In-Touch buys more customers and revenue

Ottawa software company, In-Touch Survey Systems Ltd., is confident its latest acquisition will significantly boost annual revenue, pushing it by more than $4 million.

In October, In-Touch bought mystery shopping company Statopex for $1.6 million.

Cameron Watt, chief executive officer of In-Touch says Statopex’ appeal came from its strength in customer services and operations.

“It was immediately accretive from a cash flow and revenue standpoint,” says Watt.

Statopex’ products fall in-line with In-Touch’s  Service Intelligence brand, offering mystery shopping and operational auditing services.

Watt says this acquisition offers In-Touch the opportunity to sell its extended product line to Statopex’ strong customer base.

Revenue rising

In-Touch reported a 5 per cent increase in revenues in its latest quarter ending Nov. 26, 2015, reaching $2.3 million from $2.2 million in the same quarter last year.

The company predicts a 15 per cent growth in revenue for its 2015 fiscal year, and a 20 per cent rise as a year-over-year trend thereafter.

Beginning as a market research company, In-touch used to develop  its software for internal use to improve services delivered to clientele and relied on kiosk stands for consumer data collection.

In recent years, the company has shifted focus into developing software as a service to provide its clients with tools to manage real time data collection on their own.

Products like the OpsMatrix and Eventmatrix lines launched in 2012, allow project managers to monitor field team reports, share checklists and measure customer experience, sending  real time analytics to the software’s app-based dashboard.

“The creation of technology as a product for standalone usage by our clients will be the broader focus for the future of the company,” Watt says.

“Software production isn’t cheap,” he explains,”that’s why most organizations that do this have a high burn rate.”

Strength through acquisitions

“We are in a very unique and good position. We have the core business built, and purchasing Statopex is a great example of making that core business bigger and stronger, allowing us to build software products and move into that marketplace of the future, by funding it through internal operations,” he adds.

Watt says the company is also increasing sales marketing and product development spending to grow recurring revenue.

“We have a certain platform and style right now. And we’re not planning a departure from what we know, but we are planning to leverage what we know,” Watt says.

Recurring revenue from the company’s software-as-a-service products increased by 83 per cent in this quarter, bringing in $576,402 compared to $315,549 in the same quarter last year.

Robin Ritchie, associate professor of marketing at the Sprott School of Business says real time data capture is becoming increasingly critical for companies to utilize.

“There is a lot more information captured when it’s done in real time and that information more accurately captures what the consumer is thinking and feeling at the time that they experience the service encounter or the product or whatever that might be,” Ritchie says.

The influence of data analytics

Software like the In-Touch EventMatrix application gives companies the ability to measure customer satisfaction through on location app-based surveys, sending real time data back to event managers throughout promotional events or trade shows.

“In many respects, I actually think this is marketing at its best,” Ritchie says. “It’s a tool that allows firms to better understand what consumers want and allows them to make adjustments while the experience is still going on or at least very shortly afterwards.”

Dana Borschewski, software expert for Invest Ottawa, says data analytics is a growing field in the city, including many new businesses like Qlik, a Swedish based data visualization company and MediMizer, a biomedical cloud reporting and data conversion company.

“They are all working on similar ideas but have developed different specializations within data analytics software,” she says.

“Part of that growth means the potential for partnerships, but it’s also seen more as an ecosystem where they can meet and work with other companies with similar software features. So Ottawa continues to be a great spot for these software companies to grow,” Borschewski says.