DezRez Services

Origins

The initial envisaged business model was quite different to the eventual outcome and the motivations in starting the business were initially using technology based skills which produced a customer led demand for a niche software product. In the late 1990s, the shareholders were working in an environment with super fast Internet connections and the potential was spotted for software applications using this medium. They therefore took advantage of the opportunity to take computer skills developed in a university setting and transferring that knowledge to devise an effective business solution in a niche market. The initial business motivation was providing a service to enable Estate Agents to upload information to property web portals (such as rightmove.co.uk) although this changed to a customer led demand for additional functionality to enhance the effectiveness of clients operations which, in turn, produced even more demand. The major challenges in the first three years were the writing and development of the original core of software to produce a viable product; continuing software enhancement to meet the changing needs of the customer, and the cost of financing the software development and hardware infrastructure.

Success Factor

The use of the internet as the means of using and delivering the service has provided a big cost and operational advantage over competitors. The product is an organically grown product with a substantial input from the customer base, therefore it closely reflects their needs and the company’s success has mirrored the roll-out of broadband across the country. There is also excellent customer software support from the team in Swansea and the provision of cost effective training both on-site and via the internet. Finally, the control of costs and the careful evaluation of new product and service development ensures that the company was achieving a decent payback on any investment in people or product.

The Future

DezRez will continue to innovate and improve the core product to become the industry leading software system. As the system is internet based, any upgrades can be made on-line immediately and this is a big advantage over more traditional software suppliers as the time to market to deliver product enhancement is greatly reduced and at nil delivery cost. The company will also assess and develop new linked products which enhance the attractiveness of the core product, such as mortgage advice, Home Information Packs (HIPs) and conveyancing. It also will sell (or licence) the product in the overseas market (Dezrez currently has over 50 offices in Europe) and provide additional income streams for customers which will strengthen the proposition by generating more revenue than the product costs.