Stories by Ben Heather

Jade pins hopes on $1m security software upgrade

Christchurch's Jade Software is investing more than $1 million in its investigation product following growing demand from government departments looking for new tools to tackle complex fraud and tax dodgers. Managing director Craig Richardson says that Jade's intelligence-gathering software, Investigator, had been designed for police, but was also generating interest from tax departments and border agencies. The updated software is expected to be available to existing customers by November. The Investigator software is still a small part of Jade's business compared to its logistic management software and its ongoing software services. "Certainly it won't have a big impact on profitability (this year). But in the next three to four years this could be 10 to 15 percent of sales." Jade hopes to push the expanded product within New Zealand and in its key international markets – the Middle East, Europe and Australia. The Investigator expansion comes after Jade released its new Joob database software in a push to derive more revenue from product-licence fees rather than labour-intensive service work. In the financial year ending December 31, 2009, revenue from product licence fees shrank to 9 percent of total revenue, compared to 13 percent the previous year. The 2009 year was tough for Jade with earnings before interest and tax falling 83.5 percent to $839,000. Revenue was $46.2 million, down 7.8 percent, with the fall coming mainly from exports, which comprise 65 percent of the firm's business.