January 6, 2014 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
Business Mobile Applications for Employee and Customer Engagement
Jeff is a 30+ yearveteran of the telecommunications industry and has designed several communications protocols and has co-authored two United States patents: one for VoIP and the other for electronic message management – the core of Prolifiq’s platform.
About Prolifiq Software
Prolifiq connects people with content from any device. Companies use Prolifiq's apps to inform employees and engage customers in meaningful business conversations using controlled compliant content. Each employee sees only the apps they need; workflows and audience segmentation ensure access to the latest content and resources; and the Good Promotional Practices rules engine keeps customer conversations and transactions compliant and measurable. Prolifiq’s platform also integrates third-party apps and internal systems providing a seamless user experience, and leverages existing IT investments.
Mobile applications for life
sciences, good promotional practices, iPad applications for pharma, mobile
sales solutions, compliant content distribution, mobile engagement, sales
enablement, digital content distribution.
Beaverton OR 97005
Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – January 6, 2014
CEOCFO: Mr. Gaus, what is the concept at Prolifiq Software?
Mr. Gaus: Prolifiq’s concept is very simple. We have a series of mobile applications for business companies use to inform their employees, engage customers in conversations and measure results. We make field employees more productive and efficient.
CEOCFO: What do you understand at Prolifiq that makes your applications better, easier, faster, more efficient?
Mr. Gaus: There are three major things that drive Prolifiq as an organization, things I would classify as part of our corporate DNA. Number one is we understand the mindset and the psychology of field employees and very specifically sales people; how they think and how they interact with content. The second thing is how content is used to advance conversations and engage customers so they have the right information at the right time and in the right format.Third, we understand technology. I say this tongue in cheek, but we are a bunch of left-brained geeks who understand how to make things work, pretty much flawlessly. From a user’s perspective, not much training is needed. You pick up our application and start using it day one. Those would be the three things:we understand the mind of sales people, we understand how content affects sales processes and we understand technology.
CEOCFO: How do you ensure user-friendliness?
Mr. Gaus: We never design in a vacuum. We do all of our design “in the field”. Therefore, when we develop concepts, we engage our customers and prospects in the design process; showing them and asking for feedback. We go through a rapid cycle iterationprocess. It is known as the AGILE process where you are constantly evolving. There really is nothing we builda customer has not seen before we build it.
CEOCFO: Would you give us a concrete example of what you understand about what a salesperson’s needs are that perhaps others do not and how that translates to a more effective solution?
Mr. Gaus: We primarily serve the Global Life Sciences industry. Think pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies. There is a lot of complexity associated with their products, whether it be a pharmaceutical compound or a surgical hip implant, they all have to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This approval is what is known as their “label.” Any communication that occurs between a salesperson and / or the company and its customeris a regulated conversation. It has to be done in the appropriate context; it has to be “on-label.”You have to have knowledge about what pieces of content can be used with what and what specific words a salesperson can and cannot use. We spent an enormous amount of time and money understanding these specific interactions and have built and codified rules into our platform to ensure the salesperson has the right information at the right time and that it’s used appropriately. That is the whole Good Promotional Practices underpinnings of our platform. That’s one example.
Another example is related to a new application we announced about fifty days ago – our ENGAGE application--which shifts models so instead of the salesperson having to hunt for things, we have predictive capabilities that alert a rep to activity that one of their customers or prospects has engaged in. It notifies the rep something has happened, here is who it was and here is what they did.
Here is where it gets interesting. We then suggest to the sales person, “Here is the next thing you should do with this customer or prospect and, by the way, here are the tools with which to do it.” They simply tap a button that will set up a phone call, send out an invitation or deliver content and so on. The whole concept is to move from all of the data and all of this content that you have and to shift it so that you predict to a rep: “here is the best thing that you can do to engage this customer in your next conversation.”
CEOCFO: Are you talking about something they have done with asking the company for information?
Mr. Gaus: Any time a salesperson is talking with a customer, whether it is face to face or over the phone, especially in a regulated industry such as pharmaceuticals or financial services, you are either dealing with a complex product or complex sales process, invariably the customer will say, “Can you get me some information on that?” This is where Prolifiq shines: making it very simple for the sales person to quickly find and share content and then measure how the customer interacted with it to determine the next best step in the sales conversation. This is not a point-of-sale, retail transaction. These arelong-term business-to-business relationships. Prolifiq enables relationships.
CEOCFO: Was Life Sciences a decision made when the company started or was it opportunistic? Why are you involved with that industry to such a large extent?
