QUESTIONS Q3, 2019:
1. Net sales increased by as much as 158% compared with the same period last year. Could you tell us a little about the background to this sharp increase?
For license sales, the entire contract amount is recognized as income directly upon signing the agreement, which results in fluctuations between the quarters. During the third quarter, more sales were realized than usual during a third quarter, of which a large part from the USA.
2. Is it correct that the majority of invoicing takes place annually and license agreements run for a maximum of 3 years? If so, should the entire amount found under accrued income be such as invoiced for year 2 and year 3, and thus give you cash flow within 24 months?
Yes it is true. In principle, all of the SEK 16.4 million in accrued income will end up in our cash register within 24 months.
3. You write about your hybrid model where you both have a large proportion of current customers with traditional license agreements while you have a growing proportion of customers with subscription agreements, so-called SaaS model. How do you see how the quarterly fluctuations, given your two revenue models, are affected by this?
With more sales deals with new customers according to the SaaS model, the quarterly fluctuations decrease. We intend to return to the market with clarification of the company's underlying development of sales (so-called ARR - Annual Recurring Revenue).
4. What does the new SaaS model look like, and how is it reported? Is it, for example, monthly, quarterly or annual subscription income? Is there a minimum period that could have to stay? Are you actively trying to get old customers to switch to this model, or is it entirely up to the customer?
Revenues for SaaS are taken in connection with invoicing. When the SaaS model is implemented, it will probably have a rolling subscription period of 3-12 months for new customers. However, most of the company's existing major customers are not traditional SaaS customers, which is why there will be an assessment on a case - by - case basis based on which form of agreement is most commercially advantageous.
5. You increase your operating costs partly as a result of e.g. IT development and sales and marketing efforts. Can investors expect operating costs to stabilize at these levels in the coming quarters?
It is true that operating costs in 2019 have increased as a result of a number of future investments such as building infrastructure for SaaS and the American market. The company does not provide forecasts for future development of operating expenses.
In Q3, there is a cost of “Raw materials and consumables”, which has been zero in previous reports. Is it because certain costs have been reclassified and ended up there, or are parts of Q3's sales some other form of revenue (eg hardware?) Than you had before?
Yes, in order to streamline the cost accounting, selling expenses are attributed to "Raw materials and consumables", in this case compensation to resellers and third party information content. The third quarter has not been affected by “any other form of revenue, e.g. hardware than we had before ”.
7. Personnel costs amount to approximately SEK 2.6 million, which is a decrease of approximately 16% compared with the same period last year. What does it depend on?
After several development works during the first half of the year, personnel costs have stabilized. Internal resources have been reallocated to support the sales process. Some "transfer" of costs has taken place between personnel costs and other costs as a result of the form of assignment.
8. Would you be able to update the situation around your business in North America and your sales office in Chicago? How do you see that customer contact differs from the Swedish market?
Christian Bjersér has been appointed CEO of our American subsidiary, Comintelli Inc. He is based in Chicago and co-located with our American reseller, Proactive. We have a team with both sales people and customer support staff on site who can support both new sales and existing customers. One third of our customers now come from the United States and they have high demands on support.
QUESTIONS Q2, 2019:
During Q2-19, the Group's net sales decreased by 14% compared with the same period last year. What does it depend on?
Several of the sales processes, with major contracts, that the company intended to realize during the second quarter did not end for various reasons. Comintelli is still in a shift from a more traditional revenue model for software to a more subscription-based revenue model with shorter contract periods. We are convinced that this is the right way to go to increase growth in the long run, even if the adjustment leads to irregular fluctuations between quarters. When the new subscription model is eventually fully implemented, revenue streams will be evened out.
2. You continue to operate in the US market. How has it developed during the quarter?
Comintelli assesses significant growth potential in the US market and intends to continue its establishment. It has taken a little longer than we planned, but during the first quarter of the year, the first transactions in the American subsidiary Comintelli Inc were recognized as revenue. The commitment and addition of resources to the US market requires a short-term adjustment, but the increased presence guarantees the realization of more business in the future.
3. Your other external costs have more than doubled during Q2-19 compared to the same period last year. What does it depend on?
There are two reasons;
1) In the shift to a more subscription-based model (SaaS), we need to make some investments in infrastructure and new resources. We implemented this during the second quarter and it will give us a stable platform to grow on in the future. The cost of this has been taken directly over the result.
2) In line with the strategic plan, we have allocated extra resources for marketing, including our own international conference IntelliSummit ( www.intelli-summit.com ) . This has resulted in a larger influx of leads, but few deals so far.
4. Do you notice any macro trends, such as the risk of trade wars, that have affected you as a SaaS company during the quarter?
To some extent, customers in some industries are more careful and meticulous in their purchases, which means that it takes longer to complete than planned. But at the same time, it is our opinion that the need and demand for the service "external monitoring and analysis" increases in step with the turbulence in the surrounding world, both for large and small companies.
5. If you for investors were to highlight something that today is extra important to follow in Comintelli's operations during the rest of the year, what would it have been?
Our own main goals are to land more new customers, retain and expand existing ones and establish ourselves in the USA. Extra important to follow will then be the number of customers and what proportion of these are in the USA.
