IHS is one of the leading global providers of critical technical information, decision-support tools, and related services to customers in the energy, defense, aerospace, construction, electronics, and automotive industries. We have developed a comprehensive collection of technical information that is highly relevant to the industries we serve. Our decision-support tools enable our customers to quickly and easily search and analyze this information and integrate it into their work flows. Our operational, research, and strategic advisory services combine this information and these tools with our extensive industry expertise to meet the needs of our customers. Our customers rely on these offerings to facilitate decision-making, support key processes, and improve productivity.
Our customers range from governments and large multinational corporations to smaller companies and technical professionals in more than 100 countries. We sell our offerings primarily through subscriptions. As a result of our subscription-based business model and historically high renewal rates, we generate recurring revenue and cash flow. In 2005, we generated revenue of $476 million, net income of $42 million, and operating cash flows of $48 million. For the nine months ended August 31, 2006, we generated revenue of $403 million, net income of $42 million and operating cash flows of $94 million. IHS has been in business for more than 45 years and employs approximately 2,500 people around the world. We manage our business through our Energy and Engineering operating segments.
Our Energy segment develops and delivers critical oil and gas industry data on exploration, development, production, and transportation activities to major global energy producers and oil companies. We also provide decision-support tools and operational, research, and strategic advisory services to these customers, as well as to utilities and transportation, petrochemical, coal, and power companies. For example, major global oil companies use our offerings to support a broad range of decision-making processes that identify attractive exploration investments, assess the likelihood of successful oil production projects, and develop detailed planning scenarios. In 2005 and for the nine months ended August 31, 2006, our Energy segment generated revenue of $242 million and $214 million, respectively.
Our Engineering segment provides offerings in two broad categories of products: technical standards and parts information. These products include a broad range of technical specifications and standards, regulations, parts data, design guides, and other information for customers in our targeted industries. We also have expertise in developing decision-support tools that enhance the accessibility and usability of this information. We offer targeted advisory services that are designed to maximize the utilization and integration of our information within our customers' business processes. We serve some of the largest engineering-intensive companies around the world in the defense, aerospace, construction, electronics, and automotive industries. For example, we provide some of the largest aerospace companies with desktop access to industry specifications and standards; parts, logistics, and procurement data; engineering methods; and related analytical tools. In 2005 and for the nine months ended August 31, 2006, our Engineering segment generated revenue of $234 million and $188 million, respectively.
IHS has been a trusted name in the business of managing technical information since 1959. Over the years, we have expanded our offerings from a catalog database for aerospace engineers to become one of the leading providers of critical technical information, decision-support tools, and related services in the energy, defense, aerospace, construction, electronics, and automotive industries. In the late 1990s, we acquired several established energy information providers that we organized into our Energy segment. The businesses that now comprise this operating segment have accumulated and developed well production and geological information from industry and government sources dating back to the 1800s. With the evolution of new technologies, we transitioned our delivery methods from microfilm to the Internet and other electronic media. As our offerings have developed over the years, we have remained committed to providing our customers with solutions that facilitate decision-making, support key processes, and improve productivity.
Our Competitive Strengths
We believe we are a leader in the markets we serve as a result of the following competitive strengths.
Comprehensive collection of critical information. We have developed a comprehensive collection of current and historical technical information that is highly relevant to the industries we serve. We believe that this collection would be very difficult to replicate because it has been developed and maintained over several decades. We gather the information primarily through longstanding relationships with a variety of global sources—including hundreds of SDOs and government agencies and thousands of manufacturers—and combine it with our proprietary content, our extensive industry insight, and our analysis to create what we believe is the largest collection of this type of information in the world.
Deep expertise. We develop and utilize sophisticated processes and technologies for gathering, updating, indexing and delivering our critical information. Our hundreds of information services experts analyze, integrate, and maintain this information. We also employ specialized professionals with extensive experience in our target industries to better understand the needs of our customers and to design tools and related services that address their needs.
Trusted business partner. The combination of our critical information and industry expertise has resulted in our becoming a longstanding and trusted business partner to our customers. Our brands maintain a strong reputation globally for providing accurate and timely technical information. Many of our customers rely on us as a single source provider of this information which, together with our decision-support tools and related services, supports their key operations and processes, facilitates strategy and decision-making, and drives growth and productivity.
Diversified and global customer base. We serve some of the world's largest corporations across multiple industries in more than 100 countries, as well as governments and other organizations. In 2005, we generated approximately 50% of our total revenue outside the United States and our largest customer generated less than 4% of our total revenue. In addition, in 2005, we had fewer than 100 customers who generated $1 million or more of revenue. We believe that our diversified and global customer base reduces the impact on our operating results of industry downturns and localized economic conditions.
