Mark Smith, CEO of Whangarei-based Magnetism Software Solutions, tells The Channel about its growth as a supplier of business software solutions.
How did it all begin?
We officially started trading as Magnetism in Whangarei at the start of 2007, after setting up the concept in our spare time in Auckland and gaining work with clients who knew of our particular skill sets. We took the experience we’d gained in IT systems, sales and management after many years of working with Eagle Technology Group in Auckland, and created a specialised company based on our expert areas of knowledge. We decided to make Microsoft Dynamics CRM the exclusive product we would work with, cutting off our network infrastructure business and focusing specifically on software development on top of Microsoft Dynamics CRM – now known as the xRM platform.
What changes has the business undergone?
While we started life as a marketing and IT company, by 2008 we had dispensed with the marketing division and had also dropped network infrastructure and content management solutions in favour of working exclusively with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Since then our business has accelerated sharply. We entered and won the national 2009 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Solution of the Year Awards, and two months later also won the 2009 Northland Business Excellence Award for Excellence in Innovation and Technology.
What is your core business?
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the core product we work with, using the xRM platform. This allows us to create ‘line of business’ applications – we design and create software used to run businesses. This combines core technologies including Microsoft Office; specifically Outlook, Excel and Word, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange, and then Microsoft Dynamics CRM which brings all of those relationships together. Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows all of the information to be accessed either via Exchange, SharePoint or through Microsoft Dynamics CRM itself, offering a true multi-platform delivery.
What are your clients and what business challenges do they face?
One of our key clients is the New Zealand Red Cross, and their challenges lie in managing their training solutions nationwide, particularly in integrating them into NZQA and ACC systems. We ensured that the Red Cross met all of their requirements not only with ACC but also with the NZQA systems, and we integrated their nationwide event scheduling and training scheduling as well.
We are currently creating a system for a very large real estate client, which involves everything from how they market a property to how they calculate commission payments. Instead of having multiple areas where they need to enter data, we can now offer them a single point of data entry, streamlining their entire process.
Is your physical location a challenge to doing business?
Absolutely not! Living and working in Whangarei offers not only the benefits of a coastal, sub-tropical lifestyle, but also gives us that unique business support system that can be lacking in larger city communities. Due to the technology we use and Northpower’s fibre optic network, we are able to reach our clients throughout Australasia with ease.
What technology is hot right now?
What’s the best thing about your location?
It’s so peaceful here. We are also very appreciative of the local connections we are able to make here – we have a higher level of relationship with our local suppliers, that just wouldn’t be possible in Auckland.
Without giving away valuable
IP – what do you think is the secret to your success?
People always come first, in any business, and it is both the integrity and expertise of our team and the high regard we hold for our clients that have created our success so far. Other major forces behind our success to date include our focus on a technology that is at the start of a massive growth curve – in our case, the xRM platform, and the systems we have in place to run our business which are accessible from a variety of portals. This ensures our business is flexible, and able to grow and change.