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An acquisition heard around the world…

02 May 2014

For founder and CEO Scott Houston, Microsoft’s acquisition of GreenButton is an acquisition representing natural progression, given the close working relationship both companies have enjoyed during the past few years.

“As companies I believe we’re very culturally aligned and already feel like part of the Microsoft family,” says Houston, speaking to Techday following the deal.

“I see this as a natural step in the journey but that journey is still continuing.”

A leading provider of cloud solutions for compute-intensive application, Houston has built a company, which has 18 staff, which takes an innovative approach to enabling businesses to optimise their applications in the cloud.

Its flagship product, GreenButton Cloud Fabric, is suited to Enterprises and Software Vendors for accessing unlimited computing power.

Using the GreenButton SDK, applications can be cloud-enabled in hours with no recoding of existing software typically required, enabling Software Vendors to manage their licenses and monetise the cloud.

“The great thing for GreenButton is that Satya Nadella and Scott Guthrie are taking this incredibly seriously, whether it be Big Compute or Big Data and this bodes well for us in Wellington,” adds Houston, who can rely on over 25 years’ experience in the IT industry.

For Houston, previously CIO for Weta Digital during The Lord of the Rings, the acquisition represents a continual progression from the foundations already laid at GreenButton, eight years after founding the Wellington-based company.

“The GreenButton team in Wellington is excited about being at the heart of the next generation of cloud platforms,” he adds.

“Every single member of GreenButton is now working for Microsoft and this is a huge opportunity for Kiwi developers to be at the very heart of the world leading cloud platforms and to bring with us all the experience we’ve had in the past through our work with Boeing, and Pixar for example.”

Amid confirming such a huge global deal, one could have forgiven Houston for singing his praises somewhat, given the monumental rise of his company in less than a decade.

But for highly-affable tech figure, who’s company has been highly recognised as a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, the bigger picture if of far greater importance.

“We hired an intern fresh from college in November and now he’s working with architects and distinguished engineers at Redmond who’s been working in this field for 20 years,” he adds.

“You can’t buy jobs like this. And for our senior guys also, this is an excellent opportunity for them to test their skills with the most talented people on the planet.”

What next for GreenButton?

For Houston, Monday morning will see the GreenButton team get up and do the same jobs as before, although now they’ll be representing Microsoft.

“They are incredibly passionate about realising this vision, which wouldn’t be achievable without the world’s largest software company behind them,” he adds.

During the few months past, Houston says it has been somewhat of a fact finding operation of Microsoft, looking under the covers of GreenButton’s technology as standard procedure during the acquisition process.

“Now we’re at the stage we were are working with senior architects to understand the company’s strategy and we’ll make sure we don’t drop any of our existing customers commitments,” he adds.

“I believe what will come out will be bigger, better, stronger and faster for sure.”


Again, Houston’s knack for observing the bigger picture is evident, with the highly-respected Kiwi believing GreenButton’s acquisition represents an opportunity for more Kiwi start-ups to reach similar global heights, whether it be through acquisitions or listing on the stock exchange.

“I see this as a huge boost to the wider tech community and should serve as a confidence boost to fellow start-ups,” he adds.

“Here in New Zealand we’re starting to see a relatively beaten path through to Silicon Valley, with a lot of infrastructure already in place to achieve this.

“It’s becoming easier as there’s a lot of Kiwi experience out there, many broken noses and battle scars which bodes well for start-ups across the country.”

For more information on GreenButton click here