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|Articles - December 2010|
|Wednesday, November 17, 2010|
Page 5 of 6It’s a good time to buy technology
Even as the economy slowed to a near-standstill, innovation in the technology sector continued to move at a dizzying speed. Software and hardware just get better, faster and more efficient — and in many ways, cheaper. It costs far less to start up a company than in the past, or to bring systems up to date, gain faster Internet connections, expand your marketing presence online, improve conversion rates and take advantage of cloud computing. Even more significantly for established but growing Oregon companies such as EthicsPoint, it is an extremely good time to purchase sophisticated technologies developed by individuals who don’t have the resources to commercialize them.
EthicsPoint, a rapidly expanding Lake Oswego-based expert in the governance, risk and compliance industry with more than 2,300 clients, has built its business on the bottom-line importance of running an organization with integrity. The market for their services has grown as regulations have become more complex (think HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley) and laws on the books for years regarding bribery and corruption (think the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) are enforced with more vigor in the wake of the financial crisis.
“There’s no shortage of opportunity for us,” says CEO David Childers.
EthicsPoint purchased two key technologies earlier this year at a fraction of the amount invested to develop them. The first is a policy manager technology that enables companies to set and track workplace policies and monitor their effectiveness. The second is a visualization tool developed for the Department of Homeland Security that enables users to layer data covering everything from crime and terrorist acts to weather and foreclosure rates onto interactive maps that help monitor risks proactively. That tool is built on layers, filters and feeds, and it aggregates data from a wide variety of sources. It is used by the U.S. Army to monitor troops in Afghanistan and by the Swedish Government to oversee its 9-1-1 program. EthicsPoint plans to offer it to clients in the first quarter of 2011.
“We used the down economy to take advantage of technology people had invested a lot of money in,” says Childers. “We were able to buy that technology at a very good price. Now EthicsPoint is in the awareness business. We can help clients identify events in real time that could pose a risk to their businesses.”
Both technologies play nicely into the EthicsPoint strategy to expand the menu of services available to its 2,300-plus clients. “We have 100 clients already clamoring for our visualization product,” which will be released in the first quarter of 2011, Childers says.
Other tech companies have also seized the opportunity to purchase key technology in this economy, the largest example being Intel buying the security giant McAfee for $7.7 billion. But the opportunity doesn’t apply only to tech giants. Prices for all types of businesses have fallen. The most recent data from the Internet’s largest marketplace of businesses for sale, BizBuySell.com, indicates that prices for local businesses are even lower now than they were a year ago. The current median asking price for Portland businesses is $249,750, down 14.8% from $293,000 a year ago. The data considers both listed businesses and the growing number of companies for sale by owner.
Nationally, the median sales price for small businesses is the lowest it has been since BizBuySell.com began tracking it in 2007.
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Produced by the Oregon Business marketing department
When the Portland-based manufacturing company Glass Alchemy, Ltd. was first nominated for an Oregon State University Austin Family Business Excellence in Family Business award in 2004, husband-and-wife team Henry Grimmett and Susan Webb-Grimmett, were honored and optimistic about their chances of winning.
Some employers have embraced the use of employment arbitration agreements as a way to manage and mitigate the rising costs, risks and liabilities associated with employment-related claims. Historically, employment arbitration agreements require employees to present employment-related claims, such as employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, harassment, or claims for wages or compensation to an arbitrator, in lieu of proceeding to court.
Produced by the Oregon Business marketing department
Boly:Welch was founded in 1986 based on a close connection between Diane Boly and Pat Welch. The two had worked together at another recruitment firm and shared certain core values: passion for their work, a sense of humor, a commitment to their community and a desire to create a healthy, nurturing work environment.
The Oregon New Lawyers Division of the Oregon State Bar recognized two of Barran Liebman’s own at their Annual Meeting and Social on November 1.
Barran Liebman LLP is proud to announce that Iris Tilley has been named a partner with the firm. Iris has been with Barran Liebman since 2009 and is a member of the Employee Benefits practice group. She advises employers in all aspects of employee benefits, including ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, retirement plans, compensation agreements, and health care reform.
Dunn Carney will host its annual Ag Summit on Jan. 10, 2014 at the Holiday Inn in Wilsonville, OR. We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Sherri Noxel, Director of the Austin Family Business Program at Oregon State University College of Business as our Keynote speaker.