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Straker Named Hi Tech Small Business of the Year

  • 19 November, 2003 10:21

<p>Award caps successful two years of growth and international expansion</p>
<p>Key Points:
§ Straker named Westpac Hi Tech Small Business of the Year
§ International expansion: Australia, Germany and UK
§ 2003 strong year for sales as CMS customers evolve
§ World first for Macromedia ColdFusion MX development</p>
<p>Auckland, 19 November 2003 -- Straker Interactive (www.straker.co.nz) has been named the Small Business of the Year in the 2003 Westpac Hi Tech Awards (www.hitech.org.nz). This accolade caps a successful year of client growth and international expansion for the Auckland-based enterprise-wide web-based content management software and services company.</p>
<p>The 10th annual Westpac Hi Tech awards recognized excellence in New Zealand’s electronics, software and biotechnology industries. The awards were presented on Saturday night at a gala event attended by the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Right Hon. Helen Clark.</p>
<p>The judges’ comments stated: “Straker Interactive has executed an aggressive executed an aggressive export program to establish a good presence in overseas markets. It has maintained this export growth strategy in a highly competitive software sector.”</p>
<p>“The fundamental secret to Straker’s success is simply that we listen carefully to our customer’s requirements and provide them with a solution that they own and maintain,” said Merryn Goble, Chief Executive Officer, Straker Interactive. “Listening is important as our customers are evolving too -- from making feature driven selections to being driven by the underlying architecture of the organisation and its business processes.”</p>
<p>International Expansion
Since Straker Interactive was established in 1999, the relatively young business has succeeded where many of its larger content management competitors have failed. In just four years Straker’s client base has grown to span New Zealand, Australia, UK and Germany. Starting with just two staff, the company now employs 15 people in New Zealand with another three in the UK.</p>
<p>In 2001 Straker decided that to get real growth in the business it needed to export its flagship product, the Shado Content Management System (CMS). In early 2002 the company set up a virtual office in the UK with one sales person based in London and has seen steady growth in the market ever since. Following the successful entry into the UK market, Straker has also established a presence in Australia and Germany through a partner channel network that boasts eight UK partners and three partners each in Australia, Germany and New Zealand.</p>
<p>Straker has completed more than 100 customer installations for commercial and government organisations including Fisher &amp; Paykel in New Zealand, Tourism Queensland in Australia, French-based electronics giant Thales, the London Metropolitan University, the University of Gloucestershire, Beachcroft Wansbroughs lawyers and Sarova Hotels in the UK.</p>
<p>Business Growth
2003 has been a strong year in the evolution of Straker. “Local business has been good over winter – with sales markedly up in New Zealand and increased traction in Australia achieved by working with strategic partners such as Gruden, PTG and eTranslate. Historically Europe is strong at the beginning of the calendar year so we expect to see a similar pattern develop globally,” said Goble.</p>
<p>Future growth will also be driven by an OEM version of Shado to larger organisations looking to include a CMS as part of their product offering.</p>
<p>A World First
Straker’s size means it has the flexibility to take advantage of the latest technologies and bring them to market faster. The company was the first ColdFusion development house in the world to launch a major product on Macromedia’s ColdFusion MX, positioning Straker as a world leader in MX technologies.</p>
<p>Macromedia announced in December 2001 that it would create a new version of ColdFusion called MX that would be Java based and offer a huge amount of development benefits. However, MX would take around six months before it was released. Straker made the call to invest in porting Shado to the untried MX platform - whilst a major investment in time, resources and money, the decision proved to be a winner.</p>
<p>“Many of our competitors took a conservative approach and held back in 2002 whereas we risked a great deal in investing in a new technology platform when the IT industry was having a very tough year,” observed Grant Straker, Chief Technology Officer and founder of Straker Interactive. “The strategy has paid off as we were immediately able to offer our customers the benefits of the latest technology, while our competitors were still locked in product development cycles.”</p>
<p>Since it was developed in 2000, the Shado CMS has been progressively extended in functionality to become a true web application framework or platform that makes it easy to integrate legacy systems and build upon core content management services.</p>
<p>About Straker Interactive
Straker Interactive is a leading global provider of enterprise-wide web-based content management and portal software. Its flagship product is the world leading Shadoä Content Management System, which provides feature rich, cost effective solutions with minimal risk and rapid development that is cross platform and database independent.
Straker Interactive’s award winning solutions are integrated with Macromedia’s family of products, enabling legacy systems and Rich Internet Applications to be easily combined.</p>
<p>Straker Interactive has offices in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.
www.straker.co.nz</p>
<p>For more information and photography contact:
Claire Hosegood
Kinetics
Tel: +61 (0)2 9976 6611
Mob: 0411 253 663
claire@kinetics.com.au</p>

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