OnForce: Clear Vision In Mixed Economy
Paul Nadjarian is suffering — in a good way — from deja vu. As a senior VP at OnForce, Nadjarian can peer into the company’s online marketplace to track key IT trends during these uncertain economic times. This is a familiar role for Nadjarian, who worked at eBay Motors during the bumpy economy in 2002. Nadjarian sees parallels between OnForce’s current marketplace and his time at eBay. Now, for the twist: The current trends reveal some positive signs for solutions providers, Nadjarian asserts.
“When I was with eBay, many companies were suffering from bloated inventory and had to find a way to let some steam out of the system,” says Nadjarian. “They had to find a way to move products.”
As a result, the eBay Motors marketplace grew rapidly, as companies moved aggressively to unload their excess inventory. Today, Nadjarian says, a similar trend is happening in IT. Companies are a little nervous about hiring full-time talent — yet they have excess IT projects that need to be addressed. On the flip side, solutions providers are looking for ways to quickly find new engagements. “Everyone’s number one or number two requirement in IT is the need to find technical talent, and our marketplace has that talent,” says Nadjarian. “Companies need to manage their costs and headcount through IT on demand. And OnForce is where you go to find those service professionals.”
Of course, plenty of companies claim to be immune to economic slowdowns. Whether it’s software as a service (SaaS) or managed services, some pundits keep telling the press that their business model is the perfect antidote to a slow economy or even a recession.
But in OnForce’s case, the business metrics actually back up Nadjarian’s claims. In recent weeks, OnForce has seen “no dip” in the number of customer transactions its system has handled. Also, there’s been a recent spike in the number of IT providers and buyers registering for the system, he adds.
Since OnForce is privately held, it’s difficult to determine just how well the company is performing. But the company’s recent relocation from New York to Boston has triggered an influx of additional talent; the company’s new Canadian marketplace is growing four times faster than its US counterpart, and tests continue on additional marketplaces for Europe, notes CEO Peter Cannone.