Located: Orem, Utah
Market: Enterprise Content Management
Products: NetDocuments – Basic, Professional and Enterprise
Key Customers: Kegler Brown, Sterling Futures, Xtreme Mountain Development, National Retail Properties and IPiphany
Community: NetDocuments Community – Marketplace, blogs, forums, channel partners
Blog: NetDocuments SaaS Blog
Facebook: NetDocuments on Facebook
LinkedIn: NetDocuments Group on LinkedIn
I asked Ken Duncan, NetDocument’s Chief Executive Officer a few questions about his business and his view of the SaaS market in 2009.
Did you start out as a Software-as-a-Service company?
NetDocuments started about ten years ago as a single instance and multi-tenant solution. The majority of the company came out of Novell, and had experience with Netware and the Internet. We started with ten principles from Novell and half of them were vice presidents or general managers.
Many of us started out at SoftSolutions Technology which was acquired by WordPerfect and then Novell bought them. SoftSolutions was a document and content management software company using Data General mini computers. Then when we started NetDocuments, the team took their knowledge of document and content management and immediately jumped at the chance to use the Internet.
After the Dot Com crash, we just learned how to survive. Prior to the Crash many Fortune 500 companies who were tired of using traditional content management systems, started to work with a web-based content management systems. That changed after the Crash, they all just went back to their old content management solutions, but we just stuck with it.
Why do your customers buy from NetDocuments?
More than 70% of our customers are either in the legal field or law firms. This was a logal vertical market for NetDocuments to specialize in, because law firms are so document-intensive.
We are the leader in the Internet-base document management based on functionality, features, multiple languages and patented technologies. NetDocuments architecture is not tied to a database, which improves efficiency and performance.
One of our key benefits is a strong and powerful search engine. NetDocuments uses, the Fast Search & Transfer product, which was purchased about a year ago by Microsoft. This was good news for us because Microsoft will support the Fast technology for the long term. Microsoft has now embedded the Fast search engine with their SharePoint products.
It is important for us to keep our customers satisfied and earn their business every month. Whether they pay monthly, quarterly or annually, we need to make our customers successful. We work with all types of law firms, on average they have about 250 users, with offices worldwide. NetDocuments offers a high level of security and availability for our customers using two state-of-the-art data centers.
What do you see as the key trend emerging in the SaaS industry?
Indirect channels are becoming very important to the SaaS industry. The major trend we see is that SaaS now makes it possible for the large industry players like Microsoft, Google and EMC to reach the SMB market much more effectively. Over time these large firms are going to either form partnerships or acquire companies who have figured this out. New ISV’s are not only trying to figure out how to build Software-as-a-Service businesses, but also trying to create compensation plans that drive business for them and their channel partners.
What is your outlook for 2009?
NetDocuments has been doing well during the recession and we have been experiencing double digit growth while still being profitable. The legal market is resilient and we have been able to cherry pick old Interwoven and OpenText customers by offering a better service at a lower cost.