If there is one thing fast-growing Auckland-based Marshal Software hopes its Trade NZ e-commerce exporting award can do for it, it is to attract the right staff.
Marshal marketing director Martin Oxley says finding software developers with skills including C++ and international channel managers of high enough standards has so far been disappointing, with many recruitment companies starting to avoid his company, weary of the rejection.
“It’s a devil of a job,” says Oxley, who hopes the DHL e-commerce innovation award will signal Marshal’s growth to the local IT community.
Marshal Software is a division of Designer Technologies, a networking and software development company. It has been exporting its internet and content security products, which include email filtering program MailMarshal and internet access monitor WebMarshal, since the beginning of last year to clients such as Nasa and the University of California.
Now installed in companies in over 20 countries as well as in large local companies such as Fletcher Challenge, Carter Holt Harvey, The Warehouse and Lion Nathan, Marshal’s undisclosed turnover has increased by 850% this year and staff numbers have doubled to 16. That growth has been helped by security risks such as the Love Bug virus, Oxley says.
Foreign exchange earnings from large corporates now make up most of Marshal’s revenues.
Oxley says as its products are aimed at the large enterprise level, not small businesses, and “sit at the heart of the client’s network”, the company has not encouraged direct sales off its website. Rather, distributors in the US, UK and Europe are used for support. But those distributors can place orders over Marshal’s website with further support, servicing information and feedback available through the site for customers and registered resellers, he says. Customers can also order the products using a request function built into MailMarshal.
As well as handling security, MailMarshal can filter messages for keywords and phrases, confidential material, pornography and spam. It includes Baycorp’s 128i public key technology for encrypted messages.
The next version of WebMarshal, which functions as a standalone proxy server, supports file type recognition and blocking, incorporates different privilege levels and includes a text sensor engine, will be released in the first quarter of 2001.
Oxley puts the company’s success down to a product that is powerful but easy to use, and service.
“Because we are at the bottom of the world, people are wary as to whether you can support the product and you have to make their experience seamless.”