Kalatech Partners Reflect on Recent Growth and Expanding in 2016

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• January 27, 2016
Melissa Hollis, Partner, Kalatech

Melissa Hollis, Partner, Kalatech

Brittany Wegusen, Kalatech CEO and founder, admits the creation of the company was a very organic process. From her background in the retail industry doing inventory analysis for Abercrombie & Fitch, she learned she had a niche for being the liaison between the business needs and technology needs of a company, and perhaps most importantly, for communicating effectively between the two. She came to Nashville in 2010 and found a home with technology firm DevDigital. From that post, she quickly saw a need to take DevDigital’s booking and touring software, created for specific clients, and license it to other customers. Thus, Kalatech was formed.

Soon after launching a third software product, Publishing Pro, Melissa Hollis was brought on as Partner of Kalatech to help spearhead the company’s growth by tapping into her 12 years of music publishing experience. The Belmont graduate had prior stints that included Larga Vista Music and My Good Girl Music, giving her hands-on experience that helped in Kalatech’s product development.

“I already had a lot of relationships,” shares Hollis. “It allowed me to go in with ease and talk to publishers and ask, ‘What do you want in this product?’ It was much easier for me to relate because I’m one of them.”

Product Specialist Max Black is Kalatech’s third partner and, along with Wegusen and Hollis, has seen the music industry evolve from not being comfortable having its data in the cloud to complete acceptance. And cloud-based data management is a key feature of the company’s product line.

Wegusen adds, “This is a kind of race where no one wants to be the last one to adopt the cloud. No one wants to be the last one to jump or to be that person sitting in their office not able to be mobile when everybody else in the industry is mobile.”

The company’s focus centers around three software products: booking, touring and publishing. Booking Agency Pro caters to agencies and allows anyone who books artists to manage the process via the program. Clients range from single users to larger agencies such as Artist Group International. Users span more than 20 states as well as international locales such as London and Canada. kalatechlogo

Touring Pro is a detailed logistics management tool, which counts among its users touring professionals that have been a part of outings for Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, and Luke Bryan. Hollis states, “The differentiator of our tour logistics product from others is that ours is one hundred percent cloud-based. Anyone from the assistant production manager to the bus driver can have access. If something were to happen to your laptop, you can simply jump on a phone, pull it up, and see your guest list. You have no down time, which is important on tours.”

Publishing Pro 2.0 is geared toward publishers and copyright owners and allows users to manage songs, pitches and administration. Hollis says, “A typical customer is the [music] publisher themselves. It’s a creative catalog manager. You play from it and you pitch from it. That’s kind of the simplistic way of describing it. The software allows you to take your entire catalog with you at all times. And if you need to pitch something standing in the middle of a bar, it’s all accessible.” The redesign of the software, which launched this month, took client feedback into consideration.

The revamped product features an improved user interface and added functionality, including multiple audio versions per song title, personal playlists, improved sync placement pitches, and the ability to add components such as bios and photos to accompany song pitches.

Hollis boasts, “We’ve amplified this program to be more pitch-friendly and in that sense when you are pitching for syncs, adding your tags, bios and sending images or documents, is a one-step process. There’s also an admin view in the program where administrators log in and are not bothered with the audio or anything they don’t need. They don’t have to wait on someone to call or email them back. They log in, get what they need, and go.”

With more than 200 users and approximately 25,000 songs, Publishing Pro touts Parallel Music, HoriPro, Curb Music Publishing, and Magic Mustang among its clients.

With the growth over the last five years, Kalatech sees 2016 as a year to capitalize on the design and development of its three products, and to expand its customer base.

Wegusen states, “We’re ready to make big moves this year. I think when we started, between the three of us, we were like, ‘If we can make our clients’ lives better, and I can make sure that we have enough money to pay Melissa, Max, and myself, life is good.’ Now we’re seeing how useful these products are and seeing how much they benefit our clients and how much time it saves them, and we really want to just explode in 2016.”

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Sherod Robertson is President and Owner of MusicRow Enterprises. He oversees all operations and develops strategic initiatives for MusicRow magazine, RowFax, and MusicRow's CountryBreakout chart. Robertson previously served as Director of Finance of Arista Records after beginning his career as Vice President of Finance and CFO at Reunion Records.

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