Ness Talks Recovery, New Markets

Ness Technologies, Inc., a Teaneck, N.J.-based global IT software services company, conducted a conference call with analysts at Cowen and Company’s Technology Media & Telecom Conference this week, to discuss Ness’s business and growth outlook, which is in recovery mode since the 2009 downturn. Ness has about $600 million in annual revenue with 6,900 employees worldwide. About 360 of those are in the US. Ness doesn’t reveal how many of those employees are in NJ, a spokesman said.

According to CEO Sachi Gerlitz, the company looks for business in the midsized market, and addresses the needs of midmarket customers with global reach. The company’s business is conducted in four vertical markets: high tech, 15-20%; financial services 20-25%; defense and homeland security, 10-15%; public and utilities,  20-30%. Ness is now moving into the life sciences and healthcare vertical market, which it says is about 5-10% of its business. The company has its roots in Israel and according to Gerlitz, a long-term relationship with the Israeli Ministry of Defense helped Ness become a player in defense and homeland security.

The company’s strength comes from creating long-lasting relationships with customers, with 85% of business coming from existing customers, Gerlitz said. Nevertheless, no one customer is responsible for more than 6% of revenue. Globally, the company’s business comes from Israel, Eastern Europe and North America. In North America, systems integration and financial services are the company’s first priority, with healthcare and pharmaceuticals a close second.

Ness has 3000 employees in India, serving customers in off-shore mode. Gerlitz pointed out that a big part of the company’s business is software engineering for Integrated Software Vendors (ISVs) in vertical markets. Working under the direction of the ISV, Ness provides shrink wrapped software which ISVs use to develop their own revenue streams.

Gerlitz told analysts that his firm has both engineering and “domain” experience and companies and governments trust Ness with time critical projects. “If a product needs to be seasonally launched, and there is a delay in the development,” it could kill the revenue stream of that company, Gerlitz pointed out.  However, Ness has the proven ability to bring these kinds of projects in on time, he said.

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