Julian Harris, 57
- Head office
- year founded
Information and Communication Technology
Data is big business, but only if your company is able to use it effectively.
Julian Harris recognised this and set to work creating a company that would “cut through often confusing enterprise tech noise” to offer straightforward artificial intelligence products for search functionality and organising information.
In the early days of the now $3.8 million business, there was a simple but terrifying question on the cards: “Did we have something that the market wanted and how do we balance retaining the right people and funding them?” Harris says.
To find out, Search365 tested the waters by offering services to individual clients and tracking what they wanted.
“We started simplistically by providing services to customers, to allow us to understand what was important to customers in this space,” Harris says.
However, even with this approach, the company was still testing new waters.
“We were at the cutting edge of new technology, just that bit ahead of the market. We had to teach customers what we did, we needed to educate them on why they needed us,” Harris says.
“It was a very clumsy way to sell – lengthy and very inefficient.”
The takeaway for businesses is to come up with simple ways to explain to clients how new products can serve them, especially if there’s nothing similar already available.
“Clearly definable products that easily tell customer what they do, resulted in immediate comprehension and a significantly more efficient sales cycle,” Harris says.
Having sped up to a three-year annualised growth rate of more than 330%, the business is now focused on balance and sustainable growth.
“It’s hard to keep everything in sync and not ‘blow the business up’ by accelerating one part faster than the others,” Harris says.
Having recently expanded to New Zealand and the UK, Search365 is now working on channel partners, to “get us to market faster with greater opportunity coverage”, says Harris.
The goal is to expand through developing products that others can then sell and implement.
“The development of our SaaS [Software-as-a-Service] based products will allow us to engage others to sell and implement our products,” Harris says.