22 March 2010

SMX closes first deal in Japan

New Zealand anti-spam and anti-virus company SMX is now live in Japan following a licencing and sales agreement signed with Japan's fastest growing internet hosting provider, Tsukaeru.net.

SMX managing director Jesse Ball says the deal sees the SMX cloud-based anti-spam and virus service now live at Tsukaeru.net, based out of Nagano.

"This is a strategic breakthrough for our export plans," Jesse Ball says. "Tsukaeru.net is one of the fastest growing hosting providers in Japan, selling virtual servers and a range of virtual applications - of which ours is now one.

"The key for us is that Tsukaeru.net will give us a great reference for our 'white labelling' capability. This is where a customer rebrands our service and hosts, sells and supports the service using its own brand. SMX provides the software, training and regular software updates in return for a percentage of the annual per seat licence fee that Tsukaeru.net charges each customer.

"We can show other potential 'white label' customers in markets around the world just how fast and easy it is to rebrand and resell the SMX service. In the case of Tsukaeru.net, rebranding, installation and training was all completed inside a three month window, with low upfront costs for Tsukaeru.net. This included translation of all print and online sales, marketing and support documentation from English into Japanese."

Tsukaeru.net joins existing SMX export customers including India's largest IT services company, CMC - a subsidiary of the giant Tata Group. Launched in 2008, the CMC service is similarly white labelled and is running at two datacentres, one in Chennai and one in Hyderabad.

Ball says SMX is benefiting from an explosion in demand for Cloud-based services - where companies pay a fee for computer hardware and software applications, hosted at a remote datacentre, rather than owning and operating the systems at their own premises.

"An anti-spam and anti-virus service is one of the first and most logical applications for organisations to take to the Cloud," Ball says. "Even the most conservative organisations can see the benefit of cleaning email before it enters their own network."

The Japan sale caps a strong year for SMX. Despite the recession, SMX was successful in raising growth capital earlier in the year with new investment of $1.67 million from Sam Morgan and Stephen Tindall, plus continued support from existing investor Endeavour Capital (a New Zealand Venture Investment Company).