A real fast update today — I’m at the Bentley Systems user conference — but this is important, too.

Rand Worldwide today announced that revenue in its fiscal third quarter was down 18% from last year to $22.4 million but basically flat sequentially. Tight cost controls and a higher gross margin percentage could not overcome the revenue shortfall and net income for the period was $1,639,000, or $0.03 per fully diluted share, compared to $2,070,000 and $0.04 per share, a year ago. For those who don’t remember, last FQ3, Rand closed its largest ever software deal, making this Q3 a tough year/year comparison.

But the news wasn’t all bad, and the trend appears positive. For the nine months ended March 31, 2012, revenue totaled $66.8 million, up slightly from las year’s $65.9 million in the prior year.

President and CFO Lawrence Rychlak said that the overall gross margin percentage and net income “exceeded our expectations and were the best of the fiscal year” even as the company faced a “shortfall in our desired sales headcount and productivity”.

Marc Dulude, CEO, said that Rand is addressing this shortfall, and is “fully committed to increase sales capacity and to provide the training and support to all our sales employees to make them fully productive.”

Rand doesn’t provide forward-looking guidance, but investors seem pleased as they sent the stock price up about 3% at lunchtime.