Officially launched at the end of August, the Suncorp Metway online Share Trade service signifies the lucky 13th client and business partner for Australian-based online trading development company JDV.
JDV implements e-commerce and outsourcing solutions such as online stock trading and has managed some remarkable successes since its initial launch in May.
Having already amassed a series of high-profile clients such as AMP, BT Portfolio Services, Quicken.com.au and Your Prosperity, the growth JDV has experienced comes as no surprise to head of outsourcing and IT, Campbell Johnston.
"We were well aware of the market we were moving into when we launched because we grew out of a financial sector company," Johnston said.
Prior to the May launch, JDV existed as the e-commerce division of stock broking firm Hartley Poynton.
"The decision to break away from Hartley Poynton came about essentially because we could see opportunities in the market, and were aware that the JDV e-commerce could stand independently," Johnston said.
Among other services, JDV provides an online Stock Highway which enables corporate Web sites to offer end users branded access to share trading capabilities online. "We provide the service, but they can provide the style," Johnston explained.
The support services which accompany the Stock Highway include straight through processing accreditation, access to different payment methods and credit for purchases of 150 stocks on the market.
"End users can establish their services directly over the Internet and access our telephone trading support and call centre services," Johnston said. "Our business partners can provide the Stock Highway to their clients ostensibly using their own branding."
Johnston believes the key to success in the e-commerce development field lies in achieving a stable balance between time to market and functionality.
"There has been a tendency for companies in this sector to rush sites online, without checking the details," Johnston said. "These days you can't get away with the trade-off between being quick to market and sloppy work. The tolerance for mistakes that existed initially just won't stick anymore."
According to Johnston, JDV has implemented a quality assurance process that harks back to more traditional IT approaches, which took the time to focus on the architectures which form the foundation of the Web sites.
"JDV really distinguishes itself on the basis of providing robust solutions in the financial area, based on solid architectures," Johnston said.
Although he concedes that the financial services market is extremely competitive, he believes the market is reaching a plateau which will see a consolidation of the growth in this area.
"The key to success in the e-commerce arena is to remember the focus is on business and how the technology fits into business requirements. You have to match IT solutions to business needs," he said.
Despite having to maintain 90 skilled technical staff in one of the most competitive labour markets, Johnston is confident JDV's approach to staff recruitment and maintenance will prove successful on an ongoing basis.
Apart from the usual balance of stimulation and remuneration, Johnston feels that a certain freedom in terms of dress code and a fairly flat hierarchy allows the work environment to remain fresh and enthusiastic.
"We are growing rapidly and employing new people all the time. You really have to keep the periscope up and be eclectic when it comes to recruitment," Johnston said. "Our staff come from a range of backgrounds. People with industry experience represent a huge advantage because they bring a lot to the company, but we also get a large component of our staff straight out of university, because they tend to bring a lot of enthusiasm with them."