ChannelLife NZ - Smooth sailing after turbulent year

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Smooth sailing after turbulent year

Reflecting on the management buy out of Marshal Software, CEO Ed McNair swears he’d never go through the experience again.

“It was relentless, an absolute killer,” he says.

Six months after completing the deal that saw McNair and his management team buy Marshal off NetIQ things are looking far more positive.

“There was a lot of incompatibility between Marshal and NetIQ in terms of management and channel activity. Even the development cycles were different - Marshal has a six month cycle while NetIQ’s is 18 months.”

However McNair concedes NetIQ gave the New Zealand-born brand strong credibility and tripled the business in the three years it owned the company.

Now Marshall is a privately held company with headquarters in the UK.

McNair has lived through numerous acquisition deals in his career and is still surprised at the amount of naivety surrounding the process.

Based on these experiences Marshal has implemented a company-wide share option scheme.

“I don’t think it’s right that people who work hard don’t get a share in the success of the business, this scheme helps change that,” he says.

One of the first moves McNair made was to reopen the New Zealand development office which had been closed by NetIQ.

With 80% of the original development team back on board Marshal is filling positions as fast as it can recruit.

Staff numbers are currently 35 but McNair expects that to rise to 45 within the next two months and is looking to bring expertise in from overseas.

“We’ve had a few people make the move to New Zealand from the US which I think is an extremely positive sign. I don’t think you can underestimate the impact films like Lord of the Rings had on putting New Zealand on the international map.”

McNair has a huge amount of respect for the channel which he says stuck with the company during hard times but admits his company needs an upskilled channel.

“We need vertical expertise – especially in the finance and government sectors. Resellers have to learn that the sales cycles in those markets are different.”

Marshal Software is distributed by Express Data.

Bill Hitchcock

Marshal product manager

Mob 021 617 036

bhitchcock@expressdata.co.nz

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