Ridgeland — In only 26 months, NetworkStreaming has grown from a tiny spin-off division of a local telecommunications firm to a full-fledged national player in the ultra-competitive software industry.
Joel Bomgaars, a new systems engineer for Ridgeland-based Business Communications Inc. (BCI), officially opened NetworkStreaming in August 2003, specializing in appliance-based solutions for remote supports for IT professionals.
During its first full years of operations, NetworkStreaming surpassed the $1 million sales mark. Within 17 months, the company had amassed an impressive client list of more than 850 customers in 46 states and 30 foreign countries.
“We had anticipated hitting $1 million in total revenue by the end of 2004, including sales in 2003, but we surpassed that goal early, and ended the calendar year with $1.1 million in gross revenue,” said Nathan McNeill, COO and marketing coordinator.
Through what McNeill calls “a fluke,” Bomgaars, McNeill and Patrick Norman raised $1 million in capital from two local investment groups: Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company (SFBLIC) and Gulf South Capital, led by former U.S. ambassador to Portugal John Palmer, who recently joined SmartSynch’s board of directors.
“We had a meeting with (Mississippi Development Authority executive director) Leland Speed, just to see if he might have some advice for us, and he pulled John Palmer into the room,” recalled McNeill. “We ended up giving him the quick take on what we were doing, and added, ‘by the way, we’re looking for venture capital.’ We had already met with (SFBLIC CEO) Joey Stroble, and it turned out that John and Joey had a connection, so within a month or so, we had the money in hand.”
NetworkStreaming moved from a 400-square-foot workspace in the BCI building into 3,000 square feet of new office space in the Paragon Building on Highland Colony Parkway. The company began adding software developers to meet the demand for the company’s newest remote product, PresentationDesk. Within the first six weeks of the product rollout, 22 licenses had been sold.
Company products already included SupportDesk, software that enables clients to gain full control of a remote computer in seconds to offer online technical assistance or consultation, and AccessDesk, which allows customers to gain remote access to unattended servers or workstations to troubleshoot problems or perform routine maintenance.
PresentationDesk allowed customers to share their computer screen online with clients for remote presentations, webinars, online training and Web-based collaboration.
For the first half of 2005, the company reported a 293% increase in revenues over the first six months of 2004. Within 24 months of being established, quarterly growth rates had consistently reached 30% to 50% by reinforcing NetworkStreaming’s leading position among IT systems integrators, software vendors, universities and insurance and financial companies. The number of clients: 1,400 and counting.
“NetworkStreaming’s continued success demonstrates the high value our solutions provide for companies to safely connect to remote clients and co-workers,” said Bomgaars, CEO of NetworkStreaming. “The appliance-based solution allows our customers the ability to grow as their needs increase and provide a layer of remote security previously unattainable.”
Last week, NetworkStreaming announced another flush of cash. The company closed $6 million in a second round of funding from SFBLIC and GulfSouth Capital, bringing the total capital backing of the software development company to $7 million.
The capital allowed NetworkStreaming to expand its sales and marketing activities through direct and channel sales, continued web marketing and a strong public relations effort to IT publications focusing on the east and west coasts and to further develop its product line.
“Of the companies offering this type of solution, we’re the only one focused exclusively on the support professional,” said McNeill. “It’s important to us to enhance our remote support products.”
Closer to home, NetworkStreaming is collaborating with the Mississippi Technology Alliance (MTA) to help businesses rebuild their IT infrastructure following Hurricane Katrina. The company is providing its NS Support Appliances pre-loaded with remote control support, access and presentation applications to help disaster-affected users with their IT and business collaboration needs. The software does not require any pre-installation or configuration, and it works between any two computers, anywhere in the world, even through corporate firewalls. NetworkStreaming also donated 10% of its September revenue to the American Red Cross.
Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynne W. Jeter at firstname.lastname@example.org.