When Console Connect was ready to expand beyond its Silicon Valley birthplace, it sought three things: access to outstanding software engineers, a location that attracts the best employees, and excellent transport and education.
Brisbane came through on all three counts, and the city is now home to Console Connect’s research and development headquarters.
Jef Graham, Chairman and CEO of Console Connect Inc., explains why: ‘Brisbane is a great place to live. [It’s] affordable, liked by families, offers great education infrastructure and great communications infrastructure. […] Plus, it’s really nice to have the support of Queensland Government.’
Trade & Investment Queensland (TIQ) assisted Console Connect to locate in Brisbane with a handful of staff in February 2015. Then, following a meeting with Premier Palaszczuk and Console Connect’s founder at a June 2015 trade mission to San Francisco, the Department of State Development’s Industry Attraction team convinced Console Connect to locate its expanding global research and development (R&D) operations in Brisbane.
Brisbane has developed a reputation as a major international hub for software development, and Console Connect’s establishment here only adds to this reputation. The high-tech trailblazer limits the chance of internet network hijacking, congestion and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks by delivering cloud connectivity through a unique blend of software and network infrastructure that bypasses the public internet to directly connect networks to each other.
Console Connect and its global data centre, network service providers and cloud partners (including Google, Amazon and Microsoft), offer seamless interconnection to avoid the risks of sending traffic over the public internet. In addition to increased security, benefits include improved user experience, reduced complexity, a single connection to a global ecosystem and transparent costs.
Console Connect emerged in 2011 as a start-up backed by big-name venture capital firms in California. With its technology now thoroughly proven, the company is ready to scale the business, and it plans to do all its R&D in Brisbane.
The company now has 120 employees split equally between locations in Australia, North America and the UK, with the global software development team based in Brisbane.
‘Most software is 90 per cent maintenance and 10 per cent creative development,’ says Graham. ‘What we do in Brisbane is all creative development. That means we want A+ engineers.’ Brisbane’s talent pool and attractive location has delivered, and Console Connect in Australia has now hired 40 local, national and international A+ engineers to ‘develop really creative talent and consequently produce really creative products’.
‘We chose Brisbane because it’s a very nice place to live,’ says Graham. ‘Software engineers across the world can live where they want and typically they want to live somewhere nice. Often those places are not affordable any more. Brisbane is an affordable location and attractive to the engineer and also to their partner or spouse.’
Graham says Console Connect was also attracted to Brisbane’s ‘fantastic education structure’. He says the region’s three universities (University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University) attract talented engineers to Brisbane and provide an excellent pool of graduates from which Console Connect can hire.
He also cites the attractiveness of Brisbane’s excellent infrastructure in terms of IT communications and airports, with the latter offering easy access to Asia and direct daily flights to California.
Paul Gampe, Chief Technology Officer of Console Technology Pty Ltd, says Brisbane also has a proven model for software companies. ‘Many US software companies have chosen to establish their headquarters in Brisbane,’ he explains. ‘Console said, “Okay there’s a proven model here and we can leverage opportunities from those prior relationships and existing infrastructure to make it happen again”.’
Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham officiated at the November 2016 opening of Console Connect’s larger office and new global R&D Headquarters at 200 Mary Street, Brisbane, which is one of Console Connect’s largest hubs and home to 40 staff.
‘It’s nice to have that relationship,’ says Graham, ‘… to know you’re wanted, that you’re supported and that we can turn to the government if we need help in different ways.’