Marshal founders busy building next incarnation

AUCKLAND (03/26/2004) - The company that designed and built Marshal Software before selling it to NetIQ Corp. isn't resting on its laurels -- Designer Technology Ltd. is hunting for the next MailMarshal according to general manager Jason Westland.

Designer Technology was founded in 1994 by the five partners who went on to build Marshal Software, which was spun off from DTL in 2001. Marshal Software was bought by NetIQ in December 2002 for US$23 million. As Computerworld Online reported yesterday, NetIQ has closed its New Zealand office and will move all future development work on the Marshal Software product lines to its Houston office. Twenty-five NetIQ employees have been made redundant, although some could be offered work in Houston.

Westland says Designer Technologies has learned a great deal from its work on Marshal Software and is now in a unique position to benefit not only from having an innovative team of developers but also the cash and experience to build "the next Marshal software".

"We still have the five original partners on our board and we're looking to build as many 'mini-Marshals' as we can."

Westland says the company has a three-pronged approach to its intellectual property development business.

"We want to work with companies to develop their IP; we're looking at purchasing products or companies outright of course and we're also building and growing our own in-house developments."

Westland says this isn't something that's come about as a result of NetIQ's departure from New Zealand but is something the business has been working on since the sale of Marshal Software.

"We've got cashflow, we've got opportunity and we've got a great development team."

Westland says the company is set up so that its ongoing software development and networking work can provide cash and experience for the IP development side of he business.

"We've had a fantastic year. We were awarded Microsoft Gold Status and they're using our Mainchain project as a case study."

Mainchain is an e-commerce development for shipping company Mainfreight that links various customer databases together into one seamless user interface.

Westland says Designer Technologies is expanding this year, and has just hired more developer staff and is considering moving to larger premises later this year.

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