"Either one has an excellent understanding of a niche or one has to pick the top of the heap but in such a widely distributed industry that top of the heap is elusive indeed."Agreed, the small software area is tricky. In general, most of these players deal in transactional software. Basically administrative functions like accounting, enrollment, billing, etc. and then integrating them. The problem is that this kind of software is pretty easy to do, so there's a lot of competition which means the margins aren't that great. An interesting case study is Salesforce. They pushed way ahead of everybody in the sales management area by basically going full bore marketing. Even now with all their growth, I'm not sure how much they actually book in real profit but last I looked their marketing and sales expense is huge and probably needs to continue to grow.In cases like Ebix, and other small transactional software co's, a big advantage is actually being able to test the product and know the competition and the relative pricing. So, anybody out there ever used an Ebix product or competitors?
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