Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Friday, May 24th, 2013
Fenwick & West , a law firm providing comprehensive legal services to high technology and life science clients, in its First Quarter 2013 Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey.
The survey analyzed the valuations and terms of venture financings for 118 technology and life science companies headquartered in the Silicon Valley that raised capital in the first quarter of 2013.
“During the first quarter of 2013, up rounds exceeded down rounds 68% to 11%, with 21% flat. This was a slight decline from the fourth quarter of 2012, when up rounds exceeded down rounds 71% to 8%, with 21% flat,” said Barry Kramer, partner in the Corporate Group of Fenwick & West and co-author of the survey.
An up round is one in which the price per share at which a company sells its stock has increased since its prior financing round. Conversely, a down round is one in which the price per share has declined since a company’s prior financing round.
However, the Fenwick & West Venture Capital Barometer – which measures the percentage change in share price of companies funded during the quarter compared with the share price of their previous financing round – showed a 57% average price increase for the quarter, a noticeable decline from the 85% reported in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Similarly, the median price increase of those financings was only 14%, a significant decrease from the 41% recorded in the fourth quarter.
“The Barometer results showed some valuation softening this quarter,” said Kramer. “We will need to see next quarter if this is an anomaly or a trend.”
“The best performing industries in the quarter from a valuation perspective were internet/digital media and software, but hardware and cleantech did reasonably well, with only life science performing poorly,” added Michael Patrick, partner in the Corporate Groupof Fenwick & West and co-author of the survey.
“At the big picture level, it was a tough quarter for the venture environment, with venture investing, acquisitions and IPOs all down compared to the last quarter of 2012. And while valuations were reasonably healthy this quarter, they declined from last quarter.
But with the macro environment appearing to stabilize, and Nasdaq up both in the first quarter and second quarter to date, there is reason to believe that the venture environment will improve,” added Patrick.
Complete results of the survey with related discussion are posted on Fenwick & West’s website at www.fenwick.com/vcsurvey.
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
Cloud computing is exceeding expectations. According to The TechInsights Report 2013: Cloud Succeeds. Now What? commissioned by CA Technologies (NASDAQ:CA), respondents indicate the cloud has moved beyond adolescence and is on the path to maturity in the enterprise.
Survey participants—IT decision makers that have implemented cloud services for at least one year—reported they are achieving better results, faster deployments and lower costs than expected as a result of cloud computing implementations.
Luth Research and Vanson Bourne conducted the survey on behalf of CA Technologies to learn how cloud computing is being used, problems or successes encountered, and how its use changed as IT teams gained more experience.
The report confirms that cloud computing is not only delivering on its major promises of saving money and speeding time-to-market, but also exceeding expectations.
This somewhat contradicts some other reports we’ve seen at the TechJournal that suggest some firms are having troubles implementing cloud solutions – often due to lack of in-house expertise.
Meeting or exceeding expectations
The vast majority of respondents reported their cloud implementations met or exceeded expectations across service models including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Experienced cloud users also shed light on the evolving nature of the cloud, and how their objectives and requirements for success change as they advance along the cloud adoption curve.
“Going in, we expected the results to be much more balanced between successes and challenges across a variety of deployments and service models,” said John Michelsen, chief technology officer, CA Technologies. “Surprisingly, survey respondents were pleased with their cloud computing initiatives, which validates that the cloud is not just a fad, and instead they are focusing on making the most of it to drive innovation, speed and performance.”
Though the overall study results were generally consistent across US and Europe, the length of experience and overall intended objectives for cloud differ. The US leads Europe in terms of years of experience, with 55 percent reporting three or more years of cloud use, compared to only 20 percent of European respondents.
The majority (79 percent) of European IT decision makers have implemented cloud computing for one to two (41 percent) or two to three (38 percent) years.
In terms of intended benefits, while cost savings continues to be a priority, increased speed of innovation rose to the top for more experienced organizations. When asked to name their top three objectives across IaaS, PaaS and SaaS deployments, Europeans most often selected “reduced total costs,” while US respondents noted “increased speed of innovation” and “superior IT performance/scalability/resiliency.”
In fact, cost reduction did not even make the list of the top three objectives in the US. One cloud provider told the TechJournal that often costs go up with cloud use because companies use it more than they expected to.
“As enterprises advance in their adoption of cloud, the desired outcomes evolve, as well,” said Michelsen. “Cost is often considered an early benefit – or even a required result – in order for IT teams to justify moving in the direction of the cloud. Once they show that cloud computing improves the bottom line, they can shift their focus to innovation and other objectives, such as increased performance and enhanced security.”
Additional notable results include:
- Larger organizations are leading the way:
- They have been in the cloud longer (93 percent that report using cloud for four or more years have revenues of $1 billion or more), and;
- They are more likely to be using all three types of cloud services (79 percent of those using IaaS, PaaS and SaaS together in their organizations have revenues of $1 billion or more).
- Security remains a contradiction:
- Nearly all respondents (98 percent) agree that the cloud met or exceeded their expectations for security across IaaS, PaaS and SaaS.
- Nearly one-third indicated “security has been less of an issue than originally thought” when asked to share their primary reasons for success with cloud computing.
- Yet, security was cited as the number one reason that an application is not moved into the cloud by nearly half of respondents (46 percent).
- Cloud spending plans increase at a faster rate for IT decision makers with more experience:
- Companies using cloud computing for four or more years are almost six times more likely (34 percent compared to 6 percent) to report that they are increasing cloud spending by more than 30 percent in 2013.
- US respondents plan to increase spending on cloud at a higher rate than their European counterparts, with 48 percent planning to increase spending up to 30 percent, and 17 percent more than 30 percent; versus 42 percent and 4 percent for European respondents, respectively.
- Overall cloud spending is expected to stay about the same or increase for the majority of respondents (95 percent across US and Europe).
- Experienced cloud users recognize the need for IT management to ensure future success:
- Respondents that have been using cloud computing for longer, or have used multiple types of cloud, identified the following IT management capabilities as critical to their success:
- End-to-end service automation,
- Service-level management across both cloud and non-cloud environments, and,
- The ability to switch between cloud service providers.
Monday, May 20th, 2013
The business process management (BPM) and middleware market grew 3.6% year over year to $18.8 billion in 2012 with growth underperforming compared with that of the previous two years.
New research from International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that the slow growth in 2012 was only partially caused by poor macroeconomic conditions – the failure of large vendors to deliver products that met the growing appetite for public cloud significantly contributed to their growth problems.
