High-tech Tyrone firm nets multi-million pound web contract in China

Co Tyrone-based Microchannel Technologies has tapped into the rapid growth of China’s internet market and secured a multi-million pound contract, thanks to its revolutionary internet software, developed with assistance from Invest Northern Ireland.

From its offices in Clogher, Microchannel develops some of the world’s most advanced bid management and analytics software for internet search engines. Bid management software is an extremely specialised product. It is used by search engine marketing companies and advertising agencies to calculate the client’s return on investment when running traditional and pay-per-click campaigns on the internet.

The multi-million pound contract - the result of an exclusive partnership between Microchannel and international advertising agency neo@Ogilvy – will see Microchannel become the first approved provider of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) software that can connect to Baidu, China’s leading internet search facility, as well as all other major search engines worldwide.

Invest NI through its Western Regional Office has been supporting Microchannel since the business was established in 2000. More recently, Invest NI has offered assistance towards the company’s product development activities and helped the company to access export marketing support, particularly for Europe and the Asia Pacific region.  

Barry Lloyd, Chief Executive of Microchannel Technologies, says: “With agencies and their client’s websites in France, Germany, Holland, USA, Canada and the UK already using our SEM software, which is approved by the leading search engines in these countries, the partnership with neo@Ogilvy will now help us to tap into the vast potential of the Chinese internet market.

“China now has more internet users than the US and usage is growing at a rate of 20% each year. Indeed the global market on Baidu alone is estimated to be worth approximately £1billion in 2008.

“By investing in R&D over a number of years and constantly challenging the functionality of existing software packages, we have developed intuitive, flexible and very effective software offerings which have placed us in a competitive position in the world’s largest online market. Invest NI has been a vital source of support, helping us to create these advanced products and more importantly, bring them to market.”

Ian Murphy, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Clients and Entrepreneurship, says: “Microchannel’s long term investment in research and development has made it a highly respected company in the online search engine management and reporting market. Combined with a targeted export marketing strategy, a small team of highly skilled software engineers and support from Invest NI, Microchannel has secured a significant level of business across Europe since 2005.

“This new multi-million pound contract in China will bring Microchannel to the forefront of the SEM market, demonstrating how small firms can develop the capability to compete at the very highest level internationally.”