QUESTIONS Q1, 2019:
1. The Group's net sales decrease by 20% during Q1-19. What does it depend on?
Comintelli: It is true that it is a decrease compared to Q1 2018, which you should remember was the best Q1 we had. Historically, this was a normal first quarter for us.
We are still implementing the strategy change to a more SaaS-based and scalable business model and are of course aiming for higher sales. However, the effects of what we have done and are doing are not yet visible in sales.
2. You continue your investment in the American market and during Q1-19 the first transactions were recognized as income. Could you tell us more about your American subsidiary Comintelli, Inc?
Comintelli: It is a milestone that we have not only established the American subsidiary Comintelli Inc., but also already have business in the company. It has taken longer than we thought to become a group with subsidiaries, but now that it is in place, we are already noticing how much easier it will be to do business in the USA. We are becoming more equal to our American competitors and no longer considered a small unknown company on the outskirts of northern Europe. In the long run, it will greatly increase our opportunities to grow further in the United States.
During Q1-19, the quarter was burdened with increased costs attributable to growth-promoting activities. How do you work today to bring in more but smaller sales cases?
Comintelli: We are in the process of switching to a more scalable model which includes a new price, payment and contract model, new customer systems and that we are repackaging Intelligence2day to make it easier for new customers to get on board. We also develop Intelligence2day, so that the application becomes even more scalable both in terms of information intake, number of users and mailings. This means that we, in a cost-effective way, receive more prospectuses directly via the web that can grow into the system at its own pace.
4. Could you develop how the increased costs during the quarter can be converted to increased orders during the second half of 2019?
Comintelli: We have invested in the establishment of Comintelli Inc in the USA, but now everything is in place and should be able to generate increased revenue already in 2019. Otherwise, we will continue to experience a certain jerky depending on which quarter the licenses are recognized as revenue.
We have also invested heavily in our first major user conference, IntelliSummit (www.intelli-summit.com), which was held in April. In addition to our fantastic customers, many of our dealers gathered and we were able to strengthen relationships with everyone on site. In these very competitive times, we are proud that several Fortune 500 companies have chosen Intelligence2day for their analysis of the world around them.
The marketing has yielded results in the form of participation in Forrester Research's first market analysis of the Market / Competitive Intelligence technology market as only one of 23 companies in the world. It is very large, but takes time before it is visible in sales. (Reference: https://comintelli.com/2019/03/14/comintelli-included-as-a-growth-stage-company-among-emerging-vendors-offering-market-and-competitive-intelligence-solutions-in -report-by-forrester /).
Finally, we have managed to get a new CFO who will free up more of my time for what I am passionate about, namely marketing and sales of Intelligence2day.
5. If you for investors were to highlight something that today is extra important to follow in Comintelli's operations during the second half of 2019, what would it have been?
Comintelli: For SaaS companies, the measure of annual recurring income is important (so-called ARR, Annual Recurring Revenues). The non-financial key parameters we ourselves use to measure success in 2019 are:
1) the number of new customers (regardless of size), especially in the US, and
2) that a high percentage of customers extend and stay.
If we succeed in increasing both of these metrics, we will see a good exchange rate in growth.
We intend to improve and clarify these measures in future communication with investors.
6. The fact that Forrester is now releasing a report on the Competitive Intelligence market and defining it as a trend shows that companies are now starting to open their eyes to this. Have you noticed this?
Comintelli: Yes, we are noticing that interest in analytics is growing, especially in the United States. But the very concept of "Competitive Intelligence" is perhaps not well known in Sweden and the Nordic countries yet. Many people confuse it with media coverage, but it is not really the same thing. Media surveillance focuses more on what has already happened, while Competitive Intelligence is more focused on detecting threats and opportunities on the way forward.
7. Forrester defines Comintelli as one of the leading companies in Competitive Intelligence. What sets you apart and gives you an edge?
Comintelli: We have been around for 20 years and have built solutions for several of the leading companies. It has given us valuable knowledge about customers' needs that few have. We are good at handling very many different types of data, not just from the web and we have several automatic analysis tools that none of the other companies have.
8. In the report, Forrester has divided market participants into three categories and defined you as a software platform vendor. What in your SaaS offer gives you an edge over the other two categories of consulting provider and provider of additional services?
Comintelli: We are a pure software supplier and focus 100% on it. This means that I believe we have a technical lead over several competitors who have hybrid models and deliver information and packaged consulting services for CI. In the long run, I think it will turn out that it is difficult to do both and be the best at both. We want to be the best in software and collaborate with others to create complete solutions with the best of all worlds.
Of the competing and comparable companies, Comintelli is the only company where strategy managers, who usually work closely with management, make up a large part of the users. What do you think it depends on?
Comintelli: Intelligence2day is often used by units within companies that work with marketing, business development, innovation, strategy or external analysis. There, we have a special focus on supporting users in their decision-making about the strategy process, by detecting future trends early and being alerted to warning signals before it is too late, but also to find possible company acquisitions and mergers.
10. Was there anything else in Forrester's report that you would like to highlight?
Comintelli: Firstly, we are very pleased that Forrester is now starting to monitor the area and define the CI market. It is not only to the delight of us but all players in the market. The fact that, after all the research, they have Comintelli on their list of suppliers indicates that our platform Intelligence2day is very competitive.