“A large factor in slow growth across BPM and middleware was the failure of large vendors to deliver PaaS offerings that met the growing appetite for cloud-based automation,” said Maureen Fleming, Vice President of IDC’s BPM and Middleware research programs. “Cloud was the single biggest factor separating market share gainers from share losers.”
Other key findings from this research include:
- Among the four tiers of growth, the top tier grew 58.7% to $992.4 million in aggregate revenue in 2012. Of that, 80% of revenue came from public platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings. While only accounting for 5.3% of the total market, this tier generated more net-new revenue than the three additional tiers combined.
- The slowest-growing tier accounted for $12.7 billion – 67.5% of the market – and collectively generated negative net-new revenue in 2012. About 8% of revenue was attributed to cloud. This tier was represented by the largest BPM and middleware vendors.
- 2012 also signaled growing demand for newer, higher-performance messaging centered in the Internet of Things and for mobile and partner integration via APIs, requiring API management.
The study, Worldwide Business Process Management and Middleware Vendor Shares (IDC #240986) examines the business process management and middleware market for the period from 2008 to 2012. Worldwide market size is provided for 2012, with trends from 2008. Revenue and market share of the leading vendors are provided for 2012 as well as details about the impact of cloud offerings on growth.
Thursday, April 25th, 2013
Erik Muendel, CEO, Creative Director of Brightline Interactive.
By Allan Maurer
If you’re designing an onsite digital game or activity for an event, what’s the first thing you have to remember about usability?
“Keep it simple,” says Erik Muendel, CEO and creative director of Alexandria, VA-based Brightline Interactive. It designs, produces, promotes, and installs fun social machines and digital experiences for national brands and agencies at sporting and entertainment events, mobile tours, museums, retail stores, lobbies, and conventions.
You have to remember that you only have your audience for a few seconds or minutes at such events. “They don’t want clever navigation or a ton of information. They want an experience. So you have to distill that experience down.”Brightline Interactive maps out every phase of consumer interaction with its “experiences,” Muendel says.
What they do to capture these busy, moving targets, is of value to anyone thinking about usability design. So Muendel will join more than 100 other digital thought-leaders, executives from brands such as Google, Twitter, AOL, Adobe, NASCAR, and many others at the upcoming Digital Summit in Atlanta May 14-15 to talk about just that.
Mapping out the experience
When Brightline plans out its experiences, he says, first they consider “The initial attraction. What catches the eye and how long that takes.”
Then, they consider how long instructions showing how to do the activity requires, followed by the activity itself and finally post-activity, which encourages users to share something from the experience and/or provide personal information such as an email address.
“We’re developing content to be shared or to capture data from the consumer,” Muendel says. “Those are the ultimate goals. We back design the interface to highlight that goal.”
They consider factors such as the best placements and strategies for bringing out certain features and placing buttons. “We focus the consumer on one or two selections to lead them through the activity. Then we layer in the brand.”
Keeping it on brand
Brightline Interactive strives to provide a unique experience while keeping the message on brand. “It’s a fun challenge,” Muendel says.
Meeting the challenge leads up to some entertaining and memorable event experiences. At the recent Final Four Basketball tournament, for instance, they developed a “Twitter balloon.” The more people tweeted, the more air was fed into a large balloon that would explode when a final tweet filled it to bursting.
“People had to enter their information and Twitter account to play. People really loved it. They went wild when the balloon popped. The winner received a phone.”
The client received all that consumer information. These “experiences” are effective at getting people to give up that information, Muendel notes.
At South by Southwest, the company did a “social booth” for Dorritos. People would select their favorite flavor, have a photo taken with it and share it on Facebook. The photos were then pulled into a concert display on the stage for a “big payoff.”
Tips for getting and keeping attention
Muendel has several tips for capturing attention and keeping it:
Number one? “You always need something in motion,” he says. “You never want activity stagnant. Keep things fluid but not annoying. That’s the key.”
Next: “Give them some sort of audio element to get their attention and lead them through the experience. You can have crappy graphics, but if you have amazing audio, you’ll still have a good experience.”
Finally, he suggests: “Give them something they’re not expecting.” One way of doing that is to personalize the experience. “If they use their name or Facebook connection, we’ll pull in that data and use it,” says Muendel. “You can also personalize the experience so they’re interacting (via a gesture or sensor) in ways they haven’t done before. ”
Twenty-employee Brightline Interactive is located in Alexandria, VA, just outside DC. Founded in 2004 it’s self-funded, but may consider venture capital in six months for a possible spin-off venture.
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
A new survey shows significant differences in the way Millennials think, compared to older users of the Internet, when it comes to online privacy, access to personal data and how they share information with businesses online. It’s probably no big surprise, but younger users of digital media care less about their privacy than in getting something in return for shared personal information.
The survey, conducted by the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future and Bovitz Inc., reveals a “Millennial Rift” — distinct differences in online behavior and core values among Millennials (ages 18-34) compared to other users, many of whom are only a few years older.
Millennials, the survey found, report more willingness to allow access to their personal data or web behavior and a greater interest in cooperating with Internet businesses — as long as they receive tangible benefits in return.
“Online privacy is dead — Millennials understand that, while older users have not adapted,” said Jeffrey I. Cole , director of theUSC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future. “Millennials recognize that giving up some of their privacy online can provide benefits to them. This demonstrates a major shift in online behavior — there’s no going back.”
The survey found that compared to Internet users age 35 and older, larger percentages of Millennials report:
- More enthusiasm about sharing their personal information with online businesses
- Greater receptivity to targeted advertising when their personal information is involved
- More willingness to trade personal information in exchange for relevant advertising
- Greater likelihood that they allow access to their personal data or information on their web behavior – as long as they receive concrete benefits in return
- Much larger numbers of online contacts and greater use of social networking
Millennials: different perceptions of privacy
The survey found a large percentage of Millennials – and an even larger percentage of users age 35 and older – are uncomfortable with others having access to their personal data online or information about their web behavior. When asked about the statement, “No one should ever be allowed to have access to my personal data or web behavior,” 70 percent of Millennials agreed, compared with 77 percent of users 35 and older.
However, in spite of those views, significant percentages of Millennials compared to those age 35 and older are willing to give up some of that privacy – if they benefit from it.
Most will share location
When asked if they would share their location with companies in order to receive coupons or deals for nearby businesses, 56 percent of Millennials agreed, compared to 42 percent of users 35 and older. And when asked if they would share information with companies “as long as I get something in return,” 51 percent of Millennials agreed, compared to 40 percent of those age 35 and older.
