FISION, the Leader in Agile Marketing, Reports Breakout Year
January 18, 2018
MINNEAPOLIS – January 18, 2018 – FISION Corporation (OTCQB: FSSN), an emerging leader in digital asset management, agile marketing, and sales enablement reports strong progress across the board in 2017, from major enterprise customer wins and global deployments, to completing a strategic acquisition, receiving its first U.S. patent, and becoming a public company.
According to FISION CEO Mike Brown, “Without a doubt, 2017 was our most successful and productive year yet and one that has laid a solid foundation for growth and market expansion in the year ahead.”
New customer wins in 2017 included a Fortune 50 global provider of aerospace and building systems, a Super Bowl-winning National Football League team, and a leading innovator in healthcare led by former top executives from Amazon, Google, and 2nd.MD.
Major global launches of the FISION platform included a Fortune 200 company that operates the world’s largest business network, and a Fortune 500 global financial services company with more than 20,000 investment advisors nationwide.
FISION generates revenues from these SaaS deployments with contracts that are usually three years in length and monthly subscription fees based on the number of users and/or locations.
While the integration of these large scale FISION deployments has extended over several months, they are creating very deep and ‘sticky’ engagements that the company expects to provide consistent and widening recurring revenue streams over time.
The Power of FISION
These new enterprise customers and deployments reflect the unique power and value of FISION’s cloud-based SaaS platform. They choose FISION over a myriad of other options because of how FISION enables their distributed sales and marketing teams to efficiently create, store, distribute, and measure omni-channel marketing communication.
Moreover, they have discovered how FISION facilitates the real-time customization and localization of collateral and communications in new and powerful ways, while ensuring critical legal and brand compliance.
By having their sales and marketing communications integrated with the FISION platform, they are realizing numerous benefits:
- Easier and more efficient brand distribution and sales enablement across a large, distributed enterprise
- Consistent brand messaging and regulatory compliance
- 50%-100% gain in salesforce efficiency
- 300% increase in marketing labor efficiency
- Visibility into sales and marketing performance of people and materials down to the local level
- Better business decisions based on actionable, real-time data and analytics
- ROI typically in less than 90 days from launch
So Uniquely Powerful, its Patented
The underlying technology that delivers these benefits is so revolutionary and transformative, in May of this year FISION was awarded its first U.S. patent. The patent recognizes the exceptional degree of innovation at the core of the platform and validates its unique value proposition for enterprise customers and channel partners worldwide.
“This patent also secures the basis of our shareholder value that we believe has yet to be reflected in our market valuation,” noted Brown. “For those familiar with our industry, they know that such methods of use patents are rare in our space and therefore provide us a strong competitive barrier to entry. We continue to strengthen and enhance our proprietary IP, and we have three additional patents pending that we believe further set us apart from the competition.”
The industry has begun to take notice, and earlier this year FISION received the prestigious 2017 SalesTech Award. The award recognizes companies that demonstrate excellence, innovation, and leadership in sales technology.
Channel Partners Opening Worldwide Opportunities
Today, every major enterprise in the world uses a CRM to manage their contacts, and many use marketing automation tools to generate leads. However, finding effective ways to manage content with greater efficiencies throughout the customer buying journey is still a huge challenge for most enterprises. FISION excels in bridging the gap between CRM and many marketing tech platforms.
One of the company’s active channel partners includes Marketo, a recognized world leader in engagement marketing software and solutions. Marketo helped the company land the financial services company where FISION is currently solving major pain points in terms of brand management and regulatory compliance with their distributed network of 20,000 registered representatives.
Given how FISION highly complements their service offerings, earlier this year Marketo appointed FISION as a global LaunchPoint Partner. Both companies have continued to partner for winning new business, and they are currently addressing the needs of a large global manufacturer.
This fall, FISION announced a strategic partnership with a global, award winning creative agency. The alliance combines FISION’s engagement marketing platform and measurement capabilities with the agency’s strengths in creative execution, strategy, data, and analytics.
The agency works with dozens of renowned global brands, where improving local communications and empowering distributed sales and marketing teams with better tools is essential. The agency wants its clients to take advantage of how FISION can simplify brand distribution, provide better social integration, and put more data behind customer interactions through ‘insight-driven engagement.’
Brands that already use FISION will now have access to the agency’s fully integrated approach, mixing the best in creativity, strategy, and technology to drive greater impact at every stage in their go-to-market lifecycle. Through this agency relationship, FISION has established a global reseller network with worldwide client opportunities.
Jason Mitzo, the company’s Chief Revenue Officer, has been instrumental in creating and leading these important channel partner relationships. Jason brought to FISION existing relationships with some of the world’s top brands, including Ariba, Aveda, Crowne Plaza Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, SAP, Mitsubishi Motors and others.
Before joining FISION, Mitzo was a successful team leader at Oracle, and Oracle Eloqua is now another important channel partner for FISION. “Jason has a talent for building important relationships and attracting customer interest in our offerings,” said Brown, “and his skills have proven invaluable for our successful transition from SMB to major enterprise sales.”
Platform Expansion Across Global Enterprises
Another key element to FISION’s go-to-market strategy has been the expansion of its platform within a customer’s enterprise after initially deploying for a single department or subsidiary. The company is finally seeing this approach gaining traction with several enterprise customers.
FISION is actively engaged in expanding its deployment for a global provider of financial and insurance products that serves more than 5 million clients across the U.S., United Kingdom, South Africa, China, Singapore, and Australia.
FISION’s ability to easily localize communications, including for multiple languages and geographical regions, has been a key differentiator among its competition. As part of this process, FISION has introduced a close channel partner who brings complementary solutions, further strengthening both the client and partner relationship.