Subscription-based model with high renewal rates. We sell our offerings primarily through subscriptions. As a result of our subscription-based model and historically high renewal rates, we generate recurring revenue and cash flows. We believe that our high renewal rates demonstrate that our customers rely on us for high-quality solutions that they consider critical to their business.
Experienced management team. Our management team includes information services veterans and experienced industry executives. We benefit from their thorough understanding of the information services business and deep knowledge of our target industries. In addition, our management team has extensive relationships with content providers and existing and potential customers.
Our Growth Strategy
We intend to build on our position as one of the leading providers of critical technical information, decision-support tools and related services to customers in the industries we target by executing the following strategies.
Enhance our critical information. We intend to continue to augment our comprehensive collection of critical information by enhancing our data aggregation tools and processes and by further strengthening our relationships and alliances with content providers. We also plan to continue to selectively acquire databases and information services organizations in our target industries.
Further embed our offerings in customer processes. We will continue to work closely with our customers to more deeply embed our offerings into their workflows and business processes. We believe we can achieve this by developing new tools and services and by selectively acquiring complementary technologies and businesses that enhance our offerings. We intend to use these enhanced offerings to appeal to new customers and further penetrate our existing global customer base.
Further penetrate targeted industries. We believe we have a unique ability to develop decision- support tools and related services based on our critical information in the industries we target. This ability is demonstrated by our deep penetration of, and comprehensive offerings for, the oil and gas industry. We intend to further penetrate selected information-intensive industries where we already have significant presence, such as defense, aerospace, construction, and electronics, through internal growth and selective acquisitions.
Expand geographic reach. We are expanding our sales and marketing efforts in emerging markets, particularly in Asia. China, Russia, and India represent significant opportunities for us as the information-intensive industries we serve have grown rapidly in these countries over the past few years. We intend to broaden our reach in these markets by tailoring our offerings with specialized local content and deploying knowledgeable sales representatives and dealers.
Leverage operating model. We derive most of our revenue from annual subscription fees, while a large portion of our costs are fixed. As a result, we believe we can improve our operating margins as we further penetrate our existing customer base and add new customers. We intend to capitalize on this model by optimizing our operational efficiencies with more standardized processes and by leveraging our infrastructure and technologies across our business.
Our Energy Segment
Our Energy segment is one of the leading global providers of critical technical information, decision-support tools, and related services for the energy industry. We develop and deliver critical oil and gas industry data on exploration, development, production, and transportation activities to major global energy producers, national and independent oil companies, and financial institutions. We also provide operational, research, and strategic advisory services to these customers and to utilities and transportation, petrochemical, coal, and power companies.
For more than four decades, we have provided comprehensive decision-critical information to energy organizations around the world. We complement this information with economic, political, fiscal, and regulatory analysis, as well as operational, research, and strategic advisory services. By integrating our offerings, we help energy organizations analyze their operations and make better use of critical information, which we believe enhances their ability to effectively evaluate investment opportunities, reduce operating costs, and increase their productivity.
We monitor exploration and production activity in more than 180 countries through our global network of industry sources. These sources provide us with detailed technical and economic information on oil and gas producing assets, countries, and regions. As a result, our information offerings are enhanced with informed assessments about operating and economic matters around the world. We combine these global information-gathering activities with our industry expertise to provide the following offerings.
Energy Segment Offerings
We provide comprehensive global exploration, development, and production data, industry activity, fiscal, legal, infrastructure, leasehold, and reservoir information, and related news, reports, and maps. We gather this information from government agencies, energy producers, and other industry sources. To augment proprietary systems and staff devoted to data collection, our Energy segment employs a network of independent contractors who each utilize an informal network of industry and government sources to obtain data. Each of these independent contractors has entered into a written agreement with IHS to follow certain standards in the course of obtaining data. Several of our Energy segment's products rely heavily upon the work product of these independent contractors. See "Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business—We rely on a network of independent contractors and dealers whose actions could have an adverse effect on our business."
Once we obtain data, we process it rigorously by testing its accuracy, cross-referencing it against numerous sources, verifying surface and subsurface attributes, and standardizing and creating common industry codes. We are recognized as an industry leader in setting information standards and codes, working with our global customer base and industry groups to define and maintain critical information standards and formats.
We offer this information in a timely and user-friendly manner through online and other electronic subscriptions, including via CD-ROM. Depending on the terms of a customer's subscription, the information is available on our servers and can be accessed online, installed on the customer's network for local access, or reproduced on disks for physical distribution. Customers can access the information through software platforms and underlying database structures that allow quick local or online access to our information. Our primary information categories are described below.
