This week I had the great pleasure of meeting a pair of successful engineers. Russell Mortimer, a mechanical engineer, and Steven Joustra, a civil engineer. These gentlemen had spent time in the infrastructure and construction world and saw a niche opportunity for software development.
That was back in 1994. They had some early success in Australia with projects for Transurban, Origin Energy and Laing O’Rourke with many multi-billion dollar projects being run on their QA Software solutions including a $32 billion LNG Project.
Today, 21 years later their software has been deployed on several hundreds of infrastructure projects to offer a suite of products that are used to manage the information gathering, flow and control for infrastructure and construction projects.
They offer cloud solutions or locally installed solutions to meet client requirements. Their product is based on standard Microsoft platforms and they are a Gold Certified partner with Microsoft. They have also created links with Microsoft for SharePoint integration and Office 365 Email. Recently this helped them win a sale in Malaysia on a major gas project in Sarawak.
Within the product set there is TeamBinder for web-based or server-based collaboration along with QDMS for document and drawing control QTRAK for correspondence management which can hook into Microsoft Office 365 and other mail systems to capture email correspondence. There is a defect management module and various other components that make this a world-leading solution.
TeamBinder and the other modules provide the construction company with a single source for project information management, ensuring projects are delivered faster and within budget.
What has set this company apart and brought it to my attention is the quality of development and the rigour that has been applied to the creation of this solution set.
This software has stood up to intense inspection by international construction companies and has, in fact, just been selected by one of the largest construction companies in America to be used for their projects. Kiewit Corporation works in building, mining, oil and gas, power, transport and water. Their projects run to $10 billion with 90 offices covering 23 of the states of USA.
Kiewit spent 10 months reviewing software solutions globally before settling on QA Software for its solution. ISO endorsements for their business and for the hosting platforms they used were essential components. Many competitors offered similar solutions but lacked the quality in the tools or the fabric of the business to stand up to the scrutiny applied.
This sale to Kiewit will represent a significant growth opportunity for QA Software with greater recognition on a global stage. They will need to place more staff in America and potentially in other countries where Kiewit is running projects as they find that embedding staff into the organisations using the software leads to better adoption of the tools set and a better quality outcome for the client.
To date QA Software solutions have managed several billion dollars of construction with the overall value soaring as this robust and capable tool gains a foothold on a global stage. As construction companies look for ways to improve their processes to drive better productivity and better quality in their projects it is inevitable that they will turn to industry-leading tools like this one to streamline the flow of information.
QA Software is no unicorn with massive valuations based on some future potential, it is a solid local small business that has grown to be a global success through good management and commitment to building a quality product. It has been run profitably for 21 years and is now breaking through from under 100 staff to become the enterprise tool of choice on a global stage.
Mortimer the co-founder and CEO has suggested that China offers further export potential for this software and, of course, there is more that can be done in the USA but there are good reasons why this tool could be used in every part of the world.
Australia needs to create a business environment where innovative businesses such as QA Software can thrive to drive millions of dollars of export revenue each year from our software companies. With our highly educated and creative workforce here in Australia we should support and encourage more of these companies.
David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that is known for business IT that makes sense. How can we help?