Sramana Mitra: Was there any specific type of clients that you were getting traction with?
Anthony Ferry: Finance and banking companies were a big one. Hospitality was another big one. We built some pretty elaborate hospitality systems for hotels, gaming, and things of that nature. It was fairly diverse. We were getting a lot of ideas.
Sramana Mitra: At what point did you start working on a product?
Anthony Ferry: We were working for a finance institution and they had a need for a middleware solution to connect to disparate enterprise systems. They weren’t happy with the offerings that were out there. We ended up building a custom solution for them, which we ended up taking to market as a product.
We found that that need was consistent across many industries and not just finance. We took that project with their permission. We productized that solution. We called it Neuron. It was an enterprise service bus solution that would compete with the likes of Tipco or WebMethod.
To this day, there’re a few more that have entered the market. Mulesoft is out there. Neuron is still alive and well and doing fantastic. That was our first product that was a result of our consulting services activities.
Sramana Mitra: What kind of revenue levels did you reach with that product?
Anthony Ferry: That product right now is several millions a year. It yields maybe $1 million and $2 million in recurring maintenance each year as well.
Sramana Mitra: How many customers?
Anthony Ferry: I don’t know exactly – several hundred.
Sramana Mitra: How do you go to market? How do you find these customers for this particular product?
Anthony Ferry: The interesting thing about that one is having Neudesic as the consulting company, we already had a portfolio of clients and that’s exactly where we went. It just became one more thing that we had to offer on top of our services offering. It didn’t change much from the standpoint of what we were already doing to market our services to Fortune 1000 companies in the US. We just had one more thing to offer them.
Sramana Mitra: This runs as a parallel product line to your services arm since 2003?
Anthony Ferry: Yes.
Sramana Mitra: What is the next product initiative and what is the trajectory of that product?
Anthony Ferry: There were several, and not all were successes. Some of them that were incubated weren’t products. They were divisions. We formed our offshore capacity and modified our model. The opportunity for us to build what ultimately became another company, which is PriceSpider, came through the hire of an individual as a principal consultant for our services division who had been working on a side project of his own.
He worked for us for a few weeks before he came to us and was going to leave because he wanted to pursue this other thing that he was working on. We were intrigued by it. We asked him to come back in and present that to us. He did. We loved it. We loved what he was doing. We thought it was very innovative. It was a very advanced piece of technology.
That individual was Jon Pfortmiller. We ended up buying that technology and forming PriceSpider. We brought him in as a partner to form that company.