“We are seeing a whole new set of values driving Millennials in their behavior online,” said Greg Bovitz , president of Bovitz Inc. “The fact that Millennials are willing to part with personal information creates new opportunities for businesses to develop marketing models that capitalize on the wants of this generation of Internet users.”
Millennials are also more receptive than older users to accepting targeted advertising when their personal information is required. When asked about the statement, “I’m ok with trading some of my personal information in exchange for more relevant advertising,” 25 percent of Millennials agreed, compared to 19 percent of Internet users age 35 and older.
“Millennials think differently when it comes to online privacy,” said Elaine B. Coleman , managing director of media and emerging technologies for Bovitz. “It’s not that they don’t care about it — rather they perceive social media as an exchange or an economy of ideas, where sharing involves participating in smart ways.
“Millennials say, ‘I’ll give up some personal information if I get something in return,’” said Coleman. “For older users, sharing is a function of trust — ‘the more I trust, the more I am willing to share.’”
Millennials: more online contacts, more social networking use
Related findings from the annual survey by the Center for the Digital Future also reveal that Millennials are more active on social networks compared to non-Millennials.
The survey also found that Millennials regularly contact many more people through social networking than users over 35 do. The average number of people whom Millennials regularly contact through social networking sites is 18, compared to only five for users over age 35.
Millennials are also more frequent users of social networking sites than older users; almost half of Millennials (48 percent) visit social networking websites several times a day, compared to only 20 percent of users age 35 and older.
Monday, April 8th, 2013
Have you ever helped a company develop a logo? It can be a tiring process of looking at dozens of fonts, graphics, and colors.
But at some point, every firm has to do it, including startups.
Here’s an infographic looking at dos and don’ts, top logo designers, top fonts used, and what colors in a logo suggest:
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
Here’s some impressive numbers that should give mobile advertisers a buzz: BIA/Kelsey, advisor to companies in the local media industry, forecasts U.S. mobile local advertising revenues to grow from $1.2 billion in 2012 to $9.1 billion in 2017, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 49.3 percent.
This corresponds to a 0.9 percent share of local media ad revenues in 2012, growing to a 6.1 percent share in 2017, according to the firm’s recently released U.S. Local Media Forecast (2012-2017).
BIA/Kelsey’s projected mobile local ad revenues represent a subset of total U.S. mobile ad spending, which the firm forecasts to grow from $3.2 billion in 2012 to $16.8 billion in 2017.
Localized share at 38 percent
This puts locally targeted mobile ads at 38 percent of overall U.S. mobile ad spending in 2012, growing to 54 percent in 2017. Several factors will drive the “localized” share of U.S. mobile ad revenues, including:
- Large brand advertisers will increasingly adapt their campaign objectives to the capabilities of the mobile device due to effective, abundant, and currently undervalued mobile local ad inventory.
- Mobile advertising will move down market to the SMB segment through a combination of self-serve tools and local media direct sales channels.
- Premiums that develop for location-targeted ads will compound ad volume growth.
- Innovation will increase among ad networks and ad tech providers (i.e., Enhanced Campaigns).
“Though inventory growth currently outpaces advertiser demand, we believe the latter will begin to accelerate,” said Michael Boland , senior analyst and director of content, BIA/Kelsey.
“This will not only increase overall mobile ad spend, but mobile ad rates such as CPMs and CPCs, which are currently lower than desktop equivalents, due to inventory oversupply.”
Mobile Local Media Forecast by Format
This forecast comprises advertising placed in mobile search, display, video and commercial SMS. Search advertising currently holds the largest share, followed by display and SMS. Search’s dominant share indexes higher within this localized segment than within the broader of U.S. mobile ad revenue total, due to the high correlation between mobile search and local user intent.
There is conversely a lower percentage of localization within the display category, due to the branding (as opposed to direct response) and reach-driven objectives inherent in display campaigns (i.e., in-app ads).
The forecast includes a breakdown of mobile local ad spending by format as follows:
- Display (display advertising applied to app and mobile Web inventory) will grow from $379 million in 2012 to $2.7 billion in 2017
- Search (text advertising applied to search queries on mobile devices) will grow from $704 million in 2012 to $5.7 billion in 2017
- SMS (commercial SMS messaging) will grow from $101 million in 2012 to $162 million in 2017
- Video (rich media ad units distributed within app and mobile web inventory) will grow from $38 million in 2012 to $515 millio
Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
Whether it is the use of smartphones, laptops or tablets, a recent survey by CommScope shows that mobile devices are playing a larger part as game changers in today’s businesses, as enterprise IT managers struggle to keep pace with mobility’s dramatic effects on workplace productivity and requirements.
Meanwhile, cloud-based IT services and applications also have grabbed the attention of those responsible for enterprise networks, according to the CommScope study. While nearly three-fourths of respondents confirmed they already are deploying some cloud-based applications, the shift to the cloud is far from slowing.
The seventh edition of the CommScope Global Enterprise Survey, released today, found that enterprise mobility and cloud services beat out infrastructure intelligence, 40/100GbE and green power initiatives as the top challenges facing company networks around the world. More than 1,100 IT professionals from 63 nations participated in the tri-annual research.
The survey found a noticeable gap between usage of mobile devices within enterprise facilities and the capability of those buildings to enable wireless traffic. According to the survey, an average of 43 percent of all phone calls originating within an enterprise facility involves a mobile phone, yet only 30 percent of these businesses say their carrier-provided in-building signal coverage and capacity are sufficient to handle the mobile traffic.
This had more than three-quarters of respondents admitting that employees had to roam around the office, or even go outside, to get an adequate signal for a call.
BYOD a growing trend
“It’s clear from the survey that bring-your-own-device is a growing trend and places a heavy demand on organizational infrastructure, while weighing heavily on the minds of most network IT professionals,” said Kevin St. Cyr, senior vice president, Enterprise Solutions at CommScope.
“The pace of mobility adoption by consumers—and thus the workforce and company visitors—has outrun the infrastructure and practices in place within enterprise facilities to support it. This also factors heavily into the uptick in a majority of survey respondents confirming deployment of cloud-based applications.”
Key findings from the CommScope Global Enterprise Survey include:
- Enterprise mobility: Forty-four percent of surveyed participants see the widespread use of mobile technology as a game-changer. About a third of respondents reported having a distributed antenna system (DAS) deployed on site to support the indoor wireless traffic, while another 36 percent reported no capability to provide adequate indoor mobile coverage or capacity.
