Ex-Macromedia staffer powers RocketBoots

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A former Macromedia staffer has re-emerged as founding head of a new professional services firm targeting business users of that vendor’s applications, such as Flash and Flex.

A former Macromedia staffer has re-emerged as founding head of a new professional services firm targeting business users of that vendor’s applications, such as Flash and Flex.

Robin Hilliard, former senior technical sales engineer at Macromedia and founding partner of new professional services firm RocketBoots, said he had been made redundant from Macromedia in April and decided to use the payout to start RocketBoots.

“I started in Allaire, where ColdFusion comes from, as a support engineer in the dotcom years, and was always coming in [to help a customer] when it was too late to fix anything,” he said.

People needed help to get internet applications up and running efficiently and effectively and weren’t getting that help from the major vendors. “I had to go on to the next sale,” Hilliard said.

Getting professional services around Macromedia technology had proven particularly difficult in Australia, although the vendor did provide excellent support on a global scale, he added. “I talked to some of those people almost the day I left Macromedia,” he said. “And decided to focus on Macromedia.”

RocketBoots -- a name chosen to connote empowering Macromedia users with extra support from the ground level -- started signing customers in August. So far, a range of business, government and educational sector customers have shown interest, Hilliard said.

“We got our first customer in August, which was when we started,” he said. “Some early customers have been government departments -- we have the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources (DISR). And we have Flightcentre.”

RocketBoots operates via almost a virtual office system, with its three staff working mainly from their homes in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney -- a setup that kept overheads low and the company’s offering broadly available, he said.

However, the new company would not compete with other channel players or “solution providers” but work with them. RocketBoots aimed to provide what Hilliard termed an extra layer of support on which resellers could rely.

RocketBoots would remain small and target that specialised niche. All three staff -- including its most recent hire, former Macromedia Asia-Pacific operations manager Pam Higgins -- had profound skill and knowledge around Macromedia products, he added.

Macromedia applications such as Flash and Flex were tipped for increasing adoption in coming years, particularly as more business users sought to benefit from non-browser internet applications, Hilliard said.

“Flash is making real in-roads into the enterprise space now,” he said. “And we are doing some Flex work at the moment, and we’ve got multiple Flex projects. It’s now more viable for a J2EE engineer or a general enterprise developer to come into it.”

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