Energy activity data. Our energy activity data includes comprehensive and timely information, organized by country, on current and future seismic, drilling, and development activities. This data also includes detailed reports on contractual activity and changes in legislation, regulation, petroleum rights, and fiscal matters. Our customers use this data daily to track global energy activities, actively assess and mitigate potential risks to energy assets and operations, react to competitive industry pressures, and capitalize on developing opportunities. This data includes continually updated online information on energy activities in more than 180 countries and 335 hydrocarbon-producing regions around the world; daily breaking energy news alerts; and country and region maps detailing wells, fields, licenses, pipelines, facilities, and other pertinent geological data.
Production data. Our production data tracks information on more than 90% of the world's oil and gas production, including monthly production volumes for wells and fields in more than 100 countries. This data includes cumulative statistics on monthly oil and gas production volumes for more than two million oil assets and more than 70,000 producing fields globally. It is used by reservoir engineers and commercial analysts to assess the productivity and longevity of energy producing assets, determine the current and future value of these assets, and develop and assess investment and operating plans.
Oil and gas well data. Our oil and gas well data includes as many as 20,000 elements, narrative comments, and other information from as far back as the mid-1800s on over four million wells around the world. This data includes comprehensive geological information on current and historic wells, including lease, operator, field, reservoir, fluid, linking well, permit, drilling activity, completion record, and other data, as well as digital geologic and reservoir images representing billions of feet of subsurface measurements. Geoscientists, petrophysicists, and reservoir engineers
Reservoir data. Our reservoir data includes reservoir pressure and geological formation data for assets in key energy-producing regions of the world. Geoscientists and engineers use this data to analyze reservoir potential and identify geological pressure hazards to optimize drilling activities by maximizing yields and reducing downtime.
Basin data. Our basin data includes information on more than 30,000 hydrocarbon basins around the world. It also includes location, development, contractual, and ownership information, as well as comprehensive geological data on each basin. This data is developed and maintained by industry experts and used by exploration geologists to evaluate hydrocarbon potential, analyze production opportunities, and assess the feasibility of drilling opportunities.
Infrastructure data. Our infrastructure data provides location, capacity, and ownership information on oil and gas wells and facilities. It also includes transportation and refining infrastructure data on pipelines, ports, refineries, capacity specifications, and tariffs and rates, including information on major industrial plants and key retail consumers. Customers use this data to evaluate transportation options and to analyze oil field and infrastructure projects.
Upstream data. Our upstream data contains legal, regulatory, economic, contractual, political, and risk information relating to upstream energy exploration and production activities in more than 100 countries. It is used by commercial analysts, economists, corporate planners, and lawyers to better understand investment environments and assess risk.
We integrate critical energy information with technology and applications to meet the needs of a range of users across the energy industry. These tools enable our customers to integrate our information and their proprietary information within their workflows and business processes. Our decision-support tools range from easy-to-use "browse and search" applications, which are interfaces that allow customers to browse through all available information and search terms to locate specific information, to more sophisticated analytic systems. The underlying information could consist of a single database or multiple collections of information, depending on the subscription selected by the customer. In our more advanced decision-support tools, we strive to maintain a simple interface on the user's computer, but we design them to draw upon multiple sources of information and manipulate and organize the information into models, estimates, and other highly organized output. These sophisticated engineering, cost analysis, and economics tools can help a customer estimate drilling costs, assess project economics, optimize exploration and production activities, and improve production yields. Our primary decision-support tools are described below.
Exploration analysis. We integrate production, well, and reservoir information to enable geoscientists to search for and analyze oil and gas opportunities around the world. These tools provide surface and subsurface information, analysis, and graphical interfaces to facilitate geoscience workflows.
Production engineering. We integrate current and historical production information with performance analysis software. Energy engineers use these tools to optimize their well and field production systems by monitoring oil and gas production, modeling well performance, and performing production gradient and flow assurance calculations.
Cost analysis. We produce detailed capital and operating cost estimates for planning activities and project optimization. Our customers use these tools to analyze the economic feasibility of competing projects, significantly reduce cycle times in engineering work flows, and ultimately reduce costs.
Economics. We evaluate the after-tax economics of projects, fields, licenses, and country and company portfolios based on more than 200 pre-modeled fiscal regimes and our other critical information. Investors, commercial analysts, corporate planners, and engineers use these tools to evaluate a variety of economic factors, such as reservoir and reserve performance, estimated ultimate recovery, and projected cash flows to make rapid and informed acquisition, divestiture, and operations decisions.
Our operational, research, and strategic advisory services combine our critical information and decision-support tools with our extensive industry expertise to meet the needs of our customers.
Operational Services. We offer our customers access to our expertise in subsurface analysis, engineering, economics, fiscal, and regulatory matters and asset optimization through several services, including the following:
Regulatory compliance services. These services assist our customers in designing their procedures to achieve and maintain local legal and regulatory compliance. We support customers in more than 70 jurisdictions around the world using on-site specialists and local partners and our integrated fiscal and regulatory databases.
