Jade customers stand by their man

Two of Jade's highest profile customers are not about to desert the Christchurch-based software developer as it sheds up to 90 staff in a bid to cut 25% of its operating costs.

Two of Jade’s highest profile customers are not about to desert the Christchurch-based software developer as it sheds up to 90 staff in a bid to cut 25% of its operating costs.

University of Waikato information head Derek Postlewaight says Jade contacted him about the planned cuts before they were announced last week.

“I’ve had conversations with Jade about the whole situation, yes.”

Postlewaight says while the cutbacks are a concern, Jade’s response is appropriate.

“We have some concerns but are consoled by the idea that action is better than inaction, even with such a difficult step to take.”

Postlewaight says he has no plans to review the university’s relationship with Jade.

The institution has been implementing Jasper, a student administration system jointly developed by Jade predecessor Aoraki with Christchurch Polytechnic. Postlewaight is satisfied with both the technology and the future development path.

“Jade is going to continue to invest in R&D even if it’s not at the same level. That gives us a degree of confidence in the future.”

Jade’s retrenchments are being attributed, by company founder and president Gil Simpson, to stalled sales in overseas markets, particularly in the UK health sector.

Postlewaight says he is well versed in the pressures associated with the health and education sectors Jade targets.

“They both have a very long sales cycle. I know from my own experience that the Australian [education] market has been frozen for the last year or so with people too scared to make decisions.”

ASB Bank uses Jade products in both its online banking environment and also some of the bank’s payment areas. Technology and operations chief Clayton Wakefield is supportive of its supplier, saying ASB Bank and Jade have a good working relationship.

“We’ll work through with them what implications this has for us. I think it probably reflects a timing issue between some of the opportunities around the world and the shift from Linc to Jade software.”

The cuts are still sinking in, to some degree.

“I think everyone’s a bit shocked about it all. But Jade has taken a proactive approach, a very structured approach, and that has to be good news in terms of the way it’ll move forward.”

The layoffs come as former Reserve Bank deputy governor Rod Carr takes up the reins at Jade.

The company’s offices in Britain, Australia and the US will remain open, but Simpson says redundancies will affect all parts of the company.

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