Careers at Nitro
Nitro’s mission is to change the way the world works with documents.
Sam Chandler founded his first business, a web services company, when he was 16. He founded his second one, an e-mail marketing firm, while in college. After graduating, he and some of his startup colleagues noticed that most companies were not using their paper documents efficiently. Further, only a few were using digital documents, with most not realizing their full potential.
Chandler decided that his next venture would focus on helping companies migrate from paper to electronic documents, and also show them how to get the most out of digital versions. In 2005 he founded Nitro, touted as the first alternative to Adobe Acrobat. Its team included members of his previous startups, and like those companies, aimed to make it easier for businesses to do business.
The firm produced two main products. One was Nitro Pro, focused on document creation and editing. The other was Nitro Cloud, which enabled document sharing and collaboration. They utilized cutting-edge technology, including machine learning and natural language processing (NLP). The portfolio was a success, and over a decade later, Nitro is viewed as a worthy competitor to Adobe.
Benefits at Nitro
Business model of Nitro
Nitro has a segmented business model, with customers that have slightly different needs. The company targets its offering at consumers and at firms of all industries and sizes.
Nitro offers three primary value propositions: convenience, price, and brand/status.
The company offers convenience by providing software that addresses a wide range of activities. Its solution can be used to create, edit, sign, and secure PDF files and digital documents.
The company offers a price value proposition. It maintains a freemium business model, through which it makes its most basic level of services free. It also offers a two-week free trial for new users of its Premium and Enterprise versions. All users of Lenovo products get a 30-day free trial.
The company has established a strong brand as a result of its success. It bills itself as the leading alternative to Adobe Acrobat, and is the PDF software partner of choice for Lenovo. Its solution is used by millions of consumers monthly in 200 countries, and has a 97% customer satisfaction rating. It is also used by 600,000 businesses, including more than 50% of the Fortune 500. Prominent customers include Nike, Pfizer, Xerox, IBM, Staples, and Honeywell. Lastly, it has won many honors, including multiple placements on the BRW Fast 100, Inc. 500, and Deloitte Technology Fast 50.
Nitro’s main channel is its website; that said, it also utilizes a direct sales team and has a distribution partnership with Lenovo. The company promotes its offering through its social media pages and participation in conferences.
Nitro’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature. Customers utilize the service while having limited interaction with employees.
The company’s website features the “Nitro Resource Center” which includes self-help tools such as white papers, case studies, eBooks, infographics, webinars, and video tutorials. The site also provides product manuals, a newsletter, answers to frequently asked questions, and the Nitro Blog, which provides PDF editing tips, IT best practices, and productivity “hacks”.
Despite this orientation, there is a personal assistance component in the form of e-mail support and a community element in the form of a peer forum.
Nitro’s business model entails designing and developing its software for customers.
Nitro maintains a distribution partnership with Lenovo through which its software is pre-loaded on Lenovo’s devices. The company invites other firms to become channel partners and sell its products in order to extend its reach. Partners receive the following benefits:
- Product specialist training
- Sales training/materials
- Pre-sales support
- Access to joint marketing and PR opportunities
- Upfront discounts and deal registration
The company’s current channel partners include ATI Solutions, Softchoice Corporation, CDW, Iventure Solutions, PCM, PC Connection, Insight, Zones, and Micro Logic.
Nitro’s main resources are its human resources, who include the technology employees that design and develop its software and the customer service employees who provide support.
As a startup it has relied heavily on funding from outside parties, raising $24.8 million from three investors as of November 2014.
Nitro has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions.
Its biggest cost driver is likely sales/marketing, a fixed expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of product development and customer support/operations, both fixed costs.
Nitro has one revenue stream: the subscription fees it charges for monthly access to its software. The company offers two plans:
Premium Plan – For power users and small teams. It charges $14.99 per user per month when paid annually and $19.99 per user per month when paid monthly. Plan features are as follows:
- Unlimited electronic signatures
- Unlimited secure sharing
- Unlimited documents (250 page/10MB limit per document)
- Cloud storage connectors
- Unlimited templates
- Unlimited analytics
- Premium support (response within 24 hours)
- Team Console & Governance
Enterprise Plan – For large teams. Sales staff must be contacted directly for pricing quotes. It includes all features of the Premium Plan, as well as the following:
- Enterprise support (Account Manager)
- Advanced Team Console & Governance
- Salesforce integration
info: Sam studied Business and Economics at Melbourne's RMIT University and Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Nitro, as Founder and CEO of Aliqua, and as Founder of Web Logic Interactive.
info: Gina earned a B.A. in International Marketing & Languages from Dublin City University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. She previously served as SVP of Sales and Marketing at Nitro and Director of Sales and Marketing at activePDF.
info: Pete earned a B.A. in Political Science and an MBA in Finance at the University of Michigan. He previously served as a Founding Investor at Health Care Data Solutions and as a CFO at Rocket Fuel, Zecco, Reactrix Systems, and Digital Path Technologies.
info: Alexy earned a B.S.E. at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and M.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Pennsylvania. He previously served as a VP of Community Development of OhmData and as the Director of Analytics at Clinkle.
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