Oil and gas asset optimization and management services. These services provide comprehensive support to exploration and production organizations to improve the efficiency, productivity, and long-term profitability of their operations. We use our global cost and economic databases, specialized decision-support tools, and operations expertise to assist customers with asset management activities. These activities range from efficient lifecycle planning and automated monitoring of marginal fields to detailed operational analysis, assessment, and identification of efficiencies in individuals asset operations.
New venture assessment services. These services assist customers in identifying investments that complement their strategic goals. These services include detailed evaluations of production assets, as well as comprehensive transaction support services such as due diligence and negotiation support.
Research. Through our research offerings, we provide customers with insight and analysis into challenges facing the energy industry, including economic, geopolitical, financial, technological, regulatory, environmental, and managerial matters. Our research helps customers anticipate trends in the industry in order to make informed strategic, investment, and market decisions. For example, financial institutions use Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) research and analysis to make informed decisions about energy investments and markets. We syndicate our research through our well known and respected CERA brand and offer syndicated research services, each focusing on different combinations of segments and regions in the energy industry. Examples of such research offerings include Global Oil, European Gas, China Energy, and Global Liquefied Natural Gas . In addition to these syndicated research offerings, we have recently engaged in a number of multi-client research studies, such as, Dawn of a New Age: Global Energy Scenarios for Strategic Decision-making—The Energy Future to 2030 ; Beyond The Crossroads: The Future Direction of Power Industry Restructuring ; and European Emissions Trading: A New Market Paradigm .
We also develop and organize executive research summits where high level industry, financial, and governmental decision makers interact with our senior research experts and discuss energy industry trends and market dynamics. These events provide a significant opportunity for our experts and customers to exchange knowledge and ideas. We conduct more than 75 events each year, including our premier event, CERAWeek. CERAWeek is an annual executive conference that has been addressing challenges facing international energy markets and companies for 26 years. Attracting more than 1,600 of the energy industry's leading executives and companies annually, it is widely considered to be the most important meeting of its kind and ranked one of the top CEO-level conferences in the world. In addition to CERAWeek, other examples of our executive research summits are the Global Power Forum, Eurasia Transportation Forum and the Capital Cost Analysis Forum at the "East Meets West" conference in Istanbul.
Strategic Advisory Services. We assist customers in assessing their strategic options by providing the critical information and analytical insights required for sound decision-making. Our services focus on a range of key issues, such as global oil and gas planning, exploration and production issues, alternative business line assessments, scenario planning and facilitation, market analysis, renewable energy and corporate facilitation. For example, we recently completed a country-wide gas planning project in China and an oil and gas regulation project in Kuwait. We provide these services primarily through our CERA brand.
The Chairman of CERA is its co-founder, Dr. Daniel Yergin, who is a member of the U.S. Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board and the National Petroleum Council, a Trustee of the Brookings Institution, and a director of the United States Energy Association. Dr. Yergin is author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book entitled The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power .
Our Engineering Segment
Our Engineering segment is one of the leading global providers of critical technical information, decision-support tools, and related services to the information-intensive industries we target. We have developed and deliver comprehensive collections of decision-critical information to major organizations primarily in the defense, aerospace, construction, electronics, automotive, and petrochemicals industries.
Our Engineering segment includes two broad categories of products, technical standards and parts information, each of which includes offerings of critical technical information, decision-support tools, and services. We work with our customers to identify their critical information requirements for a wide range of engineering processes including: research and development; design, testing and validation; procurement; manufacturing; maintenance and repair; overhaul; and disposition. We provide the critical information required to support these processes, including technical specifications and standards, regulations, design guidelines, and parts and manufacturer information. We also have expertise in developing decision-support tools that enhance the accessibility and usability of this information. We offer targeted advisory services that are designed to maximize the utilization and integration of our information within our customers' business processes. Through these integrated offerings we have become a critical business partner to our customers, which we believe assists them in maintaining technical compliance, reducing operating costs, and improving productivity.
Engineering Segment Offerings
We provide a comprehensive collection of current and historical technical information that is highly relevant to customers in the industries we serve. We continually augment, update, organize, and refine this information for breadth, depth, usability, currency, and accuracy in order to deliver it according to industry requirements and customer needs. This information is gathered from various sources, including through our longstanding relationships with government agencies, manufacturers, and standard development organizations (SDOs), from all around the world.
Our SDO relationships are critical to our business. SDOs generally consist of manufacturer, service provider, and laboratory representatives who establish compliance guidelines, or specifications and standards, for an industry. Most engineering work is governed by a wide array of specifications and standards that are designed to ensure that products and component parts conform to generally accepted design practices, performance criteria, and quality, safety and
reliability requirements. We enter into licensing agreements with SDOs, including the SDOs that publish the most commonly used specifications and standards, to distribute this information to customers. See "Risk Factors—We depend on content obtained through agreements with third parties, including SDOs, and the failure to maintain these agreements on commercially reasonable terms could prove harmful to our business."
