After averaging 500 per cent growth a year since buying a web hosting business online, Michael O’Loughlin and Ben Horner are now preparing their company, Alltraders, for the Cloud.
With sales worth $1.5 million a year in Australia and overseas, Alltraders employs 20 people to design and deliver business applications as well as develop and host easy-to-manage Joomla! websites.
Mr. O’Loughlin and Mr. Horner bought the Alltraders webhosting business with 20 clients in 2006 when Adelaide entrepreneur Vic Ratnieks sold it to focus on his other businesses. Several years later, the new Alltraders recruited Mr. Ratnieks to use his expertise in project management to help win and run larger software contracts.
As Alltraders enters its sixth year of operation, Mr. Horner has accepted the role of Chief Executive Officer while Mr. O’Loughlin has become Chief Information Officer. As well as running Alltraders, they have actively invested in developing other businesses including the online engineering certification service Prompt Engineering.
Alltraders is also merging its software engineering and web hosting divisions to better meet demand for software applications in the Cloud. The Cloud refers to online-hosted applications that are accessible from any Internet-connected device and often purchased as a service.
Since re-launching Alltraders as a part-time operation that turned over less than $20,000 in its first year of their ownership, Mr. O’Loughlin and Mr. Horner made it their full-time focus in its third year, leading to strong growth in the subsequent two years. Alltraders has averaged 500 per cent a year growth since it was established, although this settled to a more manageable 30 per cent growth in the past year.
Michael O’Loughlin said the strong growth at Alltraders reflected the increasing business demand for online services. “Instead of owning and running everything in-house, businesses now want to buy just the software capabilities they need as a service,” he said.
“This gives them the advantage of purchasing IT requirements out of operating expenses, rather than having to make large capital purchases, and makes the technology better fit their business needs.
“We identified this process early on with our web-hosting division, where customers wanted us to provide them with reliable website hosting and easy management tools for a predictable annual cost.
“During the past couple of years, we’ve had increasing orders from companies that want to put their business operations online, to make them available to both customers and suppliers. By opening up their information borders – while maintaining appropriate security – they are reducing the cost of delivering their services and significantly increasing their addressable market.
“This trend to online services is driving our current focus because our software engineering division and web hosting division increasingly need to share skills, so removing the division between these two teams opens up new areas for collaboration and innovation.”
Mr. O’Loughlin said he expected the breakneck growth rate that Alltraders had experienced since 2009 to stay at a more manageable level during the current financial year. “We have a highly enthusiastic and talented team and a proven business solution,” he said.
“One thing that makes us different is that most of our managers have previously run their own businesses in the web services or software area. They understand how other businesses work, which gives us a great advantage when we are developing business process software.
“During the next couple of years, we believe that Cloud computing offers us huge opportunities.
Our Cloud solutions offer peace of mind and control to businesses whilst still keeping control in a private Cloud. We expect demand for new services, many of them delivered through the Cloud, to really start taking off in the next year or two.
“Merging our software engineering and web hosting divisions equips Alltraders to meet that demand.”
Alltraders is an Australian software development company that specialises in creating and hosting websites and developing customised software applications. Alltraders uses the Joomla! Content Management System to design easy-to-use and maintain business websites.