Sramana: You mentioned that you now have about 55 employees. What are the functional skill sets of your employee groups?
Scott Skinger: Over the last two years we have hired a lot of developers. Two years ago we had zero people on our development team, and now we have close to 15. We are a content company, so content, naturally, is very important to us. We put a lot of emphasis on creating high-quality content. We just brought on four people to join our product team, which now has around 25 people on it. We also work with close to 25 full-time contractors on our product team. That team creates content for us. Marketing makes up 8 to 10 people. We also have another dozen people doing the typical operations and management functions. Most of our focus is on development and product.
Sramana: I understand why your content teams are so large since you are a content company. Why is your development team so large?
Scott Skinger: Up until two weeks ago we were a content company. We put content on DVD, and we sold directly to professionals. For the last two years we have worked on a platform to serve up our content. All of our content is now being served up in a new business model. We are going to provide unlimited training for $49 a month. We are providing an education as a service platform to better service our customers. I feel strongly that going forward, our new product will be 50% content and 50% service platform. Usability and product updates are important. We need a good platform to serve up that content.
We are also serving up more than just video. We are serving up practice exams to help people prepare for their certification exams. We have a lot of ideas for the future. We want to incorporate virtual labs so that people can have their own test bed environments. We want to develop a community. We want a professional IT community on the server and network admin side where they have access to our instructors and other experts in the industry.
Sramana: Are you looking to create areas where people can find jobs and so forth?
Scott Skinger: Perhaps. That is not something that we have committed to but it is something that we have talked about. We are talking about careers and practical, real-world jobs. There is a ton of opportunity in IT. There are more jobs becoming available, and there is a lot more demand. There is a shortage of IT professionals and the problem set is just getting larger and larger. We feel well positioned with our platform with the type of training we have. We feel we can get more IT professionals trained up and ready for real world jobs and careers.
Sramana: How many customers do you have today?
Scott Skinger: We have close to 50,000 customers.
Sramana: Is that 50,000 customers who were purchasing the old product?
Scott Skinger: Yes, that is correct. We just launched our online platform a week ago, and we have not even announced it to our customers yet. We did a soft launch, and we will notify customers shortly.
Sramana: Are you going to turn off the old product?
Scott Skinger: If you go to our website right now, you will see that we have completely eliminated DVDs. I decided two years ago to shift to a SaaS model, and I did not want to offer products at all. I did not like the paradox of choice. I did not want customers to see two conflicting models that would result in a customer going elsewhere. This is a big risk for us. We built up substantial revenues with our old company, and when we flipped the switch, we had zero subscribers. We had zero revenue coming in. Fortunately, we have been profitable since 2003. We have retained dividends within the company, and we are ready to fund the short-term losses.