We supplement this SDO information with complementary content, including government and military specifications and standards; regulations; manufacturer and parts data; and logistics and procurement data. We use a number of methods, including proprietary technologies, to gather, update, organize, and index the information. These processes, along with our research and industry expertise, allow us to create unique packages of content to meet the specific business needs of our customers.
We offer this information in a timely and user-friendly manner through online and other electronic subscriptions. Depending on the terms of a customer's subscription, the information is available on our servers and can be accessed online, installed on the customer's network for local access, or reproduced on disks for physical distribution. Customers can access the information through software platforms and underlying database structures that allow quick local or online access to our information. Our primary information offerings are described below.
Specifications and standards data. We provide engineering organizations worldwide with single-source access to these specifications and standards so they can control costs, improve decision speed and effectiveness, and reduce design times. Our largest information product offering, Specs & Standards, provides searchable documents and scanned document images containing commonly used and hard-to-find specifications and standards. Our online database contains over a million documents and images covering national, international, corporate, military, and other specifications and standards that we organize into more than 700 discrete data sets. For example, our military specifications and standards data set contains what we believe is the world's largest collection of unclassified U.S. military specifications and standards, with over 82,000 active and 387,000 historical military documents. We also offer our customers access to our Standards Store where they can search for and purchase individual documents from our database.
Regulations data. We provide access to critical regulations for our targeted industries, such as aviation, construction, and petrochemicals. For example, our AV-DATA® database contains over a million pages of essential aviation regulations and related documents relating to the airworthiness, regulatory compliance, and safety of aircraft. This internet-based database provides a wide range of information from U.S. and international aviation regulatory agencies. We also track regulations that affect multiple industries, such as occupational health and safety regulations. Our regulations data can be integrated with Specs & Standards to provide customers with a broader range of compliance information.
Parts data. We have developed a comprehensive database of parts data from a broad range of industry and government sources. This database includes: descriptive and technical parts data, which specifies attributes including part dimensions, materials, performance criteria, and configuration features; source of supply; and logistics data, which includes parts availability, location, pricing, use, and alternate source information.
Manufacturers' product data. We collect and maintain a broad set of manufacturers' catalogs. These online documents include manufacturers' product information, such as brand names and model numbers. This data can be cross-referenced against other information offerings.
Engineering methods data. We have developed a comprehensive proprietary database of engineering processes, principles, and related equations. The database covers more than 250 specific structural and mechanical topics, including noise and vibration, stress and fatigue, metals and composites, structure, and dynamics.
We integrate our technical information into proprietary technology and applications to meet the needs of our customers. These decision-support tools enable our customers to embed our information offerings within their engineering workflows and business processes. These tools vary from easy-to-use "browse and search" applications, which are interfaces that allow customers to browse through all available information and search terms to locate specific information, to more sophisticated logistics and procurement systems. The underlying information could consist of a single database or multiple collections of information, depending on the subscription selected by the customer. In our more advanced decision-support tools, we strive to maintain a simple interface on the user's computer, but we design them to draw upon multiple sources of information and manipulate and organize the information into systems for processing and organizing vast amounts of information. Our sophisticated design, maintenance, and repair tools are developed to improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of our customers' operations. These tools include:
Electronic components reference database and tools. Parts Universe is our leading electronic components reference database and tool. Our customers use Parts Universe to access key aspects of product critical component information, including component alternates, part status, manufacturer documentation, datasheets, application notes, timing diagrams, and product code numbers. Parts Universe also provides direct access to analytical predictive lifecycle information and alert part notifications, allowing users to proactively identify and quickly minimize lifecycle management challenges which should enable them to accelerate a return on investment.
Procurement, maintenance, and logistics. HAYSTACK® is our industry-leading procurement, maintenance, and logistics tool which is primarily used by government agencies and contractors. This proprietary decision-support tool leverages our comprehensive parts databases to facilitate logistics, procurement, maintenance, and obsolescence decisions to assist customers to reduce downtime and costs. For example, the U.S. Department of Defense relies on HAYSTACK® to quickly and efficiently procure new and replacement parts for aircraft and other equipment used in military operations. Aerospace companies use HAYSTACK® throughout their design, production, and maintenance processes to optimize parts utilization, avoid obsolescence, and ultimately minimize logistics costs. Aerospace companies also use this data to ensure that they receive competitive prices for their parts.
Fasteners reference database and tools. The IHS Fasteners eCatalog provides decision support for the identification, specification, and sourcing of standard fastener hardware (such as bolts, screws, nuts, washers, rivets, and studs). Designed to be embedded in an engineering workflow, the IHS Fasteners eCatalog helps solve time-consuming challenges engineers experience when navigating through various "flat" standards. It simplifies the human element of incorporating approved standard parts into drawings and enables the engineer to search for fasteners by part number, document number, or parametric.
Parts cleansing. Through Intermat®, IHS provides a leading solution for cleansing and enhancement of maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) parts information. This solution assists customers in "cleansing" their parts inventories by eliminating redundancies, standardizing terminology, and efficiently organizing their information. Clean inventory information enables customers to make better inventory management and facility utilization decisions. Intermat® employs a proprietary parts taxonomy and is particularly useful in facility-intensive manufacturing industries, such as aerospace and aviation, automotive, and electronics.
Engineering methods. ESDU® is our proprietary collection of decision-support tools that leverage our engineering methods database. ESDU® helps customers reduce their research and development cycles by integrating proven mathematical formulae, engineering equations, and analyses into their existing applications and processes. For example, aviation companies are able to substantially reduce design times for component parts by using ESDU® to apply fundamental engineering principles, such as aerodynamics, metallurgy, and structural integrity principles.
Our services are based upon and utilize our expertise in managing information and developing information-based solutions. We primarily focus on improving the productivity of maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) and supply chain processes, primarily in the defense, aerospace, automotive, petrochemical and utilities, and electronics industries. Customers use our services to assist them with a number of critical issues, including:
• resolving information management issues;
• providing long- or short-term support to an information-based activity or project; and
• enhancing capabilities with our expertise and analysis.
We believe our services help customers achieve significant additional benefits, including faster decision-making across the enterprise, increased productivity, and reduced time to market. In many cases, our services customers already rely upon our information offerings to perform critical functions within their organizations. Our primary services offerings include the following:
Parts Management. A growing and long-term challenge for many of our customers is managing parts databases and processes for design, part selection, inventory control, and managing and predicting obsolescence. To address these issues, we integrate our extensive parts databases with other relevant data and offer parts services. These services optimize selecting of parts for an engineering task, stocking the appropriate parts to support maintenance and repair, improving lifecycle management, creating the appropriate bill of materials in support of job planning, managing parts for re-use, and predicting obsolescence. Parts projects are typically focused on selection and obsolescence.
• Part Selection. We assist engineers in selecting parts for new designs, redesign, and form-fit-function requirements. This service integrates our authoritative reference parts content and data resident in our decision-support tools with customer information such as part data, bills of materials, supplier preferences, cost information, inventory, and customer systems. We provide guided navigation to increase efficiency in using information, promote greater speed in locating appropriate parts, encourage re-use of parts, and ensure the appropriate life expectancy of parts.
• Part Obsolescence. We help organizations manage their parts inventories to avoid stocking parts that are forecasted to be obsolete. When equipment outlasts its component parts, our customers could be faced with increased maintenance costs, expensive product reconfigurations, and lost opportunities caused by pulling the equipment out of service, all leading to an unacceptably high cost of ownership. This offering assists engineers in identifying parts with risk of obsolescence before they impair their ability to deliver products or services. This helps our customers ensure that both new designs and existing products do not contain parts that are at risk of obsolescence. To effectively manage this problem, we use a combination of data, proprietary analytical decision-support tools, and portal technologies to provide insight into this complex and rapidly growing problem.
Content Systems Enhancement. We build and enhance information systems such as portals and intranets that enable the seamless integration of our information with customer and third-party information. The result is that our offerings are further embedded in customer workflows to improve the speed and quality of their decision-making. To accomplish this we employ a variety of technologies, mostly web-based interfaces (known as "application program interfaces" or "APIs") that allow customer systems to directly communicate with and make use of our content. We also provide more complex services that build customized systems for our customers. These service help customers maximize the accuracy, accessibility, and usage of technical content as well as improve the overall efficiency of their operational systems and organizations.
Product Development and Technology
Our product development efforts and use of technology focus on the collection, management, and delivery of critical information to our customers through our offerings. We manage our comprehensive collection of critical technical information through what we refer to as our "metabase." The critical information itself is stored in a network of information repositories, many of which are linked directly to our metabase. The development, management, and expansion of our metabase and information repositories are central to our product development efforts. We continuously update and enhance our metabase and repositories through proprietary methods and the use of technology encompassing the following steps:
• we gather content from thousands of sources around the world;
• we categorize this content and route it to our technology and industry experts through proprietary workflows and rules-driven technologies;
• our industry experts authenticate the content based on criteria specific to a given industry or data type ( e.g. , a technical standard or well log data) and apply their expertise to create additional critical information;
• we translate this critical information into useable formats;
• our proprietary technology and processes evaluate this critical information for relevant data points, tag it for a broad range of attributes, and index it for ease of retrieval;
• if the content is licensed from a third party, it undergoes a proprietary marking process to ensure compliance with applicable license agreements; and
• the new critical information is added to our repositories and all of the tags, indexing, and other content generated by our experts and technology are integrated into our metabase.
Our metabase and other information management tools allow content to be identified by a variety of search and cross-reference methods. We use proprietary and non-proprietary technologies that index critical information in a variety of ways, such as broad field categories, document type, document title, and industry segment. We employ robust, redundant storage technology to ensure that our critical information is highly available. Our processes allow for updating as soon as new and relevant information becomes available.
Our product development teams create customer solutions by integrating our critical information with proprietary and widely used decision-support technology. These teams also develop the user interfaces and search capabilities that our customers employ when using our offerings. Our offerings are designed and developed by cross-functional teams that include sales and marketing, product development, and customer support personnel as well as, in some cases, the customers themselves. Customer feedback is shared with these teams so that decision-support tools can be enhanced to address changing customer requirements.
Our product development teams have also created proprietary web services and application interfaces that enhance access to our critical information. These services enable our customers to integrate our critical information with other data, business processes, and applications ( e.g. , computer-aided design, enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, and product data/lifecycle management).
We use a series of digital rights management ("DRM") methods and technologies to preserve our intellectual property rights and the intellectual property rights of third-party licensors. These methods and technologies (for certain of which we have patent applications pending) involve applying and tracking the license rights granted to a given customer, while simultaneously assuring
that critical information outside of a customer's licensed rights is not accessible. They also permit customers to download files or produce hard copies that are "watermarked" with license information and security codes designed to discourage unauthorized distribution of the content. See "Risk Factors—We may not be able to protect intellectual property rights."
Our metabase is driven by industry standard relational database technologies such as Oracle and Microsoft. In addition, we have standardized hardware, decision-support tools, and application platforms from industry-leading companies. We also have proprietary technology to support our metabase, information repositories, and offerings.
As a global company, we seek cost-efficient and technologically advanced locations for our data centers, data entry, quality assurance, and development functions. These functions are currently performed at various locations including Colorado, Texas, Switzerland, India, and Malaysia.
We have a diverse customer base that includes many of the largest companies in the industries we serve. Our customers range from governments and large multinational to smaller companies and technical professionals. In 2005, our largest customer generated less than 4% of our total revenue. In addition, in 2005, we had fewer than 100 customers who generated $1 million or more of revenue.
We sell our products to various government agencies and entities. No individual contract is significant to our business. Although our government contracts are subject to terms that would allow renegotiation of profits or termination at the election of the government, we believe that no renegotiation or termination of any given contract or subcontract at the election of the government would have a material adverse effect on our financial results.
Sales and Marketing
Our sales force is organized in teams focused on particular industry verticals. Each team is comprised of one or more relationship managers and product experts. The relationship managers serve as the primary sales interface with the customer. As part of the annual renewal process, they are responsible for reviewing offerings purchased by existing customers, as well as seeking opportunities to expand the offerings purchased by these customers. To expand customer penetration, the relationship manager utilizes the entire expert resources resident within our organization. For smaller customers, we use a telesales team that is responsible for sales and renewal efforts. We compensate our sales teams primarily based on revenue generation and renewal rates.
New customer acquisition is largely conducted by our dedicated new business team. This team systematically identifies potential new customer opportunities and a sales approach for larger new business opportunities. Our telesales team also pursues smaller new customer opportunities. We supplement all of our sales efforts with our web store, which enables customers to purchase offerings online.
We use an extensive dealer network to reach customers in locations where it is not cost-effective to use our sales teams or maintain a sales office. We have approximately 60 dealers that are independent contractors, each employing from one to five sales persons. Some of the dealers are focused on our offerings, but many of the dealers are in the business of providing similar products that are not in direct competition with us.
We review, on an annual basis, our go-to-market sales strategy. We do this to optimize the allocation of our sales resources across our customer segments, to capture the most attractive new business opportunities, and to further penetrate our existing customer base.
Our marketing teams are primarily responsible for ensuring that our offerings are meeting the needs of our customers. These teams conduct ongoing market research to understand changing needs within our targeted industries. They analyze industry investment patterns and work with our product development teams to ensure that we are aggregating critical information and creating decision-support tools that are relevant to our customers. These teams also study industries we do not currently target to determine if there are potential users that could benefit from our offerings.
Our marketing teams are also responsible for analyzing the offerings of our competitors to ensure that we remain competitive. Our marketing teams support our sales teams by creating advertising programs, conducting seminars (including online seminars) and developing campaigns promoting our offerings.
Our customer support program includes customer service and customer training:
Customer Service: We maintain call centers in multiple locations around the world that are available to our customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For larger customers, we assign specific call center representatives to respond to all in-bound calls from that customer.
Customer Training: We offer customer training on how to best use our critical information and decision-support tools. Training can be delivered on-site for our customers or through our IHS University eLearning Solutions. Our training services provide instruction across a customer's organization and track a participant's progress. Many of our training services are purchased as part of an annual subscription for our critical information and decision-support tools. Training services may also be purchased on a one-time basis, often associated with first-time purchases of our offerings.
Our customer service and customer training teams work with each other and with the sales teams representing our customers. This enables our customers to work with the same team of IHS employees for all their needs, which we believe results in greater customer satisfaction and stronger customer relationships.
We are proactive in managing ongoing customer needs by maintaining a key issues database that identifies patterns of customer service and support needs. This database is shared with product managers who, where appropriate, implement product improvements.
We employ annual customer satisfaction surveys to refine and enhance the quality and responsiveness of our service. We believe that the continuous contact between sales people and our customers through sales visits, consultations, briefings, and conferences also provides valuable feedback that is critical to developing and improving our offerings.
We believe the principal competitive factors in our business include the depth, breadth, timeliness, and accuracy of information provided, quality of decision-support tools and services, ease of use, customer support, and price. We believe that we compete favorably on each of these factors. Although we do not believe that we have a direct competitor across all of the offerings we provide, we do face competition in specific industries and with respect to specific offerings.
In our Energy segment, our U.S. well and production data offerings compete with offerings from P2 Energy Solutions, Inc., and DrillingInfo, Inc., in addition to smaller companies. Certain of our Energy segment's other offerings compete with products from Wood Mackenzie Ltd., Divestco Inc. and Geologic Data Systems, Inc., in addition to other specialized companies. Our Energy segment's advisory services compete with Global Decisions Group LLC and NV KEMA, in addition to other smaller consulting companies.
Our Engineering segment competes against a fragmented set of companies. In our specifications and standards business, we compete with some of the SDOs, Thomson's Techstreet™, United Business Media plc, and ILI Infodisk, Inc. Our Engineering segment's operational services and parts data offerings compete with Thomas Publishing. Our parts offerings compete with products from PartMiner, Inc., Silicon Expert Technologies, and Total Parts Plus, Inc.
We rely heavily on intellectual property, including the intellectual property we own and license. We regard our trademarks, copyrights, licenses, and other intellectual property as valuable assets and use intellectual property laws, as well as license and confidentiality agreements with our employees, dealers, and others, to protect our rights. In addition, we exercise reasonable measures to protect our intellectual property rights and enforce these rights when we become aware of any potential or actual violation or misuse.
Intellectual property licensed from third parties, including SDOs, is a vital component of our offerings and, in many cases, cannot be independently replaced or recreated by us or others. We have longstanding relationships with the SDOs, government agencies, and manufacturers from whom we license information. Almost all of the licenses that we rely upon are nonexclusive and expire within one to two years unless renewed.
We maintain more than 85 registered trademarks that we will need to renew from time to time. In addition, we have applied for patents in the United States relating to digital rights management, remote access printing, and print on demand. See "Risk Factors—We may not be able to protect intellectual property rights."
We have approximately 2,500 employees, of which approximately 1,300 are located in the United States and approximately 1,200 are located abroad. None of our employees are represented by a collective bargaining agreement and we consider our employee relations to be good.
We own two office buildings in Englewood, Colorado, which comprise our headquarters, and other office buildings in London and Tetbury, England, Geneva, Switzerland and Johannesburg, South Africa. We lease space for a total of 43 offices in 20 countries, including offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Dallas and Houston, Texas; Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; San Francisco, California; Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa; Bangalore, India; Copenhagen, Denmark; Paris, France; Eastwood, Australia; Dubai; Beijing; Bangkok; Singapore; Moscow; Tokyo; Hong Kong; Rio de Janeiro; four locations in Canada; three locations in the United Kingdom; three locations in Germany; three locations in Mexico; and two locations in Malaysia. We believe that our properties, taken as a whole, are in good operating condition and are suitable and adequate for our current business operations, and that additional or alternative space will be available on commercially reasonable terms for future use and expansion.
Our ownership and operation of real property and our operation of our business is subject to various foreign, federal, state, and local environmental protection and health and safety laws and regulations. Some environmental laws hold current and previous owners and operators of businesses and real property liable for contamination on owned or operated property and on properties at which they disposed of hazardous waste, even if they did not know of and were not responsible for the contamination, and for claims for property damage or personal injury associated with the exposure to or the release of hazardous or toxic substances. We have not incurred and do not currently anticipate incurring any material liabilities in connection with such environmental laws.