SMX takes network to Korea, America

BY CLAIRE MCENTEE
Last updated 09:23 29/03/2010

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Auckland firm SMX is casting its anti-spam net wider, eyeing up the South Korean, North American and South American markets.

The company, which sells spam and virus filtering services for email and whose investors include Trade Me founder Sam Morgan and The Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall, launched in Australia and Japan this year.

Managing director Jesse Ball says it is finalising a head distributor agreement in Australia and has signed up some big-name customers there. SMX has set up a datacentre in Melbourne and will support Australian customers itself, but in other countries prefers to partner with companies that provide their own hardware and datacentres and customer support, he says.

SMX is on track to have 500,000 customers by next year through its Indian reseller, IT services giant CMC, which has dedicated datacentres for the service in Chennai and Hyderabad.

Large Indian customers include Tata Power, India's largest private power utility, computer networking firm D-Link India, and online travel agency Cleartrip.

SMX has developed a product that helps process large volumes of email especially for clients in India, where very low labour costs have meant organisations have under- invested in optimising processes and services.

"It's a country with a very large population and you have, for example, banks with millions and millions of customers. They need to communicate with these customers potentially on a daily basis . . . and the goal is to move most of these functions online."

SMX's partner in Japan, Tsukaeru.net, is one of Japan's fastest growing hosting services but it will be some time before it reaps dividends there, Mr Ball says, as the Japanese traditionally do not outsource services - but that is changing.

The firm plans to team up with hosting providers in South Korea, the United States and South America, as they will have the hardware to support its service.

SMX is still working with Symantec on a deal that would see their products bundled together for on- sale, he says.

The company, which has grown its revenue by at least 100 per cent in each year of the past five years, raised $1.67 million from Mr Morgan's investment company Jasmine Holdings, Tindall's investment vehicle K1W1, and Endeavour Capital, which is backed by the Government's New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, to fund its expansion.

The company has more than 1000 direct customers and 22 staff.

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- The Dominion Post

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