Looking Up - Elevated X Stays Above The Competition
Five years ago, Elevated X debuted as a software company that sought to fill a void in the adult online industry by offering a content management system designed specifically for adult businesses. Today, thanks to constant updating of its system, Elevated X remains a leader in its field.
The initial strategy behind the firm was quite simple.
“We serviced the infrastructure to build and manage subscription-based paysites as well as mobile paysites,” explains A.J. Hall, co-founder and CEO of Elevated X. “Later we included iPad-compatible pay sites and video-on-demand paysites. The company got started because of the needs of clients of my former design company. They needed software. Some of these had been production companies and cash programs that were quite large and needed a powerful, robust system to run large paysite enterprises.”
Over the years, Elevated X has made sure to keep up with the fast-changing technology, so as to remain ahead of the curve. For this reason, they were not left behind when the industry saw explosions in mobile and the tube movement.
“We’re very forward thinking,” Hall says, “so when things like mobile and video-on-demand came up, we put a lot of resources into ongoing developments and put a lot of time into developing new features for the product. The core of our success has been our frequency of updates. We update our product more often than any other software company in the industry.”
Essentially, all that Elevated X customers need to do is load their content on to a server. From there, the firm’s system automates nearly every aspect involved in building and managing their pay sites, including photo processing, update scheduling, polls, news, content video encoding, video clip cutting, conversions into other formats, updating mobile websites, updating tours and trial areas and many other services. According to Hall, Elevated X offers more than 100 features to its customers.
‘What sets us apart is that we get it,” adds Hall. “We understand what people need in order to stay competitive, which means not offering a product that’s updated only every two, three or five years. It’s about keeping up with trends, including those of the pay site customers.
“We built a platform that’s really pay site concentric. It has the features that the large programs that have the budget and have in-house development staffs are offering to their customers. The little guy doesn’t have access to that. He’s not going to pay programmers or hire staff, so as an out-of-the-box solution, we’re really the only one that gives a smaller enterprise the ability to compete with what the larger programs offer. We give the little guy this advantage so he doesn’t have to spend six months to a year hiring and firing developers and programmers. They can come out and be competitive at their initial launch.”
The customers of Elevated X are especially pleased with the time-saving aspect the firm offers, most of which are automation-related features that cut down on a webmaster’s work load by as much as 90 percent, according to Hall. Pairing this with money-making features like trial areas and different tour configurations that keep customers returning is another reason why Elevated X customers are happy.
Several weeks ago, the company introduced a new developer program for CMS which already has a small network of designers and developers familiar with the system. This was the goal of the program, according to Hall, as a fine way for designers and developers to pick up additional business while doing work for Elevated X customers.
In addition, the company’s system has proved to be an outstanding success in mobile. “We were almost too early with mobile,” admits Hall.
“We started promoting mobile about 18 months ago and at that time people really weren’t ready for it. When we released the technology to convert pay sites to mobile automatically, it was just cricket. But over time, as people caught on that mobile wasn’t just hype and is here to stay, people are doing more and more on their phones. Now mobile is tremendously important to any company doing business online. So we’ve seen a huge influx in our mobile-based business, and now Elevated X is one of the largest, if not the largest, provider of mobile CMS technology in the industry. Elevated X now powers dozens and dozens, if not hundreds, of mobile pay sites.
‘What we offer is a little bit different than what everyone else does. Most companies like us in the mobile space will partner with their customers, taking a portion of the content or website for a fee or a percentage of the website on a revenue share basis. The down side of that is you now have a partner and you’re giving them a cut of your profits. We, on the other hand, just provide customers the technology so they can do it all themselves and we charge a flat fee of $50 a month and the customer can build as many mobile websites as he wants. There’s no revenue sharing, so our customers keep 100 percent of their profits. Since we provide all of the framework like the mobile tour, the mobile members’ area, automatic encoding of videos, there’s no work involved for the customer. All of it is really done with a couple of mouse clicks.”
Hall’s background in marketing, programming processes and website design led him to help create Elevated X in 2006 when he realized that many of his customers had no way to manage their sites. He heard their complaints about maintaining staff to constantly update their sites and realized there were no firms serving the small operators. This process actually began in 2004 and two years later morphed into Elevated X.
“A lot of people have misconceptions about Elevated X,” Halls says. “They assume that we’re only good for big companies and big websites. We started out that way, but now we are the direct opposite of that. Over the years probably 70 percent of my customer base has become companies that are not large. They’re solo sites, start-ups and mom-andpop firms. We want to put that information out and educate people that we’re not expensive and that we primarily serve small companies.”
As to the future, Hall reveals that the firm already is working on a new version of its software. It’s just another example of why Elevated X stays above the competition.