Eighteen months ago, we published a two-part series, “Why the Legal Industry is Embracing the Cloud.” (If you missed it, read Part One and Part Two). In detailing the many advantages and benefits that our early customers were seeing, we addressed some important concerns and answered many questions about using cloud-based technology to manage IP programs.
Since then, our sales have tripled as cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service enthusiasts have become far more common inside corporate legal departments.
The release earlier this week of the IDC Salesforce Ecosystem report illustrates that our experience as a fast-growing software vendor isn’t unique. Many other companies have similarly built their technology and revenue streams by partnering with Salesforce.
The report’s authors at International Data Corp. crunched a lot of data to estimate what all this sales activity means now, and what future opportunities may look like. It’s a pretty rosy view.
We have certainly seen some important shifts in the readiness of legal and IP leaders to embrace the cloud. Salesforce has obviously seen similar buying behavior in other verticals.
Overall, while public cloud computing accounts for less than 5% of IT spend, growth is much faster; since 2009, cloud growth has been 4.5X higher than IT spending rates. This number is expected to rise to 6X through 2020. Granted, this growth is expansion of a small share of the $2 trillion IT market, but the future is clearly upwards and to the right. Salesforce customers have also installed more than 4 million apps from the Salesforce AppExchange.
This mirrors what we’ve seen with the trajectory of IPfolio.
IPfolio: Member of the Salesforce Economy Since 2012
We’ve been with Salesforce since IPfolio’s birth.
At a company level, we identified an opportunity to save the IP industry from the tyranny of traditional, slow, inflexible and maintenance-heavy on-premise deployments.
Our “Fresh new approach to IP management” vision rejected the world of legacy system maintenance and the inevitability of inefficient on-premise software upgrades. Translating this into a product roadmap, we wanted to deliver a customer and user experience that emphasized ease-of-use, accessibility, efficiency, flexibility, and scalability.
A Software-as-a-Service delivery model built on the cloud was the obvious choice. The most effective cloud option was clearly the Salesforce ecosystem. We were confident that by partnering with Salesforce we would minimize development time and engineering requirements, while maximizing our Go-to-Market opportunity.
From the perspective of a fledgling startup with aspirations as an industry change agent, we couldn’t ask for anything more.
Partnering With Salesforce = One of the Best Decisions We Made
Well, here we are almost five years later. We haven’t been fledgling in a long time, and look forward to celebrating our five-year anniversary in April 2017.
IPfolio has evolved into a well-respected, very competitive, enterprise-grade product. Our customers range from hot startups in renewable energy to multinationals and global brands. They include a Global Top Ten financial institution, two of the 10 most valuable companies in the world, one of Canada’s largest energy companies, and a German multinational with over 400,000 employees.
It is easy to attribute much of this success to the fact that our partner is the world’s fifth-largest and fastest-growing enterprise software company. Salesforce handles what they’re really good at while we stick to what we know.
By focussing on domain expertise - our team’s decades of legal/IP industry experience - while effectively outsourcing much of our IT overhead such as hosting and security to category experts, we’ve been able to stay lean and agile. We have been able to dream big, while retaining a corporate culture where we’re still “young, scrappy and hungry.” (Shoutout to the musical Hamilton).
Evangelizing the Cloud to the Intellectual Property Community
Since 2012, we’ve been preaching the merits of the cloud in terms of robust, reliable, scalable and secure applications. We’ve spent a lot of time at industry conferences talking about them.
Frankly, we’ve punched well above our weight in terms of industry thought leadership, evangelizing the new world of application delivery, and inviting everyone to take a close and objective look at cloud-based IP Management.
Every IPfolio customer has heard us tout the advantages of true cloud-based solutions:
- Total Cost of Ownership (TOC)
- Anywhere productivity: Log on, log in and start working
- Streamlined Process and Ease-of-Communication: Locally and globally
They’ve also heard us lay out the benefits specific to intellectual property management:
- Increasing Strategic Visibility: Connecting IP assets to products, geographies, markets, and revenue streams to ensure alignment with business strategy
- Data Integrity and Accuracy: Efficient reporting, inventor awards administration, and tracking of prosecution milestones and costs
- Simplified Access for External Parties: Total control and management of external access to online IP records
- Idea Tracking: Inventor Portals and Review Boards to track and monitor evolution of IP assets from invention to outcome
Happy Customers: Alignment of Expectations and Experience
A source of great satisfaction has been the alignment between what we say when speaking with prospects and their later experience as customers.
You know you are emphasizing the right things when customer feedback mirrors your marketing messages. Customer reviews of IPfolio on the Salesforce AppExchange universally confirm this. Here are a few:
"Perfect IP Management Tool"
“Customizing fields and layout just wasn’t possible with our large, clunky docketing system. From a data management standpoint, the idea of being able to set up a clean, user-friendly interface, and make workflow and UI modifications on the fly made switching to this product a no-brainer.”
- Kelly Simpson, Patent Paralegal Manager at Facebook
"Great IP Management Tool"
“IPfolio is a fabulous tool. It is customizable, user friendly, and the reporting capabilities are great. It meets all our IT security guidelines, it is modern and has greatly enhanced our productivity and organization.”
- Jodi Rappe, Intellectual Property Specialist at NuScale Power
“The Right Tool for Managing Your IP Portfolio”
“We needed a tool for managing our IP from conception to commercialisation; a tool that would allow us to produce the reports we wanted and to adapt as our IP workflow changes. We got exactly that and more with IPfolio. It is an intuitive tool to use, with excellent technical and customer support.”
- Wayne Jaggernauth, Intellectual Property Officer at Nikon Metrology
"Customized to Fit"
“The flexibility to configure our data and the integration with PAIR information was a selling point. However, it was the ability to create an active dashboard with a unique workflow that sealed the deal. Implementation has been the easiest part of the entire process.”
- Shelley Smith, IP Operations Specialist and Paralegal at a Big Data company
The benefits of Salesforce enabled us to execute on our initial business plan and iterate our product roadmap much more effectively than any other route. Phase Two is even more exciting.
Although it wasn’t part of our original plan, the flexibility of the Salesforce Ecosystem enabled us to evolve IPfolio into an entire IP-centric business platform emphasizing Automation, Collaboration and Connected Services. We’ve already begun evolving IPfolio by partnering with complementary IP-related technologies and service providers.
It’s definitely an exciting time to be part of the Salesforce Ecosystem!