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Beacon builds custom

THE application of expertise, rather than just being acknowledged as an expert, is the driving philosophy behind custom software developer Beacon Technology’s growth from a two-person operation in 1995 to a respected business.

Through this philosophy, the CBD-based company has earned a reputation for delivering flexible problem solving software and solutions.

A WA Business News 40under40 winner in 2002, Glen Hunter said he established Beacon Technology with business partner, managing director Mark O’Donoghue, “as a consequence of casting around and deciding that the general state of software development in Perth was in pretty poor shape in terms of best practice”.

“We saw there was an opportunity,” he said.

The result is a software company focused on custom software development and integration, and one that boasts clients Rio Tinto, Wesfarmers Landmark, Wesfarmers Insurance and CSIRO among its clients.

“There are still good cases for custom software over off-the-shelf [software], that may only satisfy 30 to 40 per cent of needs,” Mr Hunter said.

“While we wouldn’t propose building custom software for every project, there are needs.”

He said emerging business opportunities for Beacon included IT auditing and trouble-shooting on projects that may be experiencing difficulty or that have gone over budget.

Since 1995 the company has grown to employ 45 staff, maintaining its business operations despite the difficult years in the Perth software development market following the dot.com crash.

“In the last 18 months we’ve had 15 or 16 competitors close their doors, but also some of our competitors have grown,” Mr Hunter told WA Business News.

“We are also seeing new players emerging, although some of them are eastern States players, either in partnerships or through acquisitions or mergers.

“We’re being cautious [about growth] until we see evidence of sustainable improvement. Our focus is staff development and retention.”

Mr Hunter said being a 40under40 winner had positive benefits for the company despite being a personal accolade.

He said the benefits included raising the profile of the company and the fact that the win was seen as positive by both staff and customers alike.

“It had been very good in terms of general profile raising.

“I had been contacted by people who I hadn’t seen for a while offering their congratulations, so it was good in terms of re-establishing older networks.

Mr Hunter said that the company had since become quite active in a number of professional associations since the win, including the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WA) and the Australian Information and Industry Association.


Nominations for the 2004 40under40 program can be made by visiting
www.40under40.com.au

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