"I knew what our clients wanted, so I just had to ‘tool up’ and learn
how to program, because that was the only way I could see it happening,”
says Houden. He’s now a software architect, system designer, team
leader, business developer, client manager, concept marketer… and a 2009
Anthill 30under30 winner.
Using cloud technology and Microsoft infrastructure, Xchangexec
is a retail point-of-sale system that can be accessed globally. It has
attracted the interest and partnership of industry heavy-hitters such as
Dell, NCR, Cisco and Pacnet. He launched the product in 2006 with five
people and one office, and now employs 15 staff across three offices.
Revenue increased by 300 percent in 2009 and over 400 customers
installed the software, including household brands such as Donut King,
Michel’s Patisserie and Brumby’s Bread.
“From the time I ran my first dance party at the age of 17, I’ve
always been looking for opportunities to create something and make it
fly,” says Houden. He started working in the family business but was
immediately frustrated by the limitations imposed by selling and
supporting a supplier’s products.
So he rebelled and started cracking his own code. At one time it
almost destroyed the family unit, but the light finally shone when his
first Xchangexec client came on board. The monster he had been creating
in the lab grew really long legs.
Last year the company won the Dell Small Business Award, Consensus
Software Award and was a finalist for the Microsoft ISV Partner of the
When he’s not developing new products, Houden can be found in meetings with Michael Dell.