I recently had a chance to speak with John Bodrozic, President and co-founder of Meridian Systems. Meridian sells a number of solutions in the project portfolio management and infrastructure lifecycle management space (e.g., Prolog, Proliance, Prolog Converge) . Their products help property owners, property managers, construction firms, architects, engineers, etc.
I asked John specifically about the economy and how it has impacted the construction space. John indicated that some sectors are in dire straits, especially new housing construction. However, there are definite bright spots out there. John talked about all of the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) spending in the United States and the significant amount of public works construction it has spawned. Meridian has made sales of its solutions to organizations like City of Seattle Dept. of Transportation, Miami Dade Water & Sewer Department and the General Services Administrations’ Public Building Services group.
John also indicated that not all parts of the world are being impacted the same way. The World Bank is apparently helping out with infrastructure projects in selected locales.
Meridian is seeing lots of government interest in infrastructure initiatives particularly in areas like transportation, energy and water.
Given that Meridian had a strong private sector customer base (approximately 5000 customers/100,000 users), I asked John if these new governmental customers are any different than private sector customers. The biggest difference that John identified was that governmental customers preferred more on-premise solutions while private sector customers were more interested in their SaaS (software as a service) offerings. However, both groups are interested in looking at assets (e.g., buildings, dams, roads, power plants, etc.) as long-lived assets that need meticulous records maintained on them over the life of the asset and not just during the initial construction phase. John then told me of their shorthand name for this: plan – build – operate.
Meridian has recently added functionality to track project expenditures by fund. This functionality is especially needed for those entities administering or seeking reimbursement from targeted government stimulus funds. John also discussed how firms seeking these stimulus monies must also meet OMB compliance and reporting requirements if they hope to win this work and get compensated for it.
Finally, I asked John about whether they are seeing the overseas market being a big contributor to the company’s growth. He indicated that the Middle East is going strong for them. He singled out one success story: their customer/partner AECOM. AECOM is involved in numerous initiatives in the Middle East and Meridian’s solutions are being used in many of these efforts. AECOM is a program management company that is often hired by a building or property owner to design and engineer the structure, hire contractors to do the work and manage the lifecycle of the asset thereafter.