“I knew I had one more good stint in me. I wanted to step out into the real world and throw a bit of entrepreneurial flair back into the mix.” After 11 years at Unisys, the past five as managing director, Brett Hodgson has done just that, investing in what he thinks is New Zealand’s first specialist performance engineering company, BPMetrics, where he has taken the role as managing director.
The company was established three years ago by Paul Schweikert, a Californian who moved to New Zealand for lifestyle reasons.
He had a similar company in the US, employing 122 people. Schweikert’s partner in BPMetrics, also a Californian, decided to move back to the US, creating the opportunity for Hodgson to buy in.
The company has done very well in the short term, Hodgson says, with customers such as Telecom, the Ministry of Social Development, the Department of Internal Affairs, NZ Lotteries and ANZ Bank.
“We’re looking for two more principal consultants and we hope to have 15 to 20 staff by the end of the year. We expect to open an office in Auckland by then or early in the new year. Our desire is to also look at Australia and Singapore.
“There are enormous problems in finding the right skills, though, so we’re looking worldwide.”
To date, BPMetrics has focused on the financial, gaming, telco, utilities and government sectors. Its business model is about partnership: it is a certified Hewlett-Packard partner and a non-functional performance engineering partner of Cap Gemini.
Performance engineering is applied from the design phase, right through the software development lifecycle. It defines what needs to be built as opposed to just testing what has been built.
“Don’t’ think you know, prove you know,” is how Hodgson describes it. “We’re offering advisory services, design and build, then testing. Ultimately, we look to the performance of applications ... so there is no pressure at the end of the cycle to cut the budget for performance testing.”
BPMetrics is also training internal teams for customers.
Hodgson says large-scale projects are targeted. “We’re getting 20 percent to 30 percent improvements but it also comes down to risk avoidance. You don’t get those surprises.”