US software company Quest Software acquired Wellington-based email archiving provider Aftermail in January and already the benefits are obvious: customer numbers are up dramatically.
Quest recently opened its Wellington office, in what used to be Aftermail’s headquarters.
All of Aftermail’s 22 staff moved over to Quest, except for co-founder Geoff Fisher, who retired.
“At the time of the acquisition Aftermail had around 150 customers. We now have more than 370 customers,” says Lawrence Russell, New Zealand sales manager of Quest.
Russell was previously Aftermail’s Australia-New Zealand head of sales and marketing.
Quest, a provider of application, infrastructure and database management products, expects a 40% growth this year, says Martyn Pregnell, managing director of Quest Australia and New Zealand. Of Quest’s 2800 staff worldwide, 1300 are in R&D, and that number is growing.
The team in Wellington is to grow by 11 R&D staff this year.
“We have approval for seven headcounts [at this stage], of which we have already hired two,” says Russell.
“It’s always a challenge to find the right staff.”
The company welcomes staff from overseas — currently the office in Wellington has employees from China and Greenland, he says. The company also allows staff to transfer to other Quest offices around the world as a way of keeping valued staff that want to travel.
Aftermail wanted to break into the US market but ran into problems and objections from potential buyers because the company was so small.
“We were evaluating how to grow to the next stage and that involved a few different options — venture capitalists, partnering with other organisations or the potential for an acquisition,” says Russell.
Aftermail started talking to Quest at Microsoft TechEd in Florida last year.
“Quest was just in the right space for Aftermail, and Quest happened to be considering its options in the email archiving market and how it was going to grow its current base of customers. So, it was really a mutual meeting of the minds,” says Russell.
Quest’s track record of acquiring companies and building on their local presence appealed to Aftermail.
“That [the operations would stay and grow in New Zealand] was very important to the team,” says Russell.
He is upbeat about the future for Quest New Zealand.
“We have absolute faith in the product we have developed — which is now called Quest Archive Manager — and the value that Quest can bring through the related R&D that exists in the world.”
Archive Manager in combination with Quest’s products for managing applications, databases and infrastructure will put Quest New Zealand in an advant-
ageous position in the market, he says.