The Alchemy Group, which tops the IT companies on the Deloitte/Unlimited Fast 50 list (see IT firms stumble in speed test), specialises in internet and intranet-oriented business systems and e-commerce. It develops software and hosts websites.
It has been formally in business for three years, but head Steven Smith and colleauge Dean Ashby — still with the company — ran it as an informal operation since the early 90s. Smith and Ashby built what they claim to be New Zealand’s second website, for the International Centre for Antarctic Information and Research (Icair), in 1992, when they were both working for that organisation. At that time the only other website in the country, Smith says, was that of Victoria University, Wellington. Alchemy ranges over the full gamut of internet platforms, through Java, Microsoft IIS, and Apache, NT, Linux and Mac. The Microsoft environments are apparently less favoured by the staff, “but some of our clients want it”, says Smith.
Having worked with and then merged with advertising company Q Advertising, Alchemy has strong skills in advertising, marketing and design, so it can supply a range of solutions to business problems. “A business solution doesn’t always involve technology,” Smith says.
Meta data (data describing the contents and structure of a data resource) is also an Alchemy speciality.
Clients include Work and Income (Winz) and the NZ Immigration Service — whose websites Alchemy hosts — skifield operators nzski.com and a corporate intranet and public website for estate agents Harcourts.