- Cloud services: Forty-four percent of surveyed respondents also pointed to cloud services as a top game-changer and expect that importance to grow. While 21 percent currently rely on cloud technology to run more than half of their applications, 52 percent believe that by 2017 more than half of their applications will reside off-site in the cloud.
- 40GbE and 100GbE: Nearly a third of respondents indicated that 40GbE and 100GbE would have a significant impact on their future operations, with a majority citing the emergence of laser-optimized multimode. There was also consensus among the respondents as to their installation strategies for future data centers. Sixty-one percent of operators favored a pre-terminated data center solution as opposed to a field-terminated solution.
- Infrastructure intelligence: Nearly one in three of surveyed participants mentioned the need for intelligent infrastructure as an IT infrastructure game-changer. The key driver, cited in 61 percent of the surveys, is the increasing demand for greater productivity.
- Green, reliable power: Energy usage is still near the top of many respondents’ minds. One-fourth of respondents indicated that energy and green initiatives would be a game-changer over the next five years. On average, respondents are looking to reduce energy consumption by 18 percent; their strategies involve server virtualization, consolidations and cloud computing.
“We are trying to capture what’s important to IT managers, and the impact of trends in network planning and connectivity on the jobs they do,” said St. Cyr. “This survey is part of our ongoing commitment to fully understand our customers’ needs while getting a better perspective on how they view and manage their evolving enterprise networks and data centers.”
To view/download a copy of the report, click here:
Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
If content marketing is king, it’s acting like one who just took the throne: it is taking a larger and larger share than the previous engines of marketing- public relations, paper-based media, television and radio advertising.
A Cambridge Internet marketing software solution provider conducted a survey last year of nearly 400 B2B marketing professionals, and found that marketers tend to use more and more content marketing instead of traditional marketing.
According to this B2B marketing trends survey report, the amount of professionals that advertise using content marketing is twice than do that in print media, TV and radio.
This series by Boostsuite that the TechJournal ran last year is excellent for getting a handle on how to make your content marketing effective. The last of the series on picking the best keywords, has links to the others in the series.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing includes both original content and a release. You can release the content through a blog, case study, white paper, video or photo; the main purpose is to attract customers, increase brand awareness and showcase the company’s expertise.
Examples include entrepreneurs who use blogs to share experiences and celebrities who play on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.
The survey shows that 82 % of B2B marketing professionals will use content marketing, 70% will use search marketing, 68% will use event marketing, 64% will use public relations and 32% will use paper, TV and radio advertising.
The results of the questionnaire show that the goal of 78% of the respondents is to use marketing to promote sales and their brand’s image, 28% say that the main goal is to increase traffic and 24% say that the main goal is to optimize search results.
Why is content marketing fascinating?
Because through content marketing the establishment of a brand’s image can transform a fascinating prospect and the cost is not high.
Half of the professionals in the survey said that content marketing only cost less than 1/3 of their overall marketing budget, and they believe most of the potential customers are staying online, so content marketing that is Internet-based will be more effective than offline marketing.
In addition, the planning process of content marketing is the process of finding, organization and sharing content, so content planners will also face related problems. 70% of the people in the survey say that they feel that the time is not enough.
Sixty-six percent of planners feel that there is a lack of originality and high quality content and 38% of the planners said they did not know how to measure the effect of content marketing. 37% of planners said a shortage of manpower was their main problem.
Finally, though the implementation process along with the emerging new requirements, content marketing will only become more and more popular; whether you are business-oriented, or for the general public, its importance will only increase.
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
The U.S. IPO market surged in the early part of 2013, although the housing market recovery has bumped technology down and given the real estate sector a boost.
In overall equity capital markets volume, the US exchanges continue to dominate the globe, driving the most deal activity. According to Ernst & Young’sGlobal IPO update– 24 IPOs have gone effective in Q1, raising more than $6.7 billion in proceeds.
The Ernst & Young U.S. IPO Pipeline Analysis indicates an additional 9 IPOs, which are scheduled to price before quarter end, will raise $1.8 billion and will be on par with the 33 IPOs which raised $8.7 billion in Q4.
As the U.S. housing market continues to see recovery, the real estate sector is dominating, bumping technology down, and boasting 18 IPOs that raised $11.0 billion.
Returns have been strong
IPO returns for Q1 have also been strong with the 24 effective IPOs having an average of 12.7 percent return on the first day of trading compared with the 9.96 percent YTD total return for the S&P 500 index.
In a recent EY survey of institutional investors, they have responded in an overwhelming show of faith as 82 percent globally have invested in pre-IPO and IPO stocks in the past 12 months compared with only 18 percent in the past two to three years.
“There have already been far more IPOs than we anticipated in 2013. I think we are finally seeing a level of confidence return to the markets after a tumultuous few months following the U.S election and the fiscal cliff,” said Herb Engert , Strategic Growth Markets Practice Leader for Ernst & Young LLP.
“We’re seeing positive signs for the IPO window to stay open. The Dow Jones industrial average hit an all time high earlier this month and investors look optimistically to the U.S. markets. In fact, over 50 percent of institutional investors rank the U.S. as a top three investment destination, and I expect that mindset to continue.”
For Q2 and the remainder of 2013 stability is key – a strong, steady stock market and potential clarity on tax hikes could make for a very solid IPO market this year.
North American institutional investors cited the prospect of stabilization in macro-economic conditions as their number one concern for positive market sentiment at 65 percent followed by more stable equity markets at 61 percent and brighter corporate earnings outlook at 57 percent.
However, there are still concerns around the stability of the European economy which continues to hinder global recovery.
Also, the number of new public registrants has been trending up. The IPO pipeline, clouded by the confidential filers, saw 25 new registrations enter into the public IPO pipeline since the first of the year, seven in January, 14 in February and four in March thus far; a strong indication that companies are lining up to access the capital markets while the IPO window is still open.
Pricing playing a big role
Pricing will also play a big role in IPO momentum. North American investors cite attractive pricing as the top success factor for an IPO at 90 percent while overpricing ranks as the top challenge at 85 percent.
IPO valuation is driven by market confidence in the ability of a company’s management team to execute their business plan and consistently deliver strong investor returns.
There is no denying that investor confidence can be affected by market or industry volatility and economic uncertainty. But, there is always room in the market for companies with attractive pricing, a good management team, and the ability to clearly explain their business proposition to investors.
