Dr. John L. Faessel
ON THE MARKET
Commentary and Insights
Just announced: "Turnaround Stock of the Year" bags another big order from one of the world's largest electronics manufacturers*
Ck BARRON'S link: http://online.barrons.com/article/PR-CO-20120309-906516.html
IceWEB Inc. (OTCPK:IWEB) OTCBB
Sales of the IceWEB product line are taking off. What's shaking?
With a backdrop of a 61.4% CAGR data storage explosion; AND a product line that's won the #1 ranking* in the DCIG 2012 Midrange Array Buyer's Guide (a win over EMC, NetApp, IBM, HP, et al.); AND selection as a Finalist in the Storage Hardware Product of the Year category in the 2012 Data Centre Solutions Awards; AND in the midst of a marketing and sales blitz led by industry Marketing guru Steven Toole - (OTCPK:IWEB) is literally knocking the cover off the ball, as the recent press richly demonstrates.
Crucial in the sales thesis is that (OTCPK:IWEB)'s product mix sells at a fraction of the cost of the competition, at a price point that is consistently 30% lower than high-cost vendors such as EMC and NetApp. Now add in that (OTCPK:IWEB) has another "one and only" feature: the plug-in and play 5-minute set-up time or their IceWEB 2000 appliance. And to seal the deal they include an "all inclusive feature set," meaning: you buy it, you get it all - unlike any vendors that I know of...
So as to the question why "sales of the IceWEB product line [are] taking off," the answer, simply put, is: price ― features ― and performance. This company's breakthrough product line brings the absolute best features, the best performance, and the best price for unified data storage in cloud and virtual environments. It's an unbeatable sales offering.
What about the "quality of the buyer"? (OTCPK:IWEB) claims an ever growing list of premier customers: the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, the US Geological Survey, as well as multiple local and county governments, plus Google and Cisco, and there is a steady stream of sizeable orders from mid-to-large commercial and public sector customers.
* (OTCPK:IWEB) announced today that one of the world's largest electronics manufacturers, a Global 50' Enterprise Corporation no less, has purchased a high performance IceWEB 7000 data storage system to upgrade its supercomputing environment. The IceWEB 7000 scales to a mammoth 1.8 petabytes for use in large data centers, supercomputers, and cloud environments. Link here for the press release.
Surging orders and extremely high inquiry demand have produced significant increases in top line quarter-over-quarter growth. "That trend will continue through the end of the year," says (OTCPK:IWEB) management.
Shedding light on a key reason for this order surge, a recent (OTCPK:IWEB) hire brings a lot to the picture, and to the table. Steven Toole, now IceWEB's Chief Marketing Officer, was instrumental in driving sales for AppAssure (acquired by (NYSE:DELL) in February). AppAssure reported 194% sales growth year-over-year in 2011 and 19 consecutive quarters of growth. Toole has said that he sees "at least the same potential growth at (OTCPK:IWEB)," and he came to the company to repeat the impact he made at AppAssure. Toole also says that the market is "far bigger than AppAssure's, a market for Windows-only backup software." The "sell" is easier too, as companies only buy backup once every five or so years, contrasted with (OTCPK:IWEB)'s market opportunity for storage that is not only 10x larger than the backup software market, but is growing at a much faster pace.
Prominently, several of Toole's sales force at AppAssure is now at (OTCPK:IWEB) and the industry buzz is that "more are on the way."
Of Note: prior to his tenure at AppAssure, Mr. Toole served as head of marketing technology products for IBM and Symantec to the US Federal Government for immixGroup, a leading government technology marketing firm, following a period in 2004-2005 when he was head of marketing at INPUT serving over 1,000 of the largest technology contractors to US government organizations (INPUT was acquired by Deltek).
Recent acquisitions in the data storage sector have been priced at exceptionally high multiples of revenue, some as high as 6 to 8 X revenue. Arguably this makes the IceWeb shares even more compelling.
I close by drawing attention once again to the significant statement quoted from management earlier in this piece: "That trend will continue through the end of the year." I believe this is carefully understating the boom in sales that's well underway and downplays the trajectory of the vertical trend. I call (OTCPK:IWEB) my "Turnaround Stock of the Year" and I see multi-bag potential for this little company.