Interview with John Martin, IQNavigator

Our interview this morning is with John Martin, who is Senior Vice President, Strategy & Technology at Denver-based IQNavigator ( IQNavigator has been doing very well, and has been turning a profit since last year, and we thought it would be interesting to catch up with the firm and see how they were doing.

Techrockies: For those of our readers who aren't familiar with your company, what does IQNavigator do?

John Martin: IQNavigator is software as a service that provides service and procurement solution, that addresses all the types of services that businesses buy, such as contract labor, marketing services, field services, etc. This is an uncovered application area by the ERP vendors, and is focused strictly on services. When you're buying parts, ERP software works, but when you're talking about people or projects, that's where IQNavigator comes into play. IQNavigator tracks services through sourcing, procurement, delivery, and payment.

Techrockies: Who are your typical customers?

JM: We sell to global 2000 companies, across all different kinds of industries. Our customers based in the United States, range from the Bank of New York to Xcel Energy, as well as companies based overseas such as Shell, Sony, and Alcatel. Any large company is a candidate for our solution, because every company buys a myriad of services, with controls, challenges, and compliance concerns.

Techrockies: Do you sell your services to the CFO, or to purchasing departments?

JM: We sell our service to purchasing and procurement departments, occasionally to the finance group directly, sometimes the HR group to handle temporary labor, and sometimes IT services.

Techrockies: Where is IQNavigator nowadays – I know you received some venture capital in 2004?

JM: We are about 120 people, and we reached profitability late last year. We're now self funding, and growing very quickly. We doubled our revenue last year. Because we're software as service, we have great visibility into our future revenue stream, and we see that we will almost double revenues again in 2006. In terms of growth, we're not only adding a substantial number of new customers, we're also growing within our current base, with several partnerships driving new opportunities our way.

Techrockies: What's next for IQNavigator?

JM: We're growing as rapidly as possible. A big part of that which is different from our software companies is satisfying our customer base. Between a third and a half of our business comes from current customers. We are focusing a lot on delivering benefits to our customers, increasing our value to them, and improving our solutions—that's a big part of our focus. The other is around new sales communities—direct and through channels. We're seeing that really pick up as people pick up the solution. We've survived the technology downturn and reached profitability, and are recognized as a leader in our space. We're the largest in our industry, growing the most quickly, and have the broadest solution footprint. We have lots of momentum right now, as the market is turning our way, and we're growing as fast as possible.

Techrockies: Speaking of the downturn, what's your read of the Denver technology corridor nowadays?

JM: Obviously, we went through a huge technology downturn, and specifically in Colorado with telecom and cable consolidation, there were tens of thousands of people on the street in the 2001 and 2002 timeframe. The great thing about Colorado is people love living here, and there has been very little migration. We've been able to hire world class individuals and build the best team in our industry and the technology world, to our benefit. The other thing about the tech economy here is that it seems to have hit a new gear, beginning about Q3 of last year. We were seeing a firming up of employment in 2003 and early 2004, where salaries were stabilizing and turning up. Now we are seeing lots of new companies starting up and new funding.

Techrockies: Thanks!