Home Back Issues December 2010 Opportunity abounds as the downturn persists

Opportunity abounds as the downturn persists

| Print |  Email
Articles - December 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Article Index
Opportunity abounds as the downturn persists
Page 2: The real estate landscape is littered with deals
Page 3: Companies are looking for deals
Page 4: Consumers are looking for deals
Page 5: It’s a good time to buy technology
Page 6: Opportunity on the digital frontier
It’s a good time to buy technology

1210_Deals03Even 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.



 

More Articles

Community colleges and sustainability

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 31, 2014
sustainabilityBY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.


Read more...

OB Video: Dress for Success

News
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
DFSOBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...

Register for 100 Best Companies survey

News
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
OBM-100-best-logo-2015 150pxwBy Kim Moore | OB Editor

The 2015 survey launched this week. It is open to for-profit private and public companies that have at least 15 full- or part-time employees in Oregon.


Read more...

Trends in business succession

News
Thursday, July 03, 2014
TrendsBY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS

The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Steve Balzac

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

082014BalzacBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Steve Balzac, author of "Organizational Psychology for Managers."


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS