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Easi – Products
3.1 Benefits for the Customer
EASI’s products guide the user through the many compliance standards, assisting in the product certification compliance process by reducing cost, improving accuracy, and providing a useful tool for experts who need quick access to the details of the standards. Additional benefits include shortened product time-to-market and timely standards updates. Our products save time and money by decreasing the probability of failed product submittals and the necessary repeat submittals. Currently 95% of products covered by UL 1950 fail to receive listing/recognition on the first submittal and only 50% succeed after the second submittal (see Appendix 13). Our first product, UL Solutions – 1950, is designed to guide users through the UL 1950 Standard and reduce manufacturers’ failure rates.
3.2 Description of Products
Much of the value of EASI’s systems are that they make the compliance process easier and faster for our clients. Our product is an object-oriented expert system implementation of product safety standards. Object-oriented software consists of modules of code which can be modified and rearranged quickly, enabling a shortened development time for products. An expert system is a software package that communicates the knowledge of an expert to the user. Interpretation and understanding of standards is difficult for non-experts because of the legalistic language and cumbersome format of the documents. Our products provide information to the customer in an easy to understand format, using straightforward language and illustrative graphics (see Appendix F).
Regarding the user interface, customers have indicated that they want a point-and-click graphics-based format as opposed to a keyboard command-based system. Microsoft Windows is the computer environment of choice for the majority of our initial customer base, as indicated by our survey results. However, the need for portability among computer platforms is increasing and EASI is positioned to meet this customer need when necessary. Additional features of EASI’s products include checklists to track progress through the specifications and the ability to generate test reports to send to product certification agencies. The report generation feature allows product certification agencies to track who is submitting EASI-based applications and feed that information back to EASI for tracking the certification success rate and reasons for failure. This information is useful for advertising and product improvement. The complete text of standards, and product documentation, is integrated into EASI’s products allowing the user to locate pertinent information quickly and easily. Finally, updates to EASI’s software will be available to customers on a subscription basis. All of the previously mentioned features are direct results of customer feedback.
3.2.1 Initial Products
The decision to develop a product is based on market need and demand. Our initial product, UL Solutions – 1950, is a PC-based (personal computer based) application developed for the Windows environment. It is based on the most frequently used UL Safety Standard, UL 1950. This standard generates the most revenue for UL and thus represents one of the largest markets for EASI. The customer package includes the software diskettes and User’s Manual. As an option, a CD-ROM Directory of Recognized UL Components will be available. Appendix G is EASI’s Product Price List.
3.2.2 Follow-on Products
EASI will continue to explore other product and service opportunities as they develop. Other testing laboratories and standards organizations, including the European Community (EC), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), German Verband Deutscher Electrotechniker (VDE), and ETL Testing Laboratories (ETL) represent additional market opportunities for EASI. The five planned follow-on products listed below are in the same category of product safety standards as UL 1950. EASI’s first three products, ULSolutions – 1950, IEC Solutions – 950, and CSA Solutions 22.2 – 220 are based on virtually identical standards which are implemented in different countries.
- IEC No. 950 is the European Community (EC) equivalent of UL 1950. Manufacturers must comply with this Directive before entering the EC market.
- CSA 22.2 No. 220 is the Canadian Standard based entirely on UL 1950.
- FCC Part 15 is the FCC emission requirement pertaining to products covered by UL 1950. FCC Part 15 is currently a serious concern for electronic manufacturers due to its confusing terminology and the difficulty associated with its implementation within the European Community.
- UL 1459 is the telecommunication/telephone Standard required by the National Electric Code.
- CSA 22.2 No. 0.7 is the Canadian Standard based entirely on UL 1459.
3.3 Customer Support
Customers insist on access to qualified technical support for their software products. Support for EASI’s products will include a 24-hour toll-free customer service and order line with a 24-hour turnaround time on customer problems. EASI’s customer support staff will also maintain an ongoing relationship with each of our customers by making periodic calls to solicit feedback regarding EASI’s products and services. In addition, EASI will maintain a restricted access electronic Bulletin Board System (BBS) for our customers. This service will ensure access to the most up-to-date standards and software improvements through a service that the customer may access at any time. Using the BBS, customers will be able to interact with EASI’s support staff, other customers, and other industry experts. EASI will mail updates to those subscription customers without access to the BBS to ensure that all customers are kept up-to-date on the latest standards.
3.4 Risk Analysis
Two potential risks for EASI’s products are the illegal copying and use of the software and product liability. EASI is working with the law firm Winstead Sechrest & Minick in Austin, Texas, to address these issues. EASI’s products will be protected under all applicable trade secret and copyright laws. Copyright registration of UL Solutions – 1950 is in process. Customers are required to abide by EASI’s software licensing agreement that prohibits the licensee from copying the program except for backup and archival purposes. Because of the report generation feature in EASI’s UL Solutions – 1950 product, UL can track who is submitting EASI software generated applications and feed that information back to the company. This will assist EASI in tracking down illegal copies of its software programs. Additionally, proper security measures, specifically the signing of non-disclosure and non-compete agreements, have been taken to protect trade secrets. In regard to product liability, EASI will utilize product disclaimers and purchase the appropriate insurance to protect itself against legal claims. EASI has spoken with Bankers Trust and a preliminary cost estimate has been quoted.
|Expert Application Systems, Inc.|
|Table of Contents||Appendices|
|0. Executive Summary
1. The Company
2. The Market
4. Marketing Plan
5. Product Development
7. Financial Plan
Letters of Support
Product Screen Samples
Product Price List
Endorsement from UL
Board of Advisors