The head of one Auckland software house is singing the praises of government funding schemes.
Technology NZ funding has enabled Auckland business intelligence software developer Descisys to add at least two development staff to its R&D team.
“The government is doing some great stuff,” says Descisys managing director Vilosh Brito. “I’ve been very surprised at how accommodating, flexible and commercially oriented the funding was. Normally I would have thought getting involved in some sort of government scheme would be like having teeth pulled, but it was very smooth.
“I think the situation we are in is the same as most firms. We have a really tiny home market and all our competitors are massive. Most international company spends on R&D as a percentage of revenue is far greater than we could ever afford.”
Over the past two years Descisys has been developing software which eases and speeds up the querying and reporting of information from IBM DB2 data warehouses. The resulting product, Terasolve, is about to be commercially released. It is already attracting interest in overseas markets, says Brito.
Descisys claims that Terasolve can interrogate the databases at speeds up to 30 times those of the norm. Once it retrieves the data it presents it in a way that is also more intuitive to business users than the standard relational table format.
Brito wouldn’t say how much money the firm received from Tech NZ's GPSRD fund (under which the applicant must match the government dollar for dollar on the project) but says it has allowed the company to expand the R&D team dedicated to Terasolve from nine to 11 and will probably stretch to more. Funding from Industry New Zealand, moreover, has enabled Descisys to file patents on its inventions.
The firm has been able to parlay the relationship between its product and IBM software and hardware into a partnership with Big Blue which has led to introductions to big-name accounts around the world. IBM is so keen on the technology it has taken a 5% stake in the company. Now Descisys is on the cusp of a sale to a large UK government department, says Brito, who is in England shoring up the deal.
“We are hoping for significant export earnings,” says Brito.
Several New Zealand companies are claimed to be interested in buying the software.
Commenting on the process of applying for government funding, Brito says there is a lot of paper work and preparation to get through, but that’s to be expected.
“It’s the other side of the coin. How else can they control the funding? It is public money after all.”
The company has also benefitted from a New Zealand Trade and Enterprise programme to help New Zealand technology firms enter the US, which includes serviced office space and support from a US advisory board.