Inside Look


Sunday July 5 2020

Deputy are Pulling out Big Tech Solutions for the Non Tech Market


Written by Stephanie O'Brien

August 15, 2017

When we think of tech businesses, often success metrics would include time on app or time on site.

What about technology for non-tech customers? Platforms which measure success based on keeping customers time on site to a minimum, while delivering maximum value.

This is the quest at Deputy.

Sydney based Deputy co-founder Ashik Ahmed built the company as a staff management solution for one small business. His now co-founder, Steve Shelley asked him to build a solution to help with the workforce side of running his business.

Many small business owners lack the people management skills to scale and keep a workforce engaged, particularly the management of hourly paid workers, take the hospitality industry as an example. This is where Deputy realised their opportunity; they automate this process.

“The solution I was able to build for Steve made such a difference, the team grew from 2 to 2,000 and our founding vision was to take that solution to every other business owner in the world.”

Building tech for the non-tech customer

Building a solution for non-tech customers means UX is key, and that requires the muscle of some big tech.

Since the beginning of 2017, they have doubled the tech team from fifteen to thirty-two. New and existing staff will concentrate their efforts on their product offering.

A look inside the platform

One-third of Deputy users access the platform through the web, the other two-thirds on mobile apps.

“Given we are a product for the hourly paid market, if somebody had to go sit in front of a computer to get value out of this, it is already a failure.” says Ashik.

The second area the team focus on is time, many tech companies look at increasing this number, Ashik thinks the other way round. “If they are stuck doing scheduling for a whole day, then probably we’re not adding value to the business.”

To make this happen, the team have invested in Machine learning, take setting up as a user for an example, rather than an average 200 clicks (that’s right, we make 200 clicks per sign up on average), the team have used tech to make recommendations based on previous behaviour that eliminates a lot of the more tedious tasks users face.

“The machine itself continuously learns about what you do, what you have done in the past and what users similar to you have done in the past; so that you can do less in the future,” explains Ashik.

Global goals

Since launching in 2008, the team has grown to over 100 employees and selling worldwide to 43,000 different businesses in 73 different countries using their platform.

On the company’s success to date, Ashik says “We started Deputy because we wanted to make a difference in one business owner’s life and it is great to see that we are making a difference with thousands of other business owners and employees.”

Their goal is to continue this work to support the growth of every business around the world.


Written by Stephanie O'Brien

August 15, 2017

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