Enable — Success Stories — Archive

Enable joins UK government G-Cloud Framework

Filed as Company NewsPosted May 25, 2013

Public sector organisations can now join their private sector counterparts in benefiting from bespoke software solutions from Enable after the company was accepted onto the government’s G-Cloud iii Framework as a Specialist Cloud Services supplier.

G-Cloud iii provides central government departments, executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies with an innovative, cheaper and faster way to access and purchase government-approved IT products and services.

The products and services offered by Enable will encapsulate the entire bespoke software process from consultancy on individual business requirements to the building of the software right through to managing and hosting the solution.

Enable managing director Andrew Butt said: “This is a significant development for Enable and the UK’s public sector organisations. We have helped private sector companies of all sizes optimise their business with sophisticated solutions tailored to their individual requirements and are excited to now bring these services to the public sector. As an SME, this is also a fantastic milestone for Enable and reaffirms our commitment to providing both quality and value for money in this sector.”

Andrew Butt interviewed by Elite Business Magazine

Filed as PressPosted May 12, 2013

Andrew Butt, Enable’s managing director, has been interviewed by Elite Business Magazine. The interview covers the history of Enable, challenges the company faces in the software industry and advice for budding entrepreneurs.

If you had one piece of advice for entrepreneurs, what would it be?

Decide what you’re going to do, make sure it’s something you are passionate about and focus on that exclusively. It takes enormous effort to create any success, and it’s very easy to spread yourself too thinly. With today’s constant, high-speed connectivity, mobility and cloud computing, the line between work and play is blurrier than ever. I don’t believe that entrepreneurs ever switch off so be sure to find something that you love doing.

The full article can be found over at Elite Business Magazine’s website.

Buy vs. build: The rise of bespoke software in modern business

Filed as ArticlesPosted May 4, 2013

Whether it’s a way of optimising business, gaining competitive advantage or simply making the most of the best available tools out there, bespoke software has found a crucial place in the challenging business landscape of the post-economic crash.

Optimisation

While there will always be businesses that benefit from the common and standardised route of choosing off-the-shelf solutions, it has become increasingly prevalent for sophisticated and progressive companies to select a bespoke software solution that matches their commitment to quality, service and efficiency.

Bespoke software optimises organisations by introducing automation, efficiency and time and cost savings into day-to-day business, which results in an intuitive solution that is easier for staff to use as well as a far greater fit with the client’s overall business. Unlike off-the-shelf solutions, this is delivered by working closely with clients to understand their specific needs and creating ways to optimise business processes while agreeing a functional specification that is fully understood and supported by both parties.

Competitive advantage

Bespoke software is a genuine differentiator

In the challenging and competitive landscape of modern business it is vital to identify and capitalise on anything that can give your organisation an edge. Bespoke software provides that edge for an increasing number of progressive businesses by acting as a genuine differentiator for the client.

Enable attains Microsoft application development competency

Filed as Company NewsPosted March 3, 2013

Enable is delighted to have attained Microsoft’s Silver Application Development competency.

Enable has been a Microsoft Partner for many years and is exclusively focussed on developing custom business applications. Our goal is to develop the best cloud-delivered business applications using Microsoft technology.

Andrew Butt, managing director, commented: “We’ve been massive advocates of Microsoft technologies for application development since we started Enable 13 years ago. We are experts on the Microsoft .NET framework, SQL Server database and associated web technologies, and it’s good to formalise our position with this silver-level competency from Microsoft. We see this as an excellent opportunity to build on our relationship with Microsoft, and in turn provide even better solutions to our clients.”

In order to earn the competency, many of our software developers had to first become Microsoft Certified Professionals, which required them to study Microsoft technologies over a number of months and to sit exams. In addition, we had to work with a series of customers to create references and case studies, which were then verified by Microsoft.

Green shoots of growth in Stratford-upon-Avon

Filed as Company NewsPosted February 1, 2013

Enable — the Stratford-upon-Avon based software development company — opened their new £1m offices today with Stratford-on-Avon MP Nadhim Zahawi cutting the ribbon for the official opening.

Enable was started in 2000 by Denys Shortt OBE and 16 year old Andrew Butt. The duo met whilst learning to fly helicopters at Heli Air.

Over the past 12 years the company has grown to employ 30 people with annual sales of £2 million.

The offices are a Google inspired design with bright coloured furniture from Space Oasis and ergonomically designed chairs and desks from Herman Miller.

Andrew, now aged 29, says: “We are delighted with the new offices which have created an amazing and motivational working environment for us. The extra space gives us a real opportunity to grow the business. We build leading edge bespoke software for businesses and these offices have allowed us to stamp our unique mark on the industry.”

Visitors to the office opening included Stratford District Council CEO, Paul Lankester, and other local dignitaries as well as Enable customers from P&G, Wolseley, DHL, NHS, Alcumus and Corporate Rewards. The opening event included briefings on Cloud-based technology and The Internet of Things.

