Can you describe the market MarineCFO serves?MarineCFO exclusively serves the workboat market. We felt from the beginning that this was an underserved niche of the market that deserved to have software built specifically for its needs. There are other marine software packages out there that serve ship owners but we all know that work boats are far different from ships. Different crews, different working environments, different operating criteria and different revenue models all equal different software needs. Additionally, MarineCFO is a highly customizable solution. When companies pay for enterprise software it is our feeling that the software should be tailored to their work processes rather than the work processes changing to fit the software. MarineCFO accomplishes this without creating upgrade problems for companies in the future. It is customization through standard core software.
What are the most important changes in the industry?Clearly regulatory changes have had the biggest impact on the industry. Now it is imperative that operators have great systems that help them to stay in regulatory compliance. These systems also should provide quick and easy compliance auditing as well as reporting that supports regulatory and vendor inquiries. Our software provides a structured framework for managing compliance related issues that allow the work boat customer to set up the system to function exactly as his or her current system functions. We make it easy to transfer your paper-based or Excel-based system into an easy-to-use, more robust system.
What is the outlook for your market right now?We are excited about the state of the market. Clearly the last 18 months have been challenging for everyone in the industry. Fortunately, MarineCFO was well capitalized to successfully survive this recession while still investing in our products. Additionally, we managed to diversify our offering both geographically and demographically during this time. There are good signs that the market began to thaw within the last six months and we have a steady growing pipeline of interested companies. Based upon conversations with many work boat companies, we believe that they are sensing enough of an economic recovery to once again spend dollars on improving their operating infrastructure.
How is your company investing for the future?MarineCFO is continually investing in three things: our customers, our employees and our product. We invest in our customers by spending time in the field discerning requirements and developing new functionality. The uniqueness of the work boat markets means that we have to commit to fully understand all the challenges our customers’ businesses face, from all angles. This includes personnel issues, operational issues, revenue generation, maintenance or financials.
We are also investing continually in our people. We have a tremendous knowledge base of employees who have been serving the technology needs of work boat companies for years. These folks understand the market, understand the needs of the clients and know how to successfully deliver software. This is no easy task in the work boat market. Most companies have little or no IT professionals on staff and therefore have different implementation requirements than is typical of other industries. MarineCFO understands how to flex our staff to deliver exactly what the client requires to successfully complete an implementation.
MarineCFO always stays in lock step with the latest developments from Microsoft. Our product is based upon a 100% Microsoft technology stack and we have a constant ongoing research and development effort to keep our product up to speed. Additionally, we are always adding new features and functionality based upon customer requests. As we mentioned earlier, MarineCFO is meant to be changed and customized based upon the users’ specific needs. As we see features that we think are valuable to the entire work boat community we work with clients to see if they will allow us to offer the feature to the market in return for a reduced development cost. MarineCFO also sees the cloud as the future of software and is investing heavily in web-based solutions. Currently, we offer MarineCFO Live! which is aimed at small work boat companies. We fully expect to extend the features of this web version into a full-scale version of MarineCFO to provide a solution for mid and large sized companies.