Jersey companies urged to ‘shout out’ about software innovation

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The CEO and sales and marketing director of Selenity, which provides cloud technology solutions for HR and finance teams, were in the Island to sign a contract to purchase Libra, a job evaluation software solution for the NHS.

Libra was developed by Jersey-based Container Labs after one of the founders, James Morris, came up with the idea while working full time at the States of Jersey. Mr Morris took the Digital Jersey coding course and set the business up, working part time with his partner, Will Beebe, who is based in Seattle, before going full time with the business around 18 months ago.

Selenity’s head of marketing, Deborah Saunby, said Libra was a ‘great fit’ for them. ‘We’ve got over 200 NHS customers. We came across Libra by a pure fluke, on social media. I had a follow from Libra and thought who are these guys? What do they do? And we saw that they had some cool technology for the NHS, small in customer numbers at the time, and what we’ve got is obviously access to the NHS marketplace for that through our customers; we’ve got the sales and marketing channel.

‘One of the ways that we can grow our business is through organic growth or we can be acquisitive. And this is the angle that we took here.’

Touring the Digital Jersey premises in Grenville Street, Neil Everatt, CEO, said they were impressed and had enjoyed ‘frictionless’ travel to the Island, which they were visiting for the first time.

‘We track and monitor the market, see if we can find these great applications and opportunities, but it’s really hard for us. So I would say from a Jersey company point of view, don’t be afraid to get out there and shout. The connection through social media could so easily have not happened if we had missed that.

‘Those Jersey companies that want to promote themselves, they have to go and be a bit of a showman and don’t be afraid.’

Mr Morris agreed and said neither he or his partner had the expertise to market Libra. ‘We found a guy who wasn’t a techy, but was social media savvy and had innovative ideas and didn’t see the walls that I put up and that weren’t really there. So without his involvement – shout out to Jay Shaughnessy – we wouldn’t have been sitting here today. So absolutely make a noise and don’t feel like there isn’t anyone that wants to listen.’

Tony Moretta, CEO of Digital Jersey, said: ‘It’s great to see yet another example of Jersey-based innovative software developments being not only exported to the UK and elsewhere, but being recognised by larger companies keen to add to their portfolios.

‘It is particularly encouraging that this was created by a former coding course graduate who started his business in the Digital Jersey Hub and tested it in our Island sandbox.’

Mr Morris said he hadn’t expected things to work out so well and encouraged others to not be afraid to follow their lead. ‘A lot of people tell you, you can’t do these sorts of things, that the industry isn’t established here, these things won’t work.

‘I’ve heard that enough to know to just ignore it. And I think if anyone’s got an idea, they should go out and pursue it.
And this is a great example of one of those that worked.’

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