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08/28/2002 - A Perfect Business Model

Synergy. For those who weren’t required to take Physics 101, a simplistic definition of synergy is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Synergy can also be used to describe a business model that is increasing in popularity, especially among high tech companies and definitely being practiced by several companies in the Terabyte Triangle.

Synergy. Instead of closely watched trade secrets, non-disclosure, and paranoia --- some high tech companies are growing and prospering through strategic alliances and partnering. It’s a step up from out-sourcing. Instead of throwing scarce resources at a problem, team up with another whose business solves the problem for mutual gain. Pssst! It’s almost Marxian.

A Perfect Web, a web based applications software company in the Spokane Computer Building at 915 W. 2nd, has formed alliances with a number of businesses in the Terabyte Triangle, and several in other areas of the city. “We believe we have our own niche and can align with others to fill in the gaps,” says Brandon Tanner, CEO. “By forming collectives, we can get and accomplish larger projects from either inside or outside of Spokane.” “This will help the entire area,” Tanner continued.

To date, they have formed alliances with Interlink Advantage, Contineo, Marketing Dynamics, Robideaux!, Showorks, Magnetic North, and the Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce. There are more in negotiation. These alliances are for mutual benefit.

A Perfect Web offers software applications that help solve some of the new and special problems brought on by the age of Information Technology. Even tiny companies have a web site, and it is commonly believed that web sites are routine to maintain. However, in the rapidly changing marketplace, ISP’s are merging, changing focus, or disappearing. Web designers are moving around, taking new jobs in San Francisco, or dropping out to make emu-oil soap on the Olympic Peninsula. Web site maintenance can lurch out-of-control. A Perfect Web has an application designed to put the site owner in control.

Called InControl, this is an in-depth application, which can be used “by anyone,” according to Tanner. The end user doesn’t need to know anything technical. “It helps to be acquainted with a word processor and maybe have some idea about Internet navigation, but no programming skills are needed.” Using InControl, anyone can change the content on any page of a web site, delete an obsolete page, or add a whole new page. The “frequently asked question” section can be maintained. Even photographs can be added.

InControl was created using .NET and operates over the Internet. Usually InControl resides on the server of a hosting ISP. The hosting ISP maintains the server with all of its resident applications, including the site owner’s web site, and the site owner pays a monthly licensing fee and uses InControl over the Internet to maintain the site. A Perfect Web concentrates on producing upgrades and new modules, and as upgrades become available, they are added at the server level without additional cost to the site owner

InControl has a companion application, InContact, that develops graphics-rich e-mail messages for more effective business communications. This would allow a business to send the equivalent of a full color brochure to a client via e-mail. It also enhances newsletters. InContact is shared in the same way as InControl.

“Of course we can customize the software and sell a single license to any company,” says Sam Fleming, CTO, “but the cost would be much greater between $15,000 and $25,000 depending on complexity.” Monthly license fees run $125 per month for either InControl or InContact, or $150 per month for both.

“Our dream is for national distribution through a vertical market,” says Tanner. They are testing the market across the northwest. Tanner and Fleming want A Perfect Web to grow, prosper, and create new jobs --- lots of new high tech jobs with good salaries.

For more information about A Perfect Web, go to: www.aperfectweb.com.

Billie Moreland
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