22 October 2013

SMX appoints commercialization expert to CEO role

Ian McDonald, SMX Limited CEOLeading New Zealand cloud email hosting and security company SMX Limited has appointed Ian McDonald – an internationally experienced technology commercialization expert – to the position of Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. ​

SMX Board Chairman, John Quirk, says the appointment of Ian McDonald is highly strategic as SMX matures beyond the start-up phase and looks to accelerate both local and global growth.

“SMX is now the leading supplier of secure cloud email solutions to the New Zealand government and local government sectors,” Quirk says. “We have solid reseller partnership relationships with large IT services companies and cloud providers such as Fujitsu and Revera. We have a solid foothold in Australia and we have reseller relationships in India and Japan. Now the challenge is to drive commercial development of the company, alongside further investment in research and development.

“We are extremely fortunate to have appointed Ian McDonald to the CEO role at this critical point in SMX’s local and international growth. Ian has extensive networks in North America, Europe and Asia for market validation and to access resources, funders and channels to market. And he has a proven track record in the management disciplines required to manage growth and to build and lead the team that SMX needs in order to realize its commercial potential,” John Quirk said.

Ian McDonald moved to New Zealand from Scotland in 2004, where he was a founder of Connect Scotland and Global Connect. There he created and managed the Connect Investment Conference to be one of Europe’s most successful venture capital investment conferences. Connect Scotland and Global Connect have been internationally influential in bringing together investors, technology start-ups and management expertise. 

Recent experience and achievements in New Zealand include helping to grow online registry company Foster Moore into a world leader in registry applications. A range of corporate development consulting assignments have helped define, validate and execute market development strategies for New Zealand technology companies looking to grow in European, North American and Asian markets.

“SMX is successfully growing revenues year on year, but has significant potential to further leverage its intellectual property,” Ian McDonald says.

“SMX has a best-in-class email security platform, and a new hosted email solution currently being rolled out. Our provisioning, billing and management platform, enabling applications to be effectively deployed in the cloud, is the basis for a whole new line of business.”

For McDonald, the challenge is to achieve the most commercially sensible balance between growth and profitability.

“The immediate focus will be on building our core cloud email security business in Australia and New Zealand, with continued development on the smart analysis and reporting apps and tools that widen the gap between SMX and commodity cloud email security offerings.”

This, McDonald says, includes continuing to add rich analysis and reporting capabilities, building on SMX’s SmartRules® DLP module which, he says, is ahead of the market in protecting against sensitive data leaking out of customer organisations, as well as allowing customers great flexibility in configuring access and reporting of inbound mail.

Former CEO and co-founder of SMX, Jesse Ball, remains as a Director and in a business development consulting role.