Sramana: Do you get a lot of repeat business from the same clients or do you have to find new construction projects and reach new clients?
Leigh Jasper: The way we typically work with a company is by starting on one of their projects. During that initial project they see what the system does and gain experience with it. From there our customers will expand it across other projects as well. If all goes well we will end up with a client specific deal across all of their projects. One company pays for everybody on the project.
Sramana: How did you price the offering?
Leigh Jasper: In the early days we experimented with various pricing models. The feedback that we received was that they did not want to pay for user licenses because they did not know how many users they were going to have. They did not want to pay on a per-document basis because they did not know how many documents they would have. What our clients wanted was a flat price per project. We quickly came out and started providing a static price per project based on the size of the project. That reassured our clients because they knew exactly what they were going to be paying.
Sramana: Who are you approaching and selling the offering to?
Leigh Jasper: In those first few deals we sold to the general contractor. In one case it was the product manager. Today we sell to the asset owner, project manager or the general contractor. They procure the system for the entire project. A lot of SaaS businesses sell on a per user basis, and of course we can accommodate that. However, in 95% of the cases we have found that companies want unlimited users and data at a fixed price.
Sometimes we have to convince four or five companies to buy into the deal, however on average it is just one or two companies who have to agree to use the service with one company footing the bill. The interesting thing about the business is that the network works in our favor once we are up and running but initially we have to convince quite a few stakeholders to see the value of what we are offering.
Sramana: That was probably a bit difficult in the beginning but now I would imagine that the network operates in your favor, right?
Leigh Jasper: Definitely. Sometimes a company would be strong enough to push it through on their own. In many cases they had to get buy in from multiple participants. From a support point of view we have to support dozens of companies. That is not so hard now because people are accustomed to using the Internet. In the beginning nobody knew what the Internet was and they would look at us and ask why they should use the Internet to manage information flow for their project. We really had to sell the advantages of a web based service. It was a tough sell. Once they used the system they could see the results and 99% of the time once they started using it they kept on using it. All of their data was right there for them.