A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week:
What: Dexterra, based in Bothell
Who: Michael Liebow, 48, CEO
Mission: Develop software that coordinates interaction between portable devices and the enterprise.
Leveraging equipment: Dexterra’s cross-platform connection allows companies to maximize the power of older portable equipment and create a situation that relieves mobile workers from having to lug an 8-point laptop.
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Time sensitive: Liebow said customers can streamline any process that depends on “where” or “when.” For instance, a repair crew can more accurately pinpoint its arrival time, avoiding the painful “between 9 and 5” instructions that customers receive.
Gathering evidence: Some applications are more exotic. One customer, a British advertising company, instructs its sales force to take snapshots of billboards and send them to the client. That’s proof the sign is in place and all of its words have been spelled correctly. After the client receives this “proof of grammar,” an invoice is generated and sent.
Financials: The company just raised $21.5 million in venture funding, and hopes to achieve profitability in 2010. With 200 customers and 100,000 licenses, Liebow said Dexterra “has the wind behind us.”
Word-of-mouth: Liebow said Dexterra doesn’t need to convince the work force about the efficacy of its technology. In one case, the company built a test platform for a small portion of the sales force, but the service crashed. It turned out that the product “went viral” and was installed by 14,000 workers.
Scout duty: Liebow came to Dexterra in the summer, after a long stint at IBM.
No sale yet: Part of Liebow’s mission at IBM was to find smaller companies to purchase to increase Big Blue’s innovation portfolio. There are no such plans in place here. “Every company is for sale,” he said, “When it happens is hard to predict. Our goal right now is to bring the company into a positive-cash-flow situation, and go from there.”
— Charles Bermant