“The U.S. market environment in 2013 has presented a window of opportunity for IPOs, and we expect at least 9 more companies to go public before the quarter closes” said Jackie Kelley , Americas IPO Leader, for the global Ernst & Young organization.
“Equity markets are reaching new highs, and valuations are very attractive. We expect continued investment in IPOs through 2013 given investors’ positive sentiment towards public listings. The key question of timing will depend on when pre-IPO companies are ready to meet investors’ terms and expectations and if the price is right.”
The year should be active from a PE perspective as sentiment is rapidly improving and PE-backed IPOs have performed well. Currently, there is a significant backlog of companies in the “PE portfolio,” many of which were acquired over the 2006-2007 timeframe.
Nonetheless, PE firms have been highly disciplined and opportunistic in their exit strategies, and that should continue to be the case. There is also a significant pipeline of PE-backed companies waiting to IPO. Through March 15th, there were more than 48 PE-backed companies in active registration that could potentially raise more than $9.0 billion.
While the window is open, firms will IPO, but to the extent that increased volatility starts to drag valuations, firms will explore alternatives – through sales to strategics, secondary buyouts, and in particular through the credit markets, which are extremely open and can allow PE firms to achieve some liquidity for their LPs.
Venture-backed IPOs trending down
In the U.S, PE-backed IPOs are on the rise with six deals going public already this year raising $1.4 billion. In 2012, the U.S. saw 68 PE-backed IPOs go public raising $14.5 billion.
Venture Capital backed IPOs on the other hand have trended down during the past few years yet better exits and returns of late suggest the slump in fundraising could be over for VC in 2013.
An uptick in VC inflows this year would obviously not be enough to reverse the recent declining trend; however, an improvement would bolster investor confidence and prospects for future capital raising.
At TechMedia’s recent Southeast Venture Conference in Charlotte, several venture capitalists noted that most companies should expect to exit via a merger or acquisition rather than an IPO.
Year-over-year pipeline comparison chart or table:
|# of companies in the Pipeline
||Total dollar amount in the Pipeline $bn
||Average deal size in the Pipeline $mm
||# of U.S. IPOs that went public in the quarter
|End of Q1 2011
|End of Q1 2012
|Q1 2013 as of March 19, 2013
Q1 2013 figures are as of Mar 19, 2013
The Q1 Review:
Twenty five new registrations entered into the public IPO pipeline through March 19, 2013. Five of the 25 new registrants were cross border listings-a trend we expect to continue due to strong performance in the U.S. capital markets.
Withdrawn and postponed IPOs continued to slow with four companies withdrawing from the pipeline at the end of Q1 compared with five that withdrew just in the month of December 2012. The Dow Jones industrial average hit an all time high in March, and IPOs were also gaining higher returns, maintaining the institutional investor support.
Notable Q1 companies that priced include:
- Zoetis Inc, an animal health unit spinoff from Pfizer raised more than $2.6 billion
- CVR Refining LP, a spinoff from CVR Energy raised $690 million
- Norwegian Cruise Line raised $514 million
A sector breakdown of the 99 IPOs currently in the pipeline shows that:
- 18 are in Real Estate, raising $11.0 billion
- 14 are in Life Sciences raising $1.7 billion
- 11 are in Technology raising $1.1 billion
- 10 are in Oil & Gas, raising $2.7 billion.
Financial Services and Consumer Products / Retail round out the other top sectors in the pipeline raising $1.3 billion and $1.6 billion, respectively. Together, the top sectors for new IPO registrations – Real Estate, Life Sciences, Technology and Oil & Gas — account for 53 of the 99 registrations.
Regionally, the Northeast leads deal volume with 25 companies seeking $8 billion; followed by the West with 21 companies seeking $3.3 billion; and the Southwest with 17 firms seeking $3.6 billion.
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
By Allan Maurer
Need to fill out that venture round and get a decision in two weeks from a potential co-investor? Correlation Ventures may be just the ticket if your company scores well when it runs its predictive analytics algorithm.
“We’re looking to diversify our portfolio by geography, sector, and stage,” says Trevor Kienzie. Correlation invests in firms that already have a new lead venture firm in a round.
As a founder and Managing Director of Correlation Ventures, Trevor helps lead the firm, manages its Bay Area office, and leads its Information Technology, Consumer, and Business Services investment practices.
Correlation Ventures describes itself as a new breed of venture capital firm, leveraging world-class analytics to offer entrepreneurs and other venture capitalists a dramatically better option when they are seeking additional capital to complete a financing round. Backed by leading institutional investors, Correlation has more than $165 million under management. It is the first VC firm to use a predictive analytics model rather than repeating a lead investor’s due diligence to co invest in rounds.
The ideal co-investor
“We founded Correlation Ventures to be the ideal co-investor. To that end, we keep it incredibly simple. We make investment decisions in two weeks or less. We don’t take board seats. We’re flexible on investment size, and we offer reliability and transparency about reserves and our intention to follow in future financings,” Kienzie and his partners explain on the firm’s website.
Kienzie is participating in The Southeast Venture Conference in Charlotte, NC., in its second day (March 14) at the Ritz Carlton today.
Kienzie, who is among the host of venture capitalists and other investors and entrepreneurs at the sold-out Southeast Venture Conference in Charlotte, NC, today, began his venture capital career in 1997. At event yesterday, Kienzle told a packed panel audience that returns on venture investments have improved dramatically since the Internet bubble burst back in 2000.
When the discussion turned to how geography affects where the venture capitalists on the panel put their money, it was noted that West Coast investments tend to have much larger exits than those on the East Coast. It was also pointed out, however, that companies on the East Coast and in smaller markets took less capital to get to an exit such as an IPO or merger and acquisition.
Armed with statistics backing his statements, Kienzle said venture firms could invest in East Coast companies at lower valuations so that return on those investments tend to match those on the West Coast at about a 1.5 multiple in the end.
Kienzle said that while Correlation made its first 40 investments in California, it now has other in Nashville, Texas and other markets. “We’re very interested in investing in this market (North Carolina and the Southeast),” he said.
Prior to Correlation, Kienzie was a Managing Director of Newbury Ventures, a technology-focused venture capital fund headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area. There, he led investments in the technology sector, including in such companies as MetaLINCS (acquired by Seagate) and Onaro (acquired by NetApp). Previously, he was v ice president at GE Equity, the $2 billion venture capital arm of GE Capital, most recently as co-head of the Software Group. He had responsibility for a team of investment professionals managing 26 portfolio companies.
