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Real intelligence

01 Feb 08

Founded in 1997, Futrix is a New Zealand owned and operated IT Software Development business with its sole focus on delivering flexible, powerful and scalable Business Intelligence environments. Futrix service’s customers in New Zealand, the USA, Australia, and Europe from multiple industry sectors, including insurance, banking, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, energy, and gaming by selling and supporting the Futrix products that are developed here in New Zealand. Technical Director Mike O’Neil gave The Channel some insight into the company.
TC: How did it all begin?
MO: It all began from the experience gained by the original developer of the software while working on projects for organisations where very large amounts of data were involved. There was a need for the ability to reduce this data to manageable levels so that it could be explored interactively rather than by scanning hard copy reports.
TC: What changes has the business undergone?
MO: From a very successful small scale technically focused organisation relying largely on word of mouth referrals, to a medium sized software development and sales organisation supported internationally by a Value Added Reseller network.
TC: What is your core business?
MO: Understanding what it takes to effectively deliver Business Intelligence to a wide audience of consumers across a business, and development and support of a software solution and associated services to support that delivery.
TC: What are your clients and what business challenges do they face?
MO: Our clients come from a wide range of business sectors, both private and public who all want to put the power of Business Intelligence discovery in the hands of as many of their people as possible, empower them to take action, and contribute to generating business value.
TC: What challenges do you face operating outside a metropolitan area?
MO: Most people understand that we can’t have a physical presence in every location and that communications technology today allows us to effectively operate remotely to support our customers.  Face to face meetings still help close business so the challenges with that come down to getting to the meeting on time.
TC: What technology is hot right now?
MO: The hot technologies in Business Intelligence right now involve using the information you already have to support front-line staff take appropriate action with customers they are working with right now.
TC: What’s not?
MO: Any technology that puts a barrier between decision makers and the information they need to make informed decisions based on facts, and then take action.
TC: What is the best thing about your location?
MO: Proximity to some of the best cafes that serve great coffee, a diverse set of customers, internet bandwidth, and some of the best technical people in the world.
TC: Without giving away valuable IP – what do you think is the secret to your success?
MO: Fundamentally it has been our ability to respond quickly to customer requests for new functionality.  We look for ways to implement those individual requests in a way that make the functionality useful for as many customers as possible, and we do it in short timeframes.  One of our largest customers describes this as our ability to “spin on a dime”.  No doubt there is also a lot of intellectual property associated with optimising and tuning the delivery of large scale multi-dimensional data so that performance and responsiveness is at the level that makes interactive exploration of data possible.  
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