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Big firms key to SME wins: IntelligenceBank

IntelligenceBank managing director and founder Tessa Court has said that a scheme of giving incentives to large organisations to "take a chance" on small companies' products would be worth more than money provided by government grants.
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Written by Suzanne Tindal on

IntelligenceBank managing director and founder Tessa Court has said that a scheme of giving incentives to large organisations to "take a chance" on small companies' products would be worth more than money provided by government grants.

Tessa Court and team

Tessa Court and her team accept the Business3000 awards (Credit: IntelligenceBank)

IntelligenceBank's business is all about providing companies with information, no matter where that information comes from. The document management and business intelligence tool draws information from various sources including newer mediums such as social media and RSS feeds.

The company counts organisations such as GIO Insurance, Suncorp Bank, National Australia Bank, AAMI and Fonterra among its customers and recently won Best New Business and Business of the Year for the City of Melbourne Business3000 awards.

Part of the company's success has been due to early involvement with large firms, according to Court.

"I was one who looked for every government grant and assistance package under the sun," she told ZDNet Australia. However, IntelligenceBank has not received additional funding from government grant schemes.

At the end of the day, Court believed that the success of her company had come from receiving feedback from large organisation clients on how IntelligenceBank's platform could be used within their businesses.

"There are all these government grants that have very long processes and different hurdles you have to kind of jump through to get any money. It's not the money you need so much, it's the experience," she said.

Court thought that the government might use this fact to help out small businesses.

"If I were running this show I guess and I were government, I would think of a way to incentivise big businesses to take a chance on small organisations and have some sort of incentive scheme on the buyer side," she said. "A lot of times with these big companies it takes an innovative buyer to take a chance on something that's new."

Having a corporate buyer come on early is an enormous benefit, she said, since it's not really until you have a large corporate on board with thousands of users and tonnes of documents that the product really comes into its own.

"We had a product that was being used [before our big clients], but I don't think it was extended to the extent it was until after we had the big clients come on board, and pressure tested," she said.

However, there was a difference between taking feedback and providing the customer with everything, according to Court. Her company has knocked back work because the extensions the client wanted were not going to be useful to the rest of the customer base, or would have had too much competition in the space to become a killer application.

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