Case Study

Partner: Influence

Employees: 10

Industry: Software Vendor, Recruitment Industry


Established in 2002, Influence provides specialist software solutions and support services for recruitment consultancies and agencies. The company’s head office in Surrey serves customers across Europe.




Recruitment industry software vendor Influence wanted to target smaller businesses and developed a Cloud solution with ThinHost®. “Influence Virtual” is a complete desktop solution comprising recruitment applications and the Microsoft Office suite. Within 15 months of launch, Influence gained 40 new customers and now predicts 70 per cent business growth in the next year.

Business Needs

Small boutique agencies as well as larger enterprises use Influence’s end-to-end recruitment solutions to manage database and applicant life cycles. In 2006, the innovative software vendor recognised the market opportunity to expand its customer base by delivering applications as hosted solutions. Dave Sargeant, Sales Director at Influence, says: “Startup businesses are a large part of the recruitment market. They start small but have the potential to expand operations rapidly. So they need an IT infrastructure that is easily scalable and does not require a large capital investment. They also cannot afford dedicated IT staff because the focus is more on sales and the recruitment process. A hosted solution is a perfect match.”

By accessing applications as a service, Influence customers can pay on a monthly basis rather than invest upfront. In addition, they can quickly add new users at any time and be free of infrastructure management costs. But, when Sargeant and his team researched the market, they found that most service providers could deliver a similar hosted solution through the Web.

Influence needed to differentiate its offering from the competition and looked for a hosting partner that could add value to the existing product. Sargeant says: “We wanted to provide not just the software but end-to-end services, including data backup and recovery, technical support, and invoicing and billing. It would have been too expensive for us to set up the infrastructure to cover all these areas. So we required a partner that could help us achieve these at a low cost, and at the same time understand our target market.”


Following an internal tender process, Influence decided to work with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner ThinHost®. Ricky Reemer, Founder and CEO of ThinHost®, explains: “Applications run on powerful servers in our data centres, and no processing is required by the end-user’s desktop computer. Users access software through the Internet without requiring high-end computers—a computer is just an interface to access the application. Importantly, data processing happens faster on our 64-bit servers, leading to better application performance compared to it being locally installed or delivered as a Web page application.”

Influence could move to a hosted environment without having to recode its application. This is because almost any Windows® application can run seamlessly on ThinHost® infrastructure. “This helped us achieve quick time to market for our new offering,” says Sargeant.


Influence Virtual is seeing high adoption - more than 60 per cent of new Influence customers are choosing the hosted solution over locally installed software. “Recruitment is a demanding business requiring people to work from home or while travelling. Our offering fulfils their needs by delivering the whole work environment through the Internet anytime, anywhere,” explains Sargeant.

Ease of software installation has helped Influence cut operational expenses and provide low-cost solutions to customers. Sargeant says: “With the new Cloud offering, we can reach out to a market where we struggled previously. And by using ThinHost®’s infrastructure, we can achieve this by taking minimum business risk.”

  • Increased revenues. Within 15 months of launching Influence Virtual, Influence gained 40 new startup customers, and predicts a further 70 per cent business expansion in the next year.
  • Faster time to market. ThinHost® needs to install applications only once on ThinHost® and can set up new accounts within 30 minutes—before, it took two days to configure applications for each new customer.
  • Reduced operational costs. Reduced installation time has resulted in a drastic cut in operational costs.
  • Advanced features. Startups using the Influence Virtual package can access e-mail messages using mobile phones and BlackBerry devices connected to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server—which is a competitive advantage for recruitment agents who need to be in touch with their customers round-the-clock.
  • High data security. Up-to-date antivirus and anti-spam systems as well as data backup services by ThinHost® provide peace of mind to recruitment companies because their data is highly secure.
  • Larger customer base. In a hosted context Influence has extended its geographical reach nationwide without any operational issues. All the customer needs is a stable Internet connection and the service can be sold and demonstrated remotely.


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