Stuff gets a Catalyst

Wellington-based design company Catalyst has scored a coup with the decision from Independent Newspapers Limited (INL) to move its Stuff website entirely over to Catalyst's servers.

Wellington-based design company Catalyst has scored a coup with the decision from Independent Newspapers Limited (INL) to move its Stuff website entirely over to Catalyst's servers.

Catalyst already housed Stuff's online job site and its property page after building those for the company, and now it looks after the entire site, minus the paid archive which is treated as a separate unit.

"We're over the moon, obviously, to have scored such a client," says company founder Don Christie.

"We're only four and a half years old, we're still a small company and obviously this contract is right up there."

Christie says the company has managed to avoid the dot com mania and crash by making sure "being flash" isn't high on his list of priorities.

"We put a lot of time and effort back into research and development and our background is pretty much that of an IT fundamentalist."

Christie says Catalyst has paid close attention to the development of WAP and SMS services and says since Telecom launched its new CDMA cellular network that has been a major focus.

Open source code also plays a large part of Christie's philosophy.

"That's what we do all our R&D in. The Stuff site used an Apache mod for the application and Oracle for the database - it's very much a 'horses for courses' sort of thing."

Stuff's internet business manager, Mark Wierzbicki, says the move to Catalyst was a natural one for Stuff to make.

"We're moving towards having fewer vendors and having strategic partnerships and Catalyst fits very well with that."

Wierzbicki says there are certain economies of scale that come together by having all the Stuff sites hosted with the one company.

"Bandwidth for example is shared so that's a cost saving."

Catalyst's understanding and familiarity with Vignette Story Server, the main editorial system for Stuff, was also a factor.

"Datacom was doing the hosting and they also looked after the Unix and the database. "Datacom has their own expertise, but they don't have Vignette experience so that was a factor."

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