Mr. Gaus: We did not start out in the Life Sciences industry; we began serving West Coast high technology companies; organizations with very sophisticated sales people and processes. That really honed our technology in terms of how to support very large, geographically distributed sales teams. Their issueswere they wanted to have brand compliance in their messaging as well as technical compliance—to ensure the right products were being sold in the right markets and presented in the right way. During that evolution, we began to serve a medical device company and they subsequently was prosecuted for off-label, unapproved use case marketing. They were able to successfully defend themselves using our platform. As a result, the Department of Health and Human Services named us as a prescriptive remedy for the industry. Because of this, we shifted the entire company’s emphasis to the Life Sciences industry in 2010. Since then we have tripled in size and Life Sciences now represents about eighty five percent of our revenue.
CEOCFO: How do you reach potential clients?
Mr. Gaus: We do it through very targeted, specific thought leadership marketing. It’s a concept you would know as content marketing, where we share expertise and information relevant to our prospective customers. We do not hammer our prospects. We do a lot of blogging, content distribution, trade show appearances and speaking engagements where we discusslong-term trends both within the industry and with technology. We suggest ways in which people can embrace mobility and engage their customers. We meet people and start nurturing the conversations with them. That is how we pick up our customers.
CEOCFO: Are there many companies that have same focus asProlifiq?
Mr. Gaus: We have not encountered very many. We do have a couple of competitors; some are large, some are very small. However, in terms of the breadth and depth of the applications we offer, we believe we offer the most comprehensive solution for the mobility needs of companies in regulated industries. We are watching the explosion of mobile capabilities, allowing many companies to specialize in one specific application. What the West Coast venture capital guys call the “appification”of enterprise software, which is where the design of consumer software such as Google Maps or your text messaging application is influencing how users think about business software; how it should work. There is a trend to take a software application and design it to do one very specific thing for a very specific population. We think this trend is not only going to continue, but will accelerate. We put in place a platform that embraces this concept and makes it very easy for companies to execute.
CEOCFO: Do you find that your clients like the fact you specialize in the industry; is a selling feature for you?
Mr. Gaus: Yes, absolutely. Domain expertise, to these regulated industries, is very critical.One of the first questions they ask is, “How much do you know about our industry and what have you done?” They want to know who we serve. We share our lineageand it gives us immediate credibility.
CEOCFO: How is business today?
Mr. Gaus: Business is quite good. We finish our fiscal year at the end of December. We are finishing about 50%largerthan last year; and last year was 50%larger than the year before. We are projecting the same growth curve into the future.
CEOCFO: What is the key to keeping on track as you grow rapidly, to maintaining the corporate culture and to maintaining the standards you want for your company?
Mr. Gaus: Number one is finding and grooming the right people. We are a very culture-centered organization. When you come and visit us, you see it immediately. You see it in the layout of our offices,in how we communicate with our employees and how our employees communicate with us. We demand transparency internally and it is bi-directional. Every year as we set our goals, maintaining our culture is always at the top of the list.
We are in a talent war. We are competing with many other firms to attract the best and the brightest. In that light, we have designed a very rigorous selection process. The result of that is we have very, very, very low employee turnover. By the time you join us, if you have made it through the selection process, more often than not, you’re going to be with us for a long time.
CEOCFO: Why do people want to work for Prolifiq?
Mr. Gaus: Because we do really innovative, cool things. It’s a fun place to work. We also pay well and everyone is and is treated as an owner. However, the number one thing that shows up on employee surveys is: “My voice is heard.” Employees want to contribute; they have ideas and we provide them an environment where they can actually speak up and see the change take place before their very eyes.
CEOCFO: What does ANALYZE add to the platform?
Mr. Gaus: The best way that I could describe “ANALYZE” is a combination of the speedometer and the tachometer in your car. Those are two things that tell you how you are doing while you drive. In the case of our platform, the majority of users are sales reps and tANALYZE allows a sales or marketing managers to see and understand the digital communication activities of their sales force; what they are doing, how fast they are moving, who they are communicating with, how the customers are responding to those communications and so on. It is a very good indicator of what is going on in the sales force. Sales managers can infer who is going to be doing well and who is not and use the information for more effective management conversations.
CEOCFO: Do you find that most of your customers take advantage of the full range of your offering?
Mr. Gaus: Yes. I would say that across the board most of them take advantage of the majority of our capabilities. Some of that has to do with when and how we find them. Most of our customers are hyper-innovative. Invariably, our customers ask us:“what’s next? I’ve digested this, it’s moved the needle for us; what is next or how can we solve this specific problem.” It is our job to make sure we constantly bring them new and greater capabilities, so that they can continue to innovate.
CEOCFO: What is ahead?
Mr. Gaus: What is ahead is geographic expansion. That is the most immediate thing on the horizon. We will be opening in the Asia Pacific region to service our existing customers. In 2014, we will add more applications to our platform. We typically introduce one or two new tiles per quarter. Then towards the latter part of 2014 we will start planning our horizontal expansion into the next vertical market.
CEOCFO: Why pay attention to Prolifiq Software?
Prolifiq Software will
help transform your ability to meet revenue targets while better engaging
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