Kienzie tells the TechJournal that his firm spent considerable time developing its predictive model.
Predictive models use proven statistical methods to analyze thousands of historical outcomes in order to identify combinations of factors that help to predict future outcomes. When properly designed and deployed, these predictive models have improved decision-making and produced compelling, real-world impacts across a number of industries, everything from credit cards and insurance to direct marketing and major league sports recruiting.
The Correlation team spent years building its comprehensive database of US venture capital financings, Kienzie says. It covers most VC deals of the last two decades and tracks everything from key financing terms, investors, boards of directors, management backgrounds, industry sector dynamics and outcomes.
The firm extracts the data it needs from five documents provided to it by company management and supplements it with its own database information to run its predictive algorithm.
That means, Kienzie points out, that Correlation doesn’t conduct its own due diligence, which would likely duplicate that of the lead investor in a financing anyway. If a company passes muster with t he algorithm and a review by the firm’s board, it will make an offer within two weeks.
You can see a list of Correlation’s current portfolio companies here.
Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Chief Financial Officers entered 2013 with improved optimism toward the global and U.S. economies and their businesses, though most still believe a recovery is over a year out, according to the most recent quarterly survey conducted by Financial Executives International (FEI) and Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business
While they still carry the burden of concerns around increasing revenue and controlling expenses, their capital spending is at a normal rate and they are not making drastic cuts to their workforce.
The “CFO Outlook Survey,” which polls CFOs of public and private businesses in the U.S. and Europe (Italy and France) on their economic and business confidence and expectations, found that CFOs were more confident than where they stood last quarter.
Higher tech spending expected
U.S. CFOs continued to forecast higher projections for their business than did their European counterparts, with the highest increases in the areas of capital spending (17%) and technology spending (11%) over the next 12 months.
In the U.S., CFOs are anticipating a nearly 10 percent rise in net earnings and revenue. European CFOs on average expect more subtle increases in these areas, with the highest increases in revenue (4%) and net earnings (3%).
Little change in employment rate
CFOs in the U.S expect little change in the unemployment rate in the next six to 12 months. On average, they anticipate it may increase slightly, but will remain below eight percent
Similar to previous years, revenue growth remains the top business challenge that U.S. CFOs are facing for the first half of 2013 (23% of CFOs in the U.S.; 21% of CFOs in Europe).
European CFOs see expense control as their biggest challenge, and it was also high on the list for U.S. CFOs (28% in Europe; 14% in the U.S.). While competition was the third most common choice for EU CFOs (18%); regulatory issues was the third top choice for U.S. CFOs (14%).
In terms of economic worries, U.S. CFOs were most concerned about government regulation and consumer spending/demand.
When asked about the timeframe that a U.S. economic recovery would take place, this quarter, nearly half (43%) of U.S. CFOs believed a recovery would be delayed until at least 2014.
Confident but realistic
About a fifth (22%) think the U.S. would recover at some point in 2013, and over a third (35%) believe the U.S. is already in the midst of a recovery.
“CFO optimism has understandably fluctuated over the past several years, but the fact that optimism levels are near or surpassed where they stood a year ago is an encouraging indicator for the start of 2013,” said Linda Allen , Professor of Economics and Finance for the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College.
“While CFOs appear to be more confident this quarter, they remain realistic – most have some serious concerns about keeping their companies profitable. On a macro — level, most believe that the instability of the U.S. and European economies is a longer-term issue that will take more than a year to resolve.”
CFOs Believe Congress Will Reach U.S. Debt Crisis Outcome
CFOs in both the U.S. and abroad are closely watching Congress’ actions surrounding the U.S. debt crisis and critical deadlines for sequestration by the start of March.
By and large, they are hoping that Congress will avoid a default on the Government debt, followed by a deficit reduction agreement and U.S. debt downgrade, as more than half of respondents (59% in the U.S., 51% in the EU) indicated that this outcome would have the most negative impact on their business.
When asked to predict the most likely outcome by Congress, at the time of polling, the majority of U.S. CFOs (67%) believe that Congress will implement short term increases in the debt ceiling, followed by incremental deficit reduction agreements.
“Congress’ ability to control the U.S. debt and deficits will continue to be front and center in the minds of CFOs in the next few months,” said Marie Hollein , President and CEO of Financial Executives International.
“CFOs in both regions trust that Congress will ultimately come to an agreement, but U.S. CFOs believe that these actions will take place incrementally as we reach key deadlines. With the potential threat of sequestration now looming, the way in which Congress ultimately responds will likely have a significant impact on their optimism this year.”
Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
Freelance creative professionals have acquired skills that make them more attractive, according to a new survey. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of advertising and marketing executives interviewed by The Creative Group said the caliber of independent creative professionals has increased in the last five years.
Nearly one-third of those(31 percent) said it has increased significantly. Respondents cited “access to specialized skills or knowledge” as the greatest benefit of using freelancers.
“Many companies are strategically supplementing their advertising and marketing teams with freelance professionals,” said Donna Farrugia , executive director of The Creative Group.
An attractive option
The research also shows contract work is an attractive option for many people in the creative industry: Nearly half (49 percent) of advertising and marketing executives said it’s likely they would work as independent professionals at some point in their career.
“Freelancing jobs can pay well and provide greater flexibility and variety of work,” Farrugia said.
“We’re seeing more professionals with in-demand skills pursue project work. And if you partner with a specialized staffing firm, its representatives can market your services and manage the administrative side of your business, like billing and collections.”
As a writer, I’ve freelanced for large parts of my career. You have to be adaptable and learn new skills constantly. I’ve used seven different content management systems, for instance.
New skills needed
Only a few years ago, we needed to use what-you-see-is-what-you-get web development tools, but now they’re almost antique. Today, we not only need to know blogging tools such as WordPress intimately, we also need to be aware of security, design, SEO, and the art of writing fetching headlines.
Not only that, once you’ve done your writing and editing and published a piece – you’re not done. Then, you link to it on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and other social networks, which you can’t simply load up with links to your work or promotional posts. You have to learn how to gain an audience by sharing interesting and viral items with relevance to your followers. – Allan Maurer
Here’s an infographic from The Creative Group on the Future of Freelancing.
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
Two distinct types of organizations emerge from Symantec Corp’s. (NASDAQ: SYMC) recent 2013 State of Mobility Survey — “Innovators,” who readily embrace mobility, and “Traditionals,” who are reluctant to implement it.
