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Sister act goes down under

Date 25 Oct 2007
Author The Editor

Two sister companies from the North East are seeing their family extend to the other side of the world. Mere Mortals and SBsquared have seen their businesses go global as one of their directors has emigrated down under.

David Jeffries of computer games and film post-production company Mere Mortals has settled in New Zealand to open the latest office for the group. Both companies have long-term expansion plans which have been hastened by deals with several clients at David's New Zealand offices.

Each business now operates on a round the clock basis, using a secure file transfer link to swap work between the offices at the end of each business day. Staff use a series of internet-based collaborative working tools including email, videoconferencing and real-time file sharing, to keep the business running smoothly.

Steve Walmsley, Mere Mortals' new managing director, said: "We've been working on this plan for the last 18 months and the result is that we are now two Newcastle companies with another office on the other side of the world.

"A New Zealand base is ideal for our business, with less cultural differences than say China, plus the advantage of the burgeoning film industry following its success as the location for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. "The games industry is changing rapidly, with a progressive move to customers choosing to download rather than buy games off the shelf and making the physical location of our business increasingly irrelevant to them and to distributors."

Web company SBsquared aim to benefit from a partnership with a design agency based in New Zealand, whose experience will bring a range of new media services to the North East England marketplace.

The New Zealand link is also likely to benefit staff, with plans in place to offer sabbaticals and skills exchange opportunities with their international colleagues.

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