SMB Research – Taking Stock: Microsoft SharePoint, Plex Systems,

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SMB Research attended SPTechCon Boston 2011 this week, and the highlight (as you might infer if you are keeping up the SMB Research Blog) were the exhibitors.  We diligently trolled the booths looking for SMB and midmarket stories, and vendors and service providers servicing same.

We were particularly interested to talk with Knowledgement Management Associates‘ Sara Clark (not least because she could update us on past AMR Research colleagues.)  KMA has now announced the expansion of its SharePoint practice to include SharePoint Managed Services.   KMA is based in Waltham, MA.

We also spent some time talking to the good folks at Burntsand (now an OpenText Company),, Technosoft, InnovaOPN ( configurable innovation process management tool that sits on top of the SharePoint platform), Infowise, and AvePoint, among others.  Note: I walked right by the booth with the Vancouver Canucks banner.  Just could not do it.

It sounds like Plex Systems‘ May 17-18 PowerPlex 2011 was a roaring success, with nearly 700 attendees (the highest ever).  There is an interesting article, by‘s Mike Brennan, apparently amplifying remarks by Plex CEO Mark Symonds at PowerPlex 2011, indicating that an IPO for Plex Systems is likely by mid to late 2012. In the interview with Mike Brennan, Symonds said revenues last year were in the “low $30 million range” with estimates for 2011 in the area of $40M+.  Symonds told Brennan that “SaaS companies are getting ten times revenue valuations.”  The articles goes on to cite 54 new employees last year, an expected 40 new employees this year, and more customers added in 2010 (37) than ever before.  Expect to hear more about Plex from SMB Research.

SMB research spoke recently with‘s Nick Spooner who is, may we say, cut from a different cloth (even they admit to being “very, very boutique”)., which has been around since 2003, is a cloud-based ERP system for the end-user with 2-100 people (7 – 25 users are typical).  They claim to do all their deals by word of mouth (they have no salespeople), and are very selective about who they sell to.  (Well, this is not the first time we have heard this – most often from vendors not making their numbers.)   Located just outside of London, they claim to not know how many customers they have, although it could be as many as “3,500-4,000″.   Their focus is on providing a fairly full-featured solution optimized for slow hardware, from a lean operation, to just enough customers that they feel they can keep happy.  It is a cash-in-advance operation, with payments accepted only on the first day of every month.  A new release goes out first Monday of every month to those who are paid up.  You can find their pricing here.  SMB Research has yet to talk to any end-users, and so we would not venture to comment on the robustness of their features.

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