In a web of many solutions, we see things others often miss.

We think things through carefully. That's Mentation, literally.

While we don't have a crystal ball, we try to future proof our clients against disruptive change. We achieve this through making wise choices early on in the development process and being fully adaptive as projects evolve.

We are IT Developers and Consultants specialising in customised, scalable Open Source solutions using Java/Scala frameworks. We are PostgreSQL specialists.

 

What can we do for you?

Quality

With a wealth of experience over 25 years, we reckon we know a thing or two about software.

We consult with our Client and analyse their business, developing solutions that can really make a difference.

We have never walked away from a client, and we have never had a project fail.

We actually enjoy what we do, and it shows in what we produce.

Software

Our software can plug things together (integration architecture).

We are awesome at backend development (complex logic, efficient databases).

We are awesome at web development (but don't pretend we're graphical wizards).

We are awesome at building mobile applications (adaptive web, android, ios).

Services

We offer a fully managed cloud Data Centre composed of multiple servers based on Amazon Web Services.

We offer maintenance, and support contracts with negotiable SLAs for the solutions we provide.

We offer Help Desk Support for the products we provide.

Solutions

We offer custom software for business systems at all ends of the spectrum.

When suitable, we will pick off-the-shelf Java/Scala products and customise to your requirements.

When suitable, we offer Shopify (eCommerce) and Wix (basic web sites) with custom extensions.

We offer MYOB and Xero custom integration with your in house systems.

If it's possible, we will integrate square pegs into round holes (and vice versa).

 

Please contact us to discuss your needs.

Mentation was established in 2006

Initially dealing with only overseas clients in Australia and domestically clients in New Zealand, Mentation has diversified into serving multiple clients globally.

We like to deal with interesting, challenging projects, usually becoming business domain experts in the process.

Tony Culshaw

Tony Culshaw, Director, has over 25 years of experience as a Software Architect, Consultant and Developer. He holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science from Cambridge University. Currently specialising in Scala development, he relishes a challenge.

 

Resumes & References are available on request.

Mentation is based in Wanaka and works closely with several companies in various partnerships and joint ventures, including:

  • Pocketweb, with offices in Christchurch and Berlin.
  • Dodat, based in Christchurch.
  • Shift4, based in Wanaka.

Prior to founding Mentation, Tony was based in Australia mainly designing Reservation Systems and Enterprise Integration Architectures in the Travel, Finance and Insurance Sectors.

Contact

Email: tculshaw@gmail.com

Mobile: +64 21 044 7636

Office: +64 3 443 2212

Skype: tony.culshaw

Philosophy

Buy vs. Build? or rather Why re-invent the wheel?

Where applicable, we use off the shelf, well established, high quality Open Source software. We wouldn't go developing an in-house word processor or a web browser for example.

The same goes for a database management system, or a web server.

It's now become the same deal for shopping/eCommerce sites (Shopify), or building a web site with a basic web site editor (Wix). These already exist 'in the cloud', and our clients should be able to use them to their advantage.

Where we really shine is knowing where these off-the-shelf systems hit their limits and when to start customising them.

Software.

Innovate but play it safe

We use modern but not bleeding edge software. We develop in Scala and Java. Scala is a 'modern' 10 year old language which runs alongside Java.

We have also dabbled with C#, LISP, Scheme, Python, and PHP.

For Data Storage we use PostgreSQL an enterprise grade Database with an assured open source future.

We have also dabbled with NoSQL data stores and, while these sometimes have their place, we just keep coming back to PostgreSQL.

Frameworks & Platforms (& Tools)

For front end solutions we use Bootstrap, AngularJs, jQuery, and templating engines like Twirl (Play), and Liquid.

Web Application Servers we base around Spray (Typesafe), Play (Typesafe), Apache Tomcat, Jetty and the Spring Framework.

We use a number of Libraries, but always open source, often Apache Foundation, and always reviewed for quality and longetivity. Occasional R&D Scala libraries are used, but not for production systems.

Tools used include Eclipse IDE with Scala extensions and the Mercurial Version Control system.

Our preferred Platform comprises Ubuntu Linux, Nginx Web Server, PostgreSQL database, running scala applications on Amazon Web Service virtual servers. With this kind platform and our software architecture we can scale at will.

For clients who have more standard requirements, we support alternative cloud offerings.

For eCommerce requirements, small thru large, we recommend Shopify. We can advise and support rollouts on this platform. We also can build custom extensions to integrate with third party systems (myob, xero for example).

For smaller web site requirements, we recommend Wix. We can build websites on this platform and empower the client to take care of it once delivered. We also can build custom extensions to enhance, or integrate with third party systems.

For Accounting requirements, we recommend Xero. We are happy to advise and can provide a variety of integration solutions.

Small Clients $0 - $200K per annum

Businesses wanting to dabble in a basic web presence.

Startups requiring software architecture and development assistance.

Individuals just wanting to kick around a few ideas over a coffee (or beer).

Local Radio / Newspapers / Communities wanting web sites and some mobile presence. These can include audio streaming, advertising, live news feeds, local weather feeds.

Recommended Platforms

  • Wix
  • Shopify

Clients include

  • Chapter5Wanaka (clothing)
  • Radio Wanaka
  • Bike Fit Marlborough

Medium Clients $200K - $2M per annum

These clients are often the most interesting in that they are big enough to be a challenge, but small enough to be innovators. It's also gratifying to see how well designed software can transform their business.

Examples would be

  • A Wholesaler needing an eCommerce solution with integration to their internal office systems. This can be for retail members only, or open to the public or both.
  • A Franchise Network needing a suite of custom software to look after their Franchisees and their Clients.
  • A Company dealing with an external Software Developer needing an independent and knowledgeable third party to perform an Audit.
  • A Company dealing with an internal project that has gone off the rails needing an Agile Troubleshooter to get everything back on track.

Clients include

  • Dream Doors Franchise (NZ)
  • Radio Wanaka (NZ)
  • Dream Doors Franchise (Australia)
  • Blue Shark (NZ)
  • Texco (NZ/Australia)

Large Clients $2M + per annum

These clients can require totally custom built software, possibly spanning multi-year projects. Needless to say, it can be challenging both technically and politically.

Software development includes multiple mobile/tablet/desktop targets, large or unknown scalability requirements, detailed enterprise integration and heavy duty data analytics.

We have dealt with Travel, Insurance, Finance, Telco, and Health Industry Sectors.

Clients include

  • VisibleThread (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Serko (Auckland, New Zealand)
  • TIAS (Sydney, Australia)
  • Concorde Smart Fares (Sydney, Australia)
  • IAG (Sydney, Australia)
  • Sabre (Sydney, Australia)
  • Serko (Auckland, New Zealand)
  • Vodafone (Sydney, Australia)
  • Volvo (Göteborg, Sweden)
  • Tinergetics (Berlin, Germany)
  • Prosanus (Geneva, Switzerland)