James Ferguson, Technology Editor of the Manchester Evening News, interviews serial entrepreneur Tony Bray about his new software venture, Intuitive Business Intelligence.
Bray is aiming to repeat his previous success with a new software venture that gives managers an immediate insight into how their business is performing. Bray founded document management software developer Version One in 1991 and in 2007 sold the business, which was then based in Poynton, Cheshire, to CedarOpenAccounts for £5m.
He then tried his hand as a business angel, but struggled to find an idea he wanted to invest in, so he teamed up with fellow entrepreneur and angel Roger Stocker to start their own venture. After two years of development, they have now launched Intuitive Business Intelligence. The software, aimed at business managers, links with a firm's current computer systems to present key data, such as bank balances, outstanding debt, sales and stock, in a way that is easy to understand and instantly updated. Data is presented in a dashboard format which can be customised by the end user.
Mr. Bray, who lives in Marple, near Stockport, said: “It is essentially a tool which gives a graphic display of management information, all presented in real-time, so you can see where a problem arises in your business instantly. “It talks directly to existing systems and gives a consolidated view of the data that you have already got, so you don't need to sift through spreadsheets and printouts. First you are alerted to the problem, then you can 'drill down' and find out what the underlying issue is. For example, if you are alerted to outstanding debts, you can click on that to reveal which customer is causing the problem, and clicking again displays which invoices have not been paid.”
He said his system has an advantage over the competition because it can be installed in hours, rather than weeks or months. The software took two years to develop and has seen a six-figure investment.
Users can access the system remotely through an internet connection, and an upgrade will be launched shortly where it can be used via an iPhone or iPad.
Intuitive employs 14 technical and sales staff, based in Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire. Clients include £10m turnover Concorde IT Group, based in Morley, West Yorkshire. This year Intuitive is concentrating on targeting the UK market, though it has already had interest from buyers in the US.
Next year, Bray plans to expand into Australia, the Benelux countries and South Africa.
He said: “The system gives managers a way to monitor the most important areas of their business at a glance and they can find out what the issues and opportunities are at the click of a mouse. And because it is all in real time, they can react more quickly and make faster decisions.”