Eighty four percent of innovators are moving ahead with mobility, motivated by business drivers, and they are experiencing significant benefits. Traditional organizations are implementing mobility more slowly, largely in response to user demand, and are seeing both fewer costs and benefits.
“Few issues command the attention of IT today like mobility,” said Francis deSouza, president, Products and Services, Symantec.
Differences are significant
“The difference in attitudes and results between the organizations that actively embrace mobility and those that are reluctant is significant. Organizations taking a proactive approach benefit much more than those that put it off until they eventually find themselves trying to catch up to the competition.”
The two groups perceive the benefits and risks of mobility differently. Among innovators, 66 percent say the benefits are worth the risks, while 74 percent of traditional businesses feel the risks are not worth it.
This is reflected in the rate of mobility adoption, with 50 percent more employees using smartphones for business among innovators than among traditional organizations. More than half of innovators (55 percent) are also taking control of purchasing phones for employees, compared to 44 percent of traditionals.
When it comes to the innovators, company involvement doesn’t stop with purchasing the phones. They also more often have mobility policies, and they are twice as likely to use technology to enforce their policies (60 percent in the innovators as opposed to 33 percent among traditionals).
Costs and Benefits
With the innovators taking more advantage of mobility, they are also seeing more costs associated with it. In fact, they averaged twice as many mobile incidents during the last year, such as lost devices and data breaches, leading to consequences such as regulatory fines and lost revenue.
The innovators are also experiencing far more benefits, in three key areas:
- Increased productivity, speed and agility
- Improvements in brand value, customer happiness and overall competitiveness
- Happier employees and improved recruiting and retention rates
Most importantly, however, the innovators are experiencing nearly 50 percent higher revenue growth than traditionals (44 percent vs. 30 percent). All things considered, businesses perceive net positive results with mobility.
Effective Mobile Implementation
The survey results illustrate the positive impact mobility can have on the business, with the right preparation. The following guidelines can help organizations make the most of their mobile deployment while reducing risks:
- Being cautious about mobility is okay. Being resistant is not. Start embracing it. Organizations should take a proactive approach and carefully plan an effective mobile implementation strategy.
- Start with the apps with greatest productivity benefits for employees. One of the best ways to get started with mobility is to implement mobile apps that will have an immediate impact on the business.
- Learn from the innovators — get the benefits while minimizing the risks. The key is to be aware of the risks associated with mobility such as information loss, and to follow the example of the innovators.
Symantec’s 2013 State of Mobility Survey
Symantec’s 2013 State of Mobility Survey represents the experiences of 3,236 businesses, from 29 countries. Respondents were the individuals in charge of computing — either senior staff in the case of enterprises, or often an employee with technical aptitude among SMBs. Responses came from companies with a range of five to more than 5,000 employees.
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
Which venture capital firms had the most private tech company exits in 2012? PrivCo has just released rankings of the Top 20 Venture Capital firms, based on the number of exits their portfolio companies made last year.
Santa Clara-based Intel Capital tops the list. Ranked just behind it were Felicis Ventures (Ranked #2) & SV Angel (Ranked #3).
Mark Rostick, director of East Coast investments for Intel Capital is among the more than two-dozen venture capitalists and investors participating in the upcoming Southeast Venture Conference in Charlotte, NC, March 13-14. See our interview with Rostick.
The Top 20 Most Successful Tech Venture Capital Firms of 2012:
(Ranked By Number of Private Tech Company Exits)
1. Intel Capital
2. Felicis Ventures
3. SV Angel
4. Sequoia Capital
5. First Round Capital
6. Battery Ventures
7. Draper Fisher Jurvetson
8. Greylock Partners
9. Ignition Partners
10. Google Ventures
11. True Ventures
12. Benchmark Capital
13. Lerer Ventures
14. Menlo Ventures
15. Polaris Venture Partners
16. Accel Partners
17. Bain Capital Ventures
18. Redpoint Ventures
19. RRE Ventures
20. Focus Ventures
To access PrivCo’s 350 page 2012 Private Tech M&A Industry Report:
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
The Southeast Venture Conference has named the first round of companies selected to present at the upcoming conference scheduled for March 13-14th at the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte, NC.
Over 50 of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic’s most outstanding high-growth firms will present at SEVC 2013. Showcase companies will range from pre-IPO to earlier stage series-A.
These companies are the present and future of the region’s innovation economy, representing some of the most promising technologies from a diverse range of industries, including software, mobile, education, health, security and Internet among others.
The first round of announced presenting companies include:
- AirSage - Atlanta, GA
- Badgy - Atlanta, GA
- BoomTown - Charleston, SC
- BrightContext - Arlington, VA
- Buystand - Durham, NC
- CanDiag - Waxhaw, NC
- Clearleap - Duluth, GA
- deja mi - Raleigh, NC
- Digitalsmiths - Durham, NC
- Distil - Arlington, VA
- Entigral - Raleigh, NC
- Fitsistant - Durham, NC
- flomio - Miami, Florida
- Fotopigeon - Tampa, Florida
- Freebeepay - Atlanta, GA
- Hinge - Washington, DC
- HireIQ - Atlanta, GA
- KnowledgeTree - Raleigh, NC
- Koupon Media - Frisco, TX
- Mindgrub - Baltimore, MD
- nContact - Morrisville, NC
- PatientPay - Durham, NC
- PopUp - Raleigh, NC
- Respirion - Winston Salem, NC
- ReverbNation - Durham, NC
- Savveo - Charlotte, NC
- Sensory Analytics - Greensboro, NC
- Spanning Cloud Apps - Austin, TX
- Sweet Relish - Charlotte, NC
- Tales2Go - Washington, DC
- The Targeted Group - Charlotte, NC
- Valencell - Raleigh, NC
- WealthEngine - Bethesda, MD
Additional presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Southeast Venture Conference is headed to Charlotte, NC, in March 2013. The event offers firms a chance to present to top national venture capitalists and angel investors.
Showcase companies will present to a national audience of venture capitalists, private equity investors, angel investors and senior technology executives. Attendees will have additional opportunities to network and connect with these showcase companies throughout the conference.
Register today to guarantee your space. The event sells out.
In addition to the showcase presenters and hours of networking – SEVC 2013 will feature current market relevant panel and presentation topics for investors and executive entrepreneurs.
