Startup building channel for first product suite
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When Kevin Carlson was CTO of IT consultancy Viant, he constantly searched for out-of-the-box applications geared toward specific vertical niches. He didn't have much luck and ended up spending too much time and money having those apps developed from scratch. So when Carlson left the company a little more than a year ago, he did something about the problem.
His new company, Verteris, recently launched its first products,a suite of applications designed to help lawyers focused on mass torts and class-action lawsuits facilitate communications among themselves and their clients and to decrease the cost of creating and shipping documents.
Called Confero, the suite includes Internet Edition, Client Extranet and Counsel Extranet, which can be sold separately or together. Verteris, based here, currently has three customers and is in the process of formulating a channel program.
The company is willing to work with solution providers to help them maximize their margins, Carlson said. Pricing for Confero varies, but solution providers can make between 10 percent and 15 percent in recurring revenue, paid up front, on each sale, he said. "This is a perfect add-on for solution providers because they can host it themselves or we can host it for them and they don't have to worry about it," Carlson said. "The complex litigation market is over $1 billion, and there aren't too many people addressing it, so the opportunities for solution providers are huge."
Evan Leonard, president of Chips Solutions, a Lake Success, N.Y.-based solution provider serving the legal market, among others, met with Carlson at CMP Media's recent Solution Provider XChange and received a demonstration the product suite. "The products seem very simple to use, and you can see the cost savings for the customer right off the bat," Leonard said. "If you can get the customer to use it once, it will become an addictive product suite."
The Internet Edition of Confero provides law firms with a Web presence built around a content management platform, and solution providers can use it to help them create customized sites with dedicated case areas.
The Client Extranet is used mainly as a secure communications tool between the law office and clients. The Counsel Extranet, Verteris' flagship product, provides a communications system that allows lawyers to notify opposing attorneys, store pertinent case documents and record what documents are viewed and when, Carlson said.