FISION is also advancing a number of other expansion opprotunties with existing clients, including with a leading global wholesaler of mutual funds that is a subsidiary of one of its existing clients.
In April, FISION acquired a local Minneapolis-based company, Volerro, a recognized leader in cloud-based content collaboration and agile marketing technology. Volerro brought to FISION two major enterprise clients that included a top five U.S. bank (also based in Minneapolis), and a $3.2 billion U.S. retailer operating 363 stores across 24 states. Volerro enhances the FISION platform with complementary cloud-based collaboration, agile marketing, and sales enablement software.
FISION can now offer the full range of agile marketing capabilities, from ideation and creation, to distribution and local sales enablement. FISION users will be able to act smarter, faster, nimbler, and more efficiently to drive revenues and win in the marketplace.
“Given our enhanced value proposition with Volerro, we are seeing broader and more easily-accessible sales opportunities that can deliver incremental recurring revenue growth for both FISION and our channel partners,” noted Mitzo. “Volerro’s easy-to-deploy, cloud-based service also creates a new entry point for ‘landing and expanding.’”
One such opportunity materialized recently with the Volerro wining a contract with a National Football League team, which has now expanded into discussions for a full FISION platform deployment.
FISION management continues to explore and identify additional acquisition targets that could provide the company complementary technology and accretive earnings potential.
Building for the Future
To provide greater liquidity and transparency for our shareholders, in March FISION became a fully reporting, publicly traded company. As anticipated, this has enhanced the company’s visibility in the capital markets and attracted new investors.
A key addition to the company’s management team has been its chief technology officer and chief product officer, Wade Anderson. Anderson brought to FISION extensive experience in leading SMB and enterprise companies through software development, systems architecture, and program delivery. With an MBA (Summa Cum Laude) in Technology Application Management, he has served organizations that include Accenture, Best Buy, and the State of Minnesota.
Anderson is responsible for FISION’s product strategy, overall systems architecture and user experience, as well as building teams and project execution. He has been leading a transformation in the company’s operational infrastructure in preparation for customer growth in 2018.
A key change in 2017 was the company’s migration to Microsoft’s Azure Cloud. This state-of-the-art cloud data service has lowered IT costs and improved security and reliability, while supporting virtually unlimited scalability globally without additional capex.
Further strengthening the foundation for growth, the company recently moved its headquarters to an iconic building in the heart of Minneapolis. It neighbors now include some of the most progressive brands in the tech space.
The new location supports FISION’s efforts to hire the best in the tech space and continue creating the positive corporate culture that earned it the “Best Places to Work” award from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, and the “Best Company to Work For” award from Minnesota Business Magazine, both received earlier this year.
FISION is ending 2017 with more than 65,000 users across 21 countries, servicing enterprise clients in the health care, hospitality, financial/insurance, software and technology industries.
The company’s annualized recurring revenue under contract doubled year-over-year as of January 2018. Recurring revenue now represents more than 70% of its overall revenue, with the one-time setup fees representing the balance.
Gross margins expanded to 82% during the course of the year. FISION’s cloud-based SaaS revenue model is inherently scalable, with low capex requirements that provide strong leverage in its model. Along with a number of major engagements that are entering full deployment, the company expects these healthy margins to support positive cash-flow in the latter half of 2018.
“While our growth is still in the early stages, the foundation we’ve established as a small, Minneapolis-based company in terms of our marquee global customers, industry partners, and patented, award-winning technology is truly phenomenal by any measure,” said Brown. “We are well on course for strong, profitable growth.”
The Year Ahead
Company management anticipates the customer deployments currently underway will keep FISION on track to realize significant gains in recurring revenue in the first quarter of 2018. They see this momentum continuing to build throughout the year as new customers come online, and existing customers expand their deployments of FISION and our new Volerro offerings.
“When I reflect on how far we have come over the last year, and how much further we will go in the next, I couldn’t be more excited and optimistic,” said Brown. “Now that we have successfully transitioned to winning large enterprise customers, we are seeing unprecedented opportunity on a global scale.
“Our active sales pipeline is approaching nearly $16 million in total contract value. Given how we have several major deals in the later stages of contracting, we’re confident we will close a significant portion of this pipeline in 2018. As our momentum continues to build, we see the pipeline being replenished and expanding with new major enterprise prospects as well as intra-customer expansion opportunities.”
About FISION Corporation
Founded in 2011, Minneapolis-based FISION is the nation’s leading provider of agile marketing software that simplifies collaboration across global organizations, and more effectively manages brand and marketing content. FISION allows marketing and sales teams to work better together by enabling them to more quickly and easily create, distribute and measure the performance of compelling, localized, on-brand communications. FISION’s patented technology brings unrivaled capabilities to clients across more than 20 countries, which includes some of the world’s largest corporations in healthcare, hospitality, financial/insurance, software, and technology.
Volerro Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of FISION, provides a SaaS platform that simplifies how enterprise teams create, refine and distribute content. By streamlining content production and team coordination, its cloud-based collaboration service eliminates “content chaos” among product, brand, marketing, and creative teams. Volerro’s ReVu.Me cloud app allows team members to work on the same document in real-time with integrated chat and voice conferencing. For more information, visit www.volerro.com.
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Important Cautions Regarding Forward-looking Statements
Any statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “predict,” “should” and “will” and similar expressions as they relate to FISION Corporation or (the “Parties”) are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. The Parties undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect future financial results are discussed more fully in the Parties’ respective filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including the their most recent Annual Report on filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.
Garry Lowenthal, EVP & CFO
Ron Both, CMA