A new startup, SMX, that is being incubated at the e-centre at Massey has just signed an MOU with a large company to trial a spam and virus filtering platform in India. SMX’s solution is a network level spam and virus filtration service that obviates the need for locally installed software.

It’s great to see NZ startups leverage off their networks (often gained through involvement with incubators, or ConnectNZ), and scale themselves internationally.

SMX is an interesting model and neatly falls into the classifications in my post yesterday regarding SaaS/v and SaaS/s models. The announcement is also timely given some feedback I’ve had regarding my post yesterday.

Just to clarify – clearly there is an intersect between the SaaS/v and SaaS/s mdoels – my point was that to concentrate solely on SaaS/s strategies is a very short term and risk filled way of doing things. The successful SaaS plays will come from either finding a solely SaaS/v or combination SaaS/s and SaaS/v model.

SMX is clearly a combination model. Their product substitutes a plethora or anti virus and anti spam applications but also adds value to the users on a number of levels;

  • Removes the sysadmin requirements for spam/virus protection from the enterprise
  • Reduces traffic (important in situations where bandwidth is difficult)
  • Provides higher level of protection (or at least AS high) as other solutions

So well done SMX – and thanks for providing fuel for my SaaS argument at such a timely juncture!

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Falafulu Fisi |

    Ben, I was introduced to SMX last year (2006) by a friend of mine who has a business connection with them. My friend knew that I could help them (SMX) further improved their anti-spam product by developing certain spam algorithms, which are my domain area but that SMX lack expertise in. I know what algorithm that they are using and I have to say it is good, but there are certain things (types of spam) that it can’t deal with, meaning that this type of spam will just go thru their filter without being detected or blocked. I gave them a list of a few algorithms that I can help them with, but I am pretty much sure that they didn’t proceed further with their development, either by themselves or any outside help.

    Here is what I think. Unless SMX or other residents from any of our local incubators start collaborating with institute such as CSI in terms of R&D that Rod blogged about, I am not confident that they can compete internationally with other vendors developing the same product. Perhaps they can capture the local market, but the single functionality that they are currently implementing in their product, would be dwarfed by similar products overseas that they use multiple techniques (algorithms). I have seen a few research publications of overseas vendors doing the same product as SMX but they implement superior algorithms. These algorithms aren’t proprietary at all, they are available from the literatures, but SMX (an other start-ups) , don’t research or read them . This is the advantage of start-ups linking up with institute such as CSI. Since researchers at CSI read these journals, they are able to give advise to SMX (or any other start ups, of what to implement in order for their product to be competitive internationally) . My comment is not to be taken as a negative view against SMX, but this is the problem that was highlighted by Prof. Hosking of CSI in a recent Herald article by IT journo Simon Hendry.


  • Thanks Falafulu – and I totally agree. In defence of the businesses I would say it is hard for them to understand the way things are sometimes articulated by the CSI’s (although similarly this works in reverse – the CSI’s tend not to understand the business speak). We need a forum that brings together these two parties with some facilitation (read translation) in the middle.

    Perhaps the EDA’s are a good medium for this sort of collaboration?

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