A brief history of the industry takes us back to the 1980s, when the PC went mainstream and early docketing systems developed by law firms were used to automate the calculation of due dates and fees.
Client-server solutions, which allowed teams to manage cases in a shared database, became commonplace in the 1990s, and the docketing tools evolved towards more complete matter and practice management systems for law firms
In the mid 2000s, we saw the first commercial browser-based solutions targeted at the corporate world, suitable for large global teams and with a focus on business challenges rather than just automating formalities and matter management: enabling consistent processes, facilitating collaboration and decision-making, and providing business insights through analytics.
The problem with those first-generation enterprise IP management systems was that they were expensive to implement, complicated to maintain, and not very user-friendly. Even worse, they require extensive support from your corporate IT department, which can make for an unholy dynamic between IT and the third party vendor in case of problems.
In the same era, the first SaaS (Software-as a-Service) solutions arrived on the market. Though they offered relief from the old IT woes, their feature set and customizability were limited compared to the enterprise systems.
Enter the 2010s and the age of cloud, mobile, and social software, pioneered by Salesforce.com and its award-winning Force.com platform.
On Force.com, each customer runs in their own, completely segregated and private virtual instance that holds their data and unique configuration. We can literally spin up such an instance with the click of a button, rather than spending days installing and configuring servers and software components, as required in the traditional model even if you outsource the hosting of the servers.
These virtual instances scale effortlessly from a single user with a dozen patents to thousands of users and hundreds of thousands of records. Slow software, full hard disks, and expensive server replacement projects are a thing of the past. IPfolio grows elastically with your needs.
In addition to the security and scalability benefits of the Force.com platform, it has an entire stack of enterprise-grade features built in, such as a workflow engine, a granular permissions model, full text search across all records and documents, configurable screen layouts, and a drag-and-drop editor for creating powerful reports and dashboards.
With the basics that are common to most business applications covered by the platform, the development team at IPfolio can focus entirely on solving IP-related business problems, rather than re-inventing the wheel yet another time. And those basics are provided in a much higher quality than any niche IP Management software vendor can ever deliver, because the core platform features are used by millions of users in hundreds of thousands of companies for all types of business applications.
We have a few other secrets, but the #1 reason for our success is partnering with Salesforce.com. It is like standing on the shoulders of a giant and has been the key to delivering an exceptional product at a very competitive price.