SurfN Seeks License Deals In Other Cities by Mike Pare
SurfN Development Corp, a Chattanooga information management software development firm, plans to forge agreements to license operations in other hub cities as the company continues to grow.
Alan Field, president of the 17-year-old company, said his business is preparing to license the software service operations complete with the business systems for 14 industries that the St. Elmo company has developed.
"We're shooting for midsized communities where relationships still exist. We have the show-how and the know-how," he said.
Mr. Field said that in the next three to five years, the company would like to have the hubs in five to 10 other cities as it looks to double its revenues.
He said the move marks a new phase in the growth of the business he founded with his wife, Pauline.
He foresees that in the next decade about 90 percent of company efforts will go into marketing and just 10 percent into development.
In the past, those numbers were reversed.
The company, with five employees, has a lot of second and third-generation business people as clients, he said.
"They know what they want to do. They need someone to help with the software to do the job," Mr. Field said.
Jim Eldridge, president of the Chattanooga construction firm Ledco Inc, said SurfN Development designed a software package for estimating and accounting and brought the two tasks together.
While Ledeo considered nationally advertised software packages, SurfN Development gave it more flexibility, Mr. Eldridge said.
"It’s more customized to what we wanted," he said, adding there is someone available locally to tweak the system or update it if needed.
Mr. Field, who declined to reveal revenue figures, said the company’s software is Internet based, which he believes is where the market is moving.
In addition, the company’s systems are developed and delivered on the Sun Microsystems Java platform, which he believes is superior even if lesser known.
John Avery of Sun Microsystems said speed is an advantage of the platform. It also uses less power than other top systems, he said.
Mr. Field said the company has decided to grow without outside venture capital or stock by reinvesting profits to grow the business.