Founders: David Freeland, 30
Head Office: Victoria
David Freeland started SMS Central in part so businesses could send out mass text messages to customers in the event of an emergency. But the business found itself in a bind when it suffered 30 minutes of absolutely no power whatsoever when Melbourne suffered some heavy flooding.
It was a disappointing start, and indicative of the natural disasters businesses have suffered over the past few years. It was also a panic for the founders – extended downtime for a tech company can spell doom.
But SMS Central recovered after a thorough patch-fixing session.
“From that day we have invested heavily in fully redundant, geographically-spread data centres and infrastructure to ensure that no matter what's happening around the country, our customers never have any downtime.”
Freeland started as an electrician, working with his father, but quickly realised his skills lay more in entrepreneurship. He started SMS Central, which helps government and other entities send out massive SMS messages using a web application.
Given mobile marketing has become a powerhouse, this type of mass messaging system has only become more popular in recent years, both on a commercial and government level – both trends which help the company.
“The industry is becoming increasingly professional as businesses adopt messaging as a core part of their company communication strategy.”
“Continued downtime, intermittent delivery and excessive pricing is no longer accepted so we are seeing an influx of customers who want a reliable and transparent provider who can assist them in getting more out of their 160 characters.”
And just like the technology it serves, SMS Central is keen on remaining modern in its corporate culture. The company actively encourages staff to attend conferences and training sessions to help them upskill, while more high level staff meet for performance reviews once every quarter.
They’re intense workers, too – the business even has a literal “cone of silence” placed on employees’ desks as a type of “do not disturb” sign.
“We have a team who are individually very driven and will push themselves to see what they're capable of. Intrinsic motivation is the kind you want your team to have. You can influence motivation levels to an extent, by providing a fun and challenging environment, but it's essentially all about the people you have on board.”
Looking ahead, Freeland says SMS Central will grow based on its improvement in technology. As long as the company continues to innovate, it will grow.
“We have learned a lot in the past two years, so watch this space because we are just getting started!”