Describe the company, the elevator pitch.
Engine Lab Software are a cloud software product development company.
We work across Ireland and the UK to deliver customer validated cloud SaaS solutions. We have developed numerous SaaS products for clients from start-up to enterprise level. Each of our team have been involved in product companies in the past and know exactly what is required to deliver a robust enterprise level SaaS product with a customer centric UX.
We also develop and maintain in-house software systems for businesses. These systems, which are immersed in the organisation’s processes are extremely difficult and costly to maintain within the organisation. We specialise in providing a maintenance service which takes care of the software maintenance & upgrades, leaving our clients able to focus on their business.
How are you different?
We don’t just cut code like typical software development companies. We are made up of designers, developers & product managers who each have been previously involved in a number of product companies. We use our extensive experience (successes and failures) to ensure that our clients go to market with a top class product which is a direct fit for their target customer.
We have the experience & know how to develop robust enterprise level SaaS product with a customer centric UX.
We are specialists in delivering Cloud based Web Applications, App Development, Cloud Integration & Big Data. We have developed cloud web applications for many clients including Unity Technology Solutions, Autoaddress.ie, Talentevo.com, Trinsights, Street2Media, NetFreq.ie, TeamTraders.com, PledgeUp.com & COMSS Ltd.
All of these clients are SaaS web products & are deployed on the Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure PaaS. All of our products are developed with the customer experience to the forefront of everything we deliver. We have a long list of satisfied customers who have worked with us repeatedly.
We have also worked on some interesting big data analytics projects using MEAN Stack, MongoDB & Redis.
Why will the company / product do well?
We believe that our success so far is based on the fact that we consider ourselves as product development partners for our clients. As I said, we don’t just cut code. We use our extensive product experience to drive the vision of the product and ensure what is being delivered is validated and the right fit for the end user. We work very closely with our clients to the extent that they consider us their partner and not just software contractors. We give advice and direction when needed and always ensure that the product is well designed, fast, reliable and scalable.
Companies are moving away from the model of hiring huge internal teams at the initial stages of product development. They want to use external companies who can help them to deliver a customer focused product. They want to have the ability to develop, test, learn and iterate on a continual basis. This requires periods of rest between development phases which is difficult if you have a team of permanent staff who are eating your budget. Our business model allows companies that flexibility. Most of the larger companies are very rigid and would not have the innovative teams in place to deliver a robust SaaS product. They need a service like ours which allows them to deliver the right product for their customer in a fraction of the time.
We are extremely agile and can move fluidly with the client as end user requirements change. The key thing to know about cloud solutions is that it is a constant learning curve for the product owner. Mostly our clients are entering into a new area and are uncertain as to the true problem they are solving for their customer. Our clients must engage with the end user to know if their solution is a correct fit. This is extremely difficult to get right first time.
We use our experience to avoid common pitfalls but the true measure of product market fit is through constant engagement with the customer. Thus the product development phase has to go through a series of iterations before our clients can go to market. We work in an agile manner with our clients to facilitate this. There is no point in applying a set of rigid specifications if everyone knows that these are going to change. We normally set out a feature set & use stories as the framework for the product. As the client learns more, we then tailor the product to suit the end user needs. This works well and leaves our clients with a product that is solving the end user problem in the best way.
Where are you based?
Engine Lab Software’s founder, John Rowan, is a native of Longford and this was the main reason for establishing here. Longford is ideally situated in the midlands and is less than 1:15 hours from Dublin, Galway, Sligo and Limerick, where the majority of our clients are based. When living in Dublin, it often took over an hour to travel to client sites across the city in rush hour traffic so there aren’t huge differences in accessibility.
How is the broadband?
The infrastructure is pretty good in Longford town.The fibre broadband and road network makes it easy to do business from there.
When was the company launched?
The company was launched in 2012
What have been your biggest wins to date?
We have developed SaaS products for a number of award winning companies such as Mustard.Works, Unity Technology Solutions, Street 2 Media and Trinsights. Mustard recently won the NDRC Launchpad Lift Off and People’s Choice award which was a huge endorsement for their product. Autoaddress.ie are also one of the main providers on the national Post Codes project. It was great to work with them on their product development.
It has also been great to work with startups such as Talentevo, & PledgUp. These are really interesting SaaS products who are gaining serious traction in their areas.
What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?
Our typical clients are established companies who are already providing a service to customers. They want to diversify their business model by providing part of their service in a more scalable way to a larger market. Obviously, providing these services via a cloud SaaS solution is the best option for them.
We also work with a lot of startups with different levels of funding. They are often the most interesting clients as their product solves real world problems for their customers in innovative ways.
We work with clients to identify the best feature set to make available and the right technologies to use to deliver a fast, reliable & scalable solution. The technologies & architecture used varies for every product.
We love innovation and are lucky to be able to develop these cutting edge SaaS products. It will be interesting to see how far some of these can go. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a truly international SaaS come out of Ireland in the next couple of years. The cloud product scene is booming & we are seeing more and more companies approach us with new ideas all of the time. The standard of innovation is increasing all of the time now and it definitely equates to what is coming out of Silicon Valley. These companies are targeting the larger markets from the get go, realising there are no boundaries. They are setting up offices in New York and San Francisco & travelling out there 1- 2 weeks per month.
Tell us about your team?
Engine Lab Software was founded by John Rowan, he started as a developer and now manages the company overseeing all projects. There are three product managers, responsible for the overall delivery and quality of the products. There are also 12 full-stack developers and 1 award winning designer.
We started with our core developers who then graduated into product managers. Each of our PMs has a technical background which is vital as the customer needs to know that they understand the product from a technical level.
What are you long term plans for the company?
To continue to grow over the next few years. We would like to be employing at least 25 product managers, designers and full-stack developers over the next 18-24 months. There is a healthy appetite for our service as experienced talent is difficult to find and even more difficult to maintain.
Companies are moving away from hiring huge internal teams at the initial stages. They’re not sure what the end product should actually look like as this is learned from the end user through constant testing & iterations. Our service gives companies the ability to be truly innovative. Our reputation is growing and we need to be able to service the appetite which is clearly out there.
Favourite tech gadgets?
A cloud accounting service called FreshBooks. I come from a technical background. I find accounting hard. Freshbooks is one of those cloud services which solves a problem for me. It saves time and money.
I also couldn’t do without my Galaxy S4 (literally!). I love all kinds of innovation and keep a keen eye on what’s happening in the tech world. SaaS is my main interest and there are some beautifully innovative products available now.
What’s the best way for people to get in touch and find out more?
If you would like to have your company featured in the Thursday edition of the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with me on [email protected]