Two North East entrepreneurs have hailed the North East “the best place in the UK to start a hi-tech business” after their company’s first year of trading saw them working with one of the world’s biggest businesses and teaming up with Durham County Council to fight anti-social behaviour.
Customer relationship management software specialists Orcuma recently moved into much larger offices in the newly-opened £10m Sunderland Software Centre, and plan to double their workforce by the end of the year.
Orcuma are currently working with G4S -the world’s third-largest private sector employer- on a project to improve how the outsourcing giants collect information using hand held devices and to develop a software package allowing the firm’s clients to view and manage data and images relating to their contracts and submitting job requests for G4S to complete.
The company’s unique FIRsT software has recently gone live across Durham’s Antisocial Behaviour service, keeping track of every aspect of ASB complaints from report to resolution, allowing users to capture, record, process and manage complaints and interventions as well as highlighting what action needs to be taken – enabling professionals to spend more time serving the public and less time on paperwork.
Co-founder Paul Mitchell said: “There’s no question that Sunderland is the best place in the UK to start a hi-tech company – nowhere else would we have found the quality of facilities and support we have here.
“The fact that within a year of starting up we’re already working with one of the world’s biggest businesses and one of the country’s largest local authorities is proof of that, and proof too that Orcuma are already trusted by major organisations to deliver world class, innovative software that dramatically improves efficiency and productivity.
“Key to that success is delivering software which meets our clients needs, not ours.”
Business Partner Richard Whittaker added: “There’s a reason why our software is called FIRsT – it’s the first truly flexible customer and case management system, designed to be tailored specifically to meet an organisation’s unique business and operational requirements, the case in point being the anti-social behaviour service.
“We’ve seen first-hand time and time again professionals trying to shoe-horn their operational processes into inappropriate software systems and that’s the Orcuma difference – providing people them with customised software which really works for them.
“As a proud Durham man it’s really satisfying to see our software being put to such vital use so close to home, fighting as important an issue as antisocial behaviour”.
Implementing FIRsT at Durham County Council saw Orcuma migrate nearly 40,000 records and files into the new system, which includes innovative features like:
The construction of bespoke risk assessment forms based on Home Office or local Partnership’s criteria, allowing immediate identification of high risk complainants and allowing a more targeted response.
The ability to create a matrix of complainants, witnesses and perpetrators, showing a complete picture of all parties involved in an incident of ASB.
Interactive case lists allowing easy viewing of cases by groups and staff enabling identification of workload bottlenecks and assisting with effective management of resources.
Information entered onto the system can also be accessed by other appropriate staff across similar partnerships, including Social Landlords, Housing Associations, the Police and Fire and rescue services.
The software is delivered as an internet-based application via a secure, managed UK public sector hosting service which meets the most rigorous data security standards – meaning no need for expensive software installations or hardware procurements.
David Dunn, Chief Executive Officer of Sunderland Software City, the regional initiative working to support and drive the growth of North East software industry said: “Orcuma are a great example of the strength of the software industry in Sunderland and across the North East.
“Sunderland Software City recently launched a new strategy, detailing how by 2020 the North East will be home to more than 2000 software companies employing more than 15,000 people and contributing over £1bn to the regional economy every year – but the North East is already one of the UK’s key software hubs, home to some of the country’s best-performing companies, selling innovative software products in every continent on Earth.”