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IT firms make BRW Fast 100

THREE Perth communication and technology services providers have been named among the nation’s top growth companies, figuring in the latest BRW Fast 100 list.

Vivid Interactive and Design, Exabit Pty Ltd and WebSpy have prospered from the recognition by businesses across all industry sectors of the vital impact of information technology on the bottom line.

This annual Fast 100 index ranks Australia’s emerging companies based on turnover growth during the past three years. In order to be eligible, companies must have fewer than 200 full-time employees and must not have any single customer account for more than 50 per cent of turnover.

Achieving an enviable average growth rate of 214 per cent for the past three years, Exabit Pty Ltd has blazed a trail in the local cabling and communications industry since it was established four years ago.

Founded by Brad Giles and Damian Hegarty, both electricians by trade, the company now turns over $2.8 million and employs 30 people. Turnover of $3.6 million is projected for next financial year

Mr Giles said the rate of the business’ development had exceeded expectations.

Through its two divisions – Total Cabling Solutions and Exabit Communication – Exabit Pty Ltd provides cabling services to clients such as Royal Perth Hospital and the Department of Defence and delivers a full range of communications technologies, including converged technology.

The company had invested substantially in acquiring new technology and distribution rights and was well placed to become a leader in the emerging IP arena, Mr Giles said. This would allow businesses to use audio, video and data, wired and wireless voice over a single IP packet network.

Mr Giles said the company had identified converged voice and data as a growing sector of the market, with the technology to provide greater cost efficiencies and reduced overheads for business.

“We tend to be of the view that you don’t buy technology for technology’s sake, rather you buy it for business benefits,” he said.

After nine years in the ultra-competitive world of Internet design, Vivid Interactive and Design has risen above the fray through diversification into branding, marketing, digital media and software. Since establishing the firm in 1986 and operating from a one-room office, founding partners Julian Matthews and Damian Cook now employ 27 people and manage the communication and technology needs of 350 clients.

The company has consistently doubled its growth each year and now has its client list including Network Ten, Hyundai Australia, Perth Airport, Wesfarmers Limited and WA Tourism Commission.

Mr Cook said the BRW Fast 100 listing was a recognition of the company’s move into more innovative markets and the ability to offer a comprehensive range of services available in traditional web and multimedia firms.

“We are getting more integrated, with all our services coming together,” he said.

The key to Internet and email monitoring software developer WebSpy Limited’s place on the BRW Fast 100 is two and half years of hard work establishing overseas distribution networks, according to founding director Jack Andrys.

Mr Andrys said that, because the company had chosen to set up its overseas offices in London and Seattle early in the company’s life, WebSpy, even though it was a small company was well placed to compete on the international software market.

WebSpy, which now turns over $2.5 million annually, began life in 1994 as a Perth-based information technology consultancy and software development business called Netlink Pty Ltd. In 1999 the business was bought by WebSpy Ltd, formerly Livingstone Group Limited.

Its first software program was Inspection Manager, an application designed for the oil and gas industry to manage its assets in sub-sea environments. Resource companies including Woodside Petroleum Ltd, Esso and Apache Energy now use the program.

Its second successful application WebSpy, which was developed in response to client concerns over network security and productivity, has 3,000 customers, 80 per cent of whom are export customers.

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