000-square-foot space in the Four Points Centre.
They have 35 employees and expect to staff up to 90 employees at the local offices with account supervisors, digital producers, graphic designers, video producers, 3D animators and copywriters.
“We have some of best and brightest digital artists in Austin,” Valderas said.
Somnio specializes in corporate storytelling using mobile, video and interactive solutions for product launches, trade shows and digital advertising campaigns.
It all starts with asking the right questions, and writing a company’s story into a script. The final form is usually a video, and making the video really speak to customers.
“Project-wise, we do a lot different sales and marketing tools with a new, bleeding edge approach,” Killingsworth said.
One of their challenges is taking complex subjects and figuring out how to convey them. With one project, they created a 3D demo sales tool that can be taken looked at at all sides and taken apart.
“It creates more value for the client with the tool we developed,” Killingsworth said.
Their new Four Points Centre offices are designed to enable open collaboration and use a wide variety of energy efficient and innovative technologies. For example, throughout their offices they installed WiFi-controlled LED lights which can change colors at the touch of a mobile app.
“So when a client such as IBM arrives at Somnio for a meeting, we can change the lighting of our office to “IBM Blue” to make our guests feel right at home,” Valderas said.
Other technologies such as iPad kiosks and Apple TV driven flat screens help create a modern work environment. Somnio offers a wide range of creative services including motion graphics, user experience, 3D, live action video, mobile app solutions and messaging.
In the past year, Somnio has received over 17 national awards for creative design, video production and sales enablement tools. It has received awards for its mobile apps, such as the one for Mary Kay consultants worldwide.
“The challenge is to get the app or the video where the eyeballs are now, and not waiting for them to discover you,” Valderas said.