Atmail has been based at Peregian Beach since 2004 and has evolved from being primarily an email platform to one of the world’s leading messaging experts. With thousands of customers from more than 100 countries, its software powers the mailboxes of tens of millions of the world’s email users, including global corporations, government agencies and almost all of Australia’s largest ISPs and other major service providers globally.
Founder and CTO Ben Duncan says innovation is at the core of Atmail’s product and they are constantly seeking to innovate and deliver new and exciting products to customers.
“Our focus has always been on making communication more efficient for businesses. To that end, we have an A-team of developers committed to making great communications tools that enable businesses to reduce friction and increase productivity.”
Ben was drawn to the Sunshine Coast by the lifestyle and amazing beaches, a benefit which has enabled Atmail to attract top tech talent from all over the world.
“The nature of Atmail as a business meant that we could set up from anywhere in the world and still provide our customers with stellar service.”
What are the operating advantages and challenges to being based on the Sunshine Coast?
It’s been an incredible recruitment tool for exceptional talent. Working and living so close to the beach means that we are very focused on having a great work/life balance and healthy lifestyle. We prefer to work with a team that’s relaxed and happy because that’s when people create great things.
We may not be living in a capital city, but we’re still near the airport, which means you’re never really far from anywhere. The local public transport could be better, but we’re only a two-hour flight from Sydney, which is perfect. One of the downsides, though, is that it’s more of a challenge to access local executive peer groups and networking events.
Local infrastructure has been slowly improving with fibre broadband, which means there is greater opportunity now for businesses to set up here. Local government is also beginning to appreciate the benefits to the wider community of supporting the knowledge economy. I’m confident that support will increase with time and it’s fantastic to see the Queensland Government kick-start pioneering initiatives such as the Queensland Digital Economy Strategy.
There is a great community spirit on the Sunshine Coast. People aren’t as rushed here and there is still a willingness to help each other that is missing in other parts of the world.
How are you using digital technology and systems to evolve your business practices?
As the team expands, we are continually focused on ways to improve our business processes and make the business as efficient as possible and have implemented the following systems: Xero (accounting), Zuora (subscription billing), Salesforce (customer relationship management), Expensify (expense reports), multiple Atlassian products (software development, collaboration and QA), Zendesk (customer support).
The beauty of these systems is that they can scale with the business and can be used for years to come as the team continues to grow and evolve.
Do you have sufficient access to broadband and/or WI-FI facilities for operational purposes?
Luckily, our Wi-Fi is more than sufficient for our purposes and we use quite a lot of bandwidth! We are very focused on giving back to the community and that has been our ethos from Day One. Atmail powers free Wi-Fi in Peregian Beach town centre so that businesses and people in the community always have access to the internet.
We also get our energy from solar panels and donate our remaining solar power to the grid and are committed to supporting community initiatives on an ongoing basis. We’re particularly excited about helping to expand the digital economy on the Sunshine Coast.
How do you think the expanding digital economy will benefit the Sunshine Coast region for businesses, families and communities?
The onus is on all of us living and working here to work as a community to expand the digital economy and this will in turn, create jobs, leading to greater economic impact locally. The Sunshine Coast is an amazing place to live and raise children, and a fantastic location from which to do business. Atmail has a vision for the Sunshine Coast to become an environmentally friendly hotspot for technology, innovation and start-ups, creating Australia’s own Silicon Beach.
The Coast is the perfect area for a tech hub and there are potentially huge benefits to the local community for increased activity in this space. Atmail is a prime example of a company that doesn’t need to be in a capital city to create a great product.
Expanding and promoting the digital economy will help put the Sunshine Coast on the map as a start-up hub, and will have the knock-on effect of attracting investment and by extension, great tech talent.
Digital innovation achievements
Awards are nice to receive, but one of our biggest achievements has been the creation of an environment that people really want to work in. We have a relaxed, casual atmosphere in the office and the result of that environment has been a dedication to continuous innovation and the development of great software. I’m very proud of the fact that the quality of Atmail software continues to set the standard in the industry, with significant enhancements to our already robust security included in the latest release 7.2.3.
Visit Atmail www.atmail.com
“It was a fantastic achievement to win the Australian Export Awards in recognition for our company efforts with exporting an Australian software product to thousands of customers in more than 100 countries. It was a great achievement for us as a team.”