Panel & Presentation topics include:
- State of Venture Capital
- Early Stage Fundraising
- Value Creation: Company/Investor Relationship
- Growth Stage Funding
- M&A Outlook and Strategies
- LP Viewpoint
- SaaS Investment Trends
- Getting to Market
- IPO & Secondary Market Outlook
- Entrepreneur’s Roundtable
- International Health Care Trends
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
Small businesses want more cloud-based technologies, and they want to manage more of their operations on mobile devices, and plan to adopt more technology solutions in 2013, according to the PaySimple 2013 Pulse Survey of Small Businesses.
But, Small businesses have less interest in adding new staff in 2013, with only a third planning to add staff.
Still, business owners remain convinced that even with more technology, there is no substitute for personal touch with customers.
Highlights from the survey, showcased in this infographic:
Operators have higher appetite for cloud, web and mobile solutions:
- 90% of small businesses have company websites
- 50% plan to add more cloud-based technology into their operations in 2013
- More than half of small businesses (53%) plan to run more functions over a mobile device
- Over 90% have a mobile device
- Over 60% own at least one Apple device, and iPhone users outnumber Android users 2:1
Technology will increase productivity and reduce appetite for new hiring:
- Only 33% of small businesses plan to hire new full-time employees in 2013
- Average expected increase in staff is 24%
Small business owners are increasing use of new media marketing:
- 85% use email, with 67% using company email, 11% using Constant Contact, and 8.5% using MailChimp
- 51% plan to use Facebook and 17.7% LinkedIn for marketing
- 37% engage in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) activities
- Less than 10% plan to use phonebooks and local newspaper and magazine ads
Small business owners still rely heavily on personal touch to maintain relationships:
- 55% relying on the telephone as a key engagement tool for customer relationships
- 45% use in-person events and community organizations
“We are happy to be a part of the trend toward more adoption of SMB technology solutions,” said PaySimple CEO, Eric Remer. “Surveys like this help shape our thinking and plans for how we can be even more valuable to the 20 million service-based small businesses in the US.”
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
If you’re operating a web site, chances are you have wrestled with cyber attacks in the last year. Research findings released today from Websense Security Labs™, the worldwide research team from Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), report explosive year-over-year growth in global cyberattack trends.
“Year-over-year, the number of malicious web-based attacks increased by nearly 600 percent,” said Charles Renert , vice president of the Websense Security Labs.
Attacks staged from legitimate sites
“These attacks were staged predominantly on legitimate sites and challenge traditional approaches to security and trust. The timed, targeted nature of these advanced threats indicates a new breed of sophisticated attacker who is intent on compromising increasingly higher-yield targets. Only proactive, real-time security techniques, that inspect the entire lifecycle of a threat, can withstand the assault and prevent data theft.”
The attacks are so persistent – often including vast global botnets, that even with a firewall and daily scanning, we’ve had trouble with malicious attacks here at the TechJournal. A number of WordPress plugins seem particularly vulnerable. But the bad guys are out in force and go after any weak links. We suspect entirely new methods of combating cyber crime are needed to combat the increasingly sophisticated attacks.
Below are key Websense 2013 Threat Report findings, based on a year-over-year comparison of web, email, data, mobile and social media threats:
- Each week, organizations faced an average of 1,719 attacks for every 1,000 users.
- Malicious websites increased by nearly 600 percent worldwide.
- North American malicious sites increased by 720 percent and EMEA saw a 531 percent increase.
- Legitimate web hosts were home to 85 percent of those malicious sites.
- Half of web-connected malware downloaded additional executables in the first 60 seconds.
- Only 7.7 percent of malware interacted with the system registry—circumventing many behavioral detection systems and antivirus solutions.
- Thirty-two percent of malicious links in social media used shortened URLs. Once cybercriminals gain access to a host, they typically hide their own malicious pages deep in the directory tree. This process generates very long and complex web links that might tip off a wary user. Link shortening solves that problem.
- The United States of America, Russia and Germany were the top three countries hosting malware. Meanwhile, the Bahamas made its debut into the list of top five countries hosting phishing sites, with a second place ranking.
- China, the United States of America and Russia were the top three countries hosting command and control servers.
- Only one in five emails were legitimate and email spam increased to 76 percent. Worldwide spam volumes reached more than a quarter of a million emails per hour.
- One in 10 malicious mobile applications asked for permission to install other apps, something rarely required by legitimate apps.
Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
In terms of value provided vs. value received, application producers and enterprises seem to be on different planets. Many producers believe they are not getting the full value of the software they’re delivering to customers — and many customers feel they’re not getting enough value for their money, according to Flexera Software’s 2012 Software Pricing and Licensing Survey, prepared jointly with IDC
According to the survey, nearly one quarter (24%) of application producers believe their licensing and pricing strategies are either ineffective or very ineffective in capturing the true value they deliver in their products.
Moreover, enterprises indicated most frequently they are either unsatisfied or very unsatisfied with the price-to-value of their ERP software (25%), database software (22%) and CRM software (20%).
Perception gap in the value of software
“The survey confirms a perception gap in the value of software that could explain some of the contentiousness between producers and their enterprise customers,” said Steve Schmidt, Vice President of Corporate Development at Flexera Software.
“We’ve seen first-hand that the manner in which some software companies package, price and license their software products does not necessarily correspond with how organizations use or value them.”
The survey also points to changes in software pricing and licensing occurring across the industry that could close the software value perception gap.
Increased interest in utility pricing
Application producers currently offer a wide variety of software pricing models, which reflects a corresponding diversity in demand for how enterprises want to consume software.
Looking forward over the next 18-24 months, utility models (usage, time, number of transactions) are expected to be used by 23% of application producers (up from 9%), signaling increased interest in usage-based pricing.
Such models have the potential to reduce or eliminate the perception gap as the amount an enterprise pays for software is tied directly to its actual usage.
Application producers are changing their licensing and pricing strategies in order to strike the difficult balance between maximizing revenue streams and increasing customer satisfaction: 42% of application producers report that over the past 18-24 months, their software pricing and licensing strategies have changed.
Build pricing and licensing flexibility into products
The most cited reason for the change was to generate more revenues (69%), up from 40% in 2011. Other reasons cited for the changes were to improve customer relations (44%), to accelerate sales cycles (35%) and to enter new markets (28%).
“There is a wide spectrum of software pricing and licensing models that application producers can choose — from perpetual licenses to usage-based pricing models,” said Schmidt.
“By building pricing and licensing flexibility into their products, they can very easily package and price their software tailored to the changing needs of their customers — and as a result both increase revenues and customer satisfaction. The survey shows that we are seeing this begin to happen — the result of which will ultimately narrow the software value perception gap that exists today.”
Click here to access the complete survey results.