Monday, 13 September 2010

Sabien Technology seeks quicker sales for its green technology

An Aim-listed firm which has developed software that saves companies up to
15pc on energy bills needs to shorten its sales cycle to win wider market
acceptance. When a wave of Aim-listed oil and gas companies moved to halt internet users
posting "untrue and malicious" comments on investment bulletin boards last
month, Alan O'Brien could sympathise with their decision to take action. A number of energy groups had reported that a "hard core" of online message
board users were posting scurrilous rumours about them, possibly in an
effort to short their stock. "You end up defending what's seen as a 'true
rumour' to the 'no smoke without fire' brigade," he says. "That can be quite
dangerous for a young business trying to win trust." O'Brien, the chief executive of Sabien Technology, a green technology
business which reduces the energy consumption of commercial boilers, has had
his own taste of "ill-informed" speculation about his six-year-old company
on investment boards and blogs, although this is just as likely to be
motivated by a desire by a rival to "spoil" a disruptive technology as short
a stock, he believes. "Once you start getting noticed in this industry, you encroach on other
people's areas. Individuals have tried to undermine us by bending the truth
around what we do to suit their own agenda. What do you do? Do you take it
seriously?" Thanks to what he says are strong relationships with investors, the trade
press and the Carbon Trust - the green quango approves the company's
technology - O'Brien doesn't feel that the skulduggery has harmed its
reputation as such, but he has had investors phoning for reassurance.

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