Independence is key to growth — Punzenberger

Austrian owned SCADA vendor Copa-Data, which develops and markets the zenon SCADA package, claimed to have defied the current market trends when it briefed the U.K. press shortly before Christmas. “…in the first three quarters of 2008, we have shown a 24% growth in turnover,” claimed CEO Thomas Punzenberger. Moreover, that pattern has been more than reflected in the U.K. where, in a somewhat complex measure of performance, it claimed that turnover grew by 300% in the first nine months of 2008, compared proportionally to the last six months of 2007, which were Copa-Data U.K.’s first six months of trading.

“From small beginnings, we have consistently met our sales targets since the U.K. subsidiary was established in 2007,” said U.K. managing director Duncan Fletcher. “Our strong growth projections for 2009 still look realistic ― we are confident that zenon’s features and Copa-Data’s commitment to excellent customer service will enable us to grow revenue and market share even in a difficult market.”

Since its establishment in 1987, Copa-Data has consistently achieved growth of 25% per year, and each year has invested 25% of that turnover into research and development. That has only been possible, says Punzenberger, because of the company’s continued independence and its core philosophy of maintaining an open architecture and focusing on ease of use. “Thanks to our independence,” he explained, “we can focus on delivering to this philosophy. We do not have to focus on quarterly reports or shareholder pressure; we have the freedom to act according to the requirements and demands of our customers.”

And as Fletcher explained, sustained investment in R&D has ensured that the company has maintained its technological edge. “We are bucking the trend because we use leading- edge technologies. Our one standard product runs on all current Windows platforms, including CE, XP embedded, 64-bit and Vista ― and a single development system creates applications for all supported operating systems … zenon delivers savings on software, hardware and deployment without compromising quality or technical innovation ― in a difficult market this is what people are looking for.”

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