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Thursday, 07 October 2010 17:46

Queensland open source firm doubles staff

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The downturn in the US economy has benefitted Queensland open source company Jentla to the extent that it has had to double its staff numbers to meet demand.


Jentla makes software of the same name, based on the open source content management system Joomla!, that allows for the management of multiple websites with ease. The company was earlier known as Zac-Ware.

Jentla chief executive Damian Hickey said that given the lack of financial resources available to companies at this time, tools like Jentla which enabled the consolidation of site management were money-savers.

"It is not often that people realise the volume of websites that a company or an organisation will have," he said, pointing out that a typical university would have anything from 200 to 400 sites. A state government in Australia would have more than 1000 sites, hence consolidation was of prime importance.

As a result of the demand, Jentla has taken on 20 new staff in the last quarter. The company has offices in Brisbane, its headquarters, Chennai (India) and in Romania. Most of the staff have been recruited in Chennai, at the company's Tamil Nadu research and development office.

In Australia, Anthony Fisher has been appointed project manager and Markita Parybok as web manager, both senior client-facing roles.

Fisher and Parybok will look after technical development for all Jentla projects, including e-commerce, video and content management software, as well as customer implementations and product development.



While most of the demand for Jentla has been in Australia and the US, Hickey said there had been a lot of interest from Canada as well. He is undertaking a trip to the UK at the end of the month to participate in a major Joomla! event there to try and create a market for Jentla.

Hickey said that the Jentla extension certification programme was proceeding apace, with chief Joomla! developer Andrew Eddie acting as a consultant. The programme gives Joomla! users surety about the quality of the extensions they use and their usability.

While Jentla includes open source and proprietary elements, Hickey believes in contributing to the community as much as he can. The source for the certification programme will be released under the GPL once it is complete.

He said an administration template for Joomla!, which his company was creating, would also be released under the same licence.

"As a small company, we need to have a mix of components but we try our best to contribute to open source as much as we can," Hickey said.

Seven staff at Jentla are working on contributions to Joomla! - two are fixing bugs in the latest Joomla! release while five others are involved in the certification programme.

 

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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