Patrick Husting runs a small development shop, ExtendedResults where he sells a product called PUSHBI, a mobile business intelligence app. While the app was popular on iOS and Android, he found some interesting results when he moved it onto Windows 8 – his sales, once flat on Windows, went up to the tune of 2,500 downloads in the last few weeks. He admits it’s not a huge sample size but it’s some interesting data coming out of a fairly obscure part of the app ecosystem which suggests that, at least for some people, Windows 8 means increased revenue.
I spoke with Patrick today to get his take on the OS and market.
TC: Tell us about your product?
Patrick: PUSHBI, we call it a Personal Business Intelligence solution that can be found any iOS, Android or Windows device. That includes Phones, Tablets and Desktops (Windows). It is a business application that provides data to all these devices in a CNBC-like experience, but for your business. PUSHBI allows decision makers in organizations to have information presented to them in a familiar format that allows them to make quick business decisions or to follow an internal social discussion around a metric.
TC: What were your sales before Win8?
Patrick: We are a private company, but I will share percentages. Since we released our PUSHBI for Windows 8 in the 2nd week of November, we are staging deals right now for January and February closing – just the way it works when selling Enterprise software. Right now, we are looking at 4x our 2012 revenue in just the 1st quarter of 2013 alone. And this is with companies that have been evaluating Windows 8 that are upgrading from XP and 7. The past couple of years, our customer base has been very focused on iPad, which is 95% of the demand.
What helped your sales on Windows 8? The store? The UI?
Patrick: We are the only business intelligence application in the Windows 8 Store today. To me, the Business section in the store is kind of neglected, but I would say most people who have Windows 8 are productivity/business people. So they are naturally looking for productivity applications, rather than games.
Also, we really have a different kind of user experience on Windows 8 than we have on the iPad and Android tablets. What I mean is, we simply allow you to manage and monitor your most important metrics – kind of like a stock ticker – drill into the trends and the social discussions in regards to the metrics, then you’re one tab away from calling/IMing someone or drilling into a deeper report view. It is very natural to how business users use data to manage their tasks and business objectives. Again, very similar to watching CNBC.
I think we are having success because our solution tells a story with your data. The end result is, you might have to make a decision and take action that involves browsing to some corporate app. That is where Windows 8 does well on tablets. I get full fidelity when browsing to corporate apps. That can be a shot in the dark on other tablet OS browsers.
TC: What have you heard from other developers re: Windows 8?
Patrick: I’ve only heard some of the negative press about Windows 8, like the gaming company that was complaining about their $83 dollars in sales. Windows 8 is great for business application developers, but we just haven’t seen that many. Our application tends to be better for touch type interfaces like Windows 8, iPad, etc.
My developers love the tools support. They quickly get it and with the wealth of developer support we all get from Microsoft, time to market in development applications is pretty quick.
TC: This is a fairly small sample size. Is there anything that points to bigger future results?
Patrick: Agree, but again, I sell solutions from the mid to the enterprise space, so our download numbers will naturally be smaller. BUT, we make it up in revenue because our software tends to be more complex, which it is, but not for the end user. We know companies using our solutions have a productivity gain, not drain.
TC: What is your favorite Microsoft OS? Did you like Bob?
Patrick: BOB was great. It will come back someday. AI is not going away. Heck, we are adding it into our KPI Server product so we can make our KPIs (metrics) smarter that you.
Windows 7 was ROCK solid. Windows 8 in Desktop mode is even more ROCK solid for business. Windows 8 in tablet mode is great, because I can quickly and easily navigate in a touch experience and still get to my business apps without much fuss.