Denys Shortt awarded OBE in New Year’s honours list

Filed as Company NewsPosted January 1, 2013

Denys Shortt, entrepreneur and founder of Enable in Stratford-upon-Avon, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s honours list for services to the economy.

Denys, known for his endless energy and enthusiasm, started his first business DCS Europe in 1994. His company DCS is now the UK’s leading distributor of health, beauty and household brands with sales of £150 million and 250 employees. Denys has also created two technology companies: Enable and DealTrack which employ 30 people.

Denys has created the Enliven brand — a range of health and beauty products which are made in England and where millions of bottles are exported to 70 countries worldwide. He recently invested over £4 million into a new toiletries factory in Stratford-upon-Avon with the aim to help revive British Manufacturing.

In his younger days Denys had a very different career in mind. After attending Eagle House School, it was at Warwick School at age 15 where he was selected to play hockey for England.

Government derailed by spreadsheet errors

Filed as ArticlesPosted December 28, 2012

The fiasco of the West Coast mainline rail bidding process has brought the potential pitfalls of spreadsheet reliance to national attention.

Quite apart from embarrassing the Department for Transport and the Government as a whole, the DfT announced last week that the cost to the taxpayer of the bidding scandal has now risen to £55m and counting.

Issues within the bidding process were revealed after Richard Branson’s Virgin Trains issued a formal complaint after missing out on the contract to continue running the line to First Group.

A subsequent investigation into the bidding process by a team of accountants from PWC revealed that the spreadsheet from which all calculations were derived was fundamentally flawed.

The discovery was made after officials explored a complex economic model — known as the GDP resilience model — which was designed by the Department of Transport to rigorously assess the risk attached to bids and the amount of money that should be put up as deposit.

Enable Tech: Why we threw out our phone system and replaced it with Skype

Filed as Enable TechPosted December 3, 2012

Enable Tech is a column on design and technology by David Hunt. David has been our operations director from the very start, and has lead the evolution of Enable into one of the most respected and high-quality software development businesses around. David has an uncompromising passion for design, quality and excellence.


An interesting job we tackled as part of our office move was evaluating different telephone systems for the new building.

Enable has for many years used what might charitably be described as a ’standard’ office telephone system.

Low-tech phones were connected by ethernet cable (from which they drew power) to a central server. The server was connected to another mysterious piece of hardware, itself hooked up to the good old BT infrastructure.

Using the telephone was not easy. Setting up speed dial keys was an unintuitive process. Checking your missed calls could be confusing. And organising a conference call was such a complex operation that specialist one-on-one training would be required first.

More positive aspects of the system were favourable call quality and rock-solid reliability. Truth is, it served us well for many years.

Sweating the details: The combination of science and craft powering Enable’s software development teams

Filed as Enable TechPosted November 25, 2012

Enable Tech is a column on design and technology by David Hunt. David has been our operations director from the very start, and has lead the evolution of Enable into one of the most respected and high-quality software development businesses around. David has an uncompromising passion for design, quality and excellence.


On Monday, Matt will arrive at his desk to confront a 315 page document. It describes the precise inner workings of a mission-critical software solution. It sounds pretty complicated.

But the software doesn’t exist yet.

In three months, Matt and his team will race from zero lines of code to tens of thousands. The end result will be rolled out to hundreds of users, who will rely on it every day. It’ll be delivered on time, on budget — and if it’s not the best piece of software our company has ever created, we’ll be disappointed.

It’s OK, Matt has done this before.

Silicon Valley comes to Stratford-upon-Avon

Filed as Company NewsPosted November 6, 2012

A recent visit to Silicon Valley in California by the Directors of Enable in Stratford-upon-Avon has inspired the firm to design their new headquarters along the lines of global giants Google and Intel.

Entrepreneurs Denys Shortt and Andrew Butt have invested over £1 million in the new Enable Headquarters at The Courtyard on Timothy’s Bridge Road. The pair started Enable in a stable block in Buckland near Broadway in 2000 and now the company employs 30 people with sales of £2m per annum — a wonderful start-up to success story.

What is most remarkable is that Andrew was just 16 when Enable began and Denys made him the Managing Director — one of the youngest to hold this position ever in the UK.

The offices have been designed by Enable’s Operations Director, David Hunt, whose talents far exceed just running his software team. David, who also project managed the fit-out of the premises, said “My goal for this project was to create an environment that not only reflected Enable’s values but also reinforced them; As our staff and clients spend time in this space they will notice the attention to detail, the consistency, the quality of what’s around them and will be reminded of what Enable is all about.”

We’ve moved!

Filed as Company NewsPosted November 1, 2012

Enable is very excited to be announcing details of its new offices. Please update your contact details.

We will be contacting you soon to book a suitable date and time to show you around our new base. In the meantime feel free to drop us a line and let us know when would be convenient for you.

10-12 The Courtyard, Timothy’s Bridge Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9NP, UK

hello@enable.comOffice: 0845 519 20 80Helpdesk: 0845 519 11 00

Enable Tech: Building the DealTrack website

Filed as Enable TechPosted October 10, 2012

Enable Tech is a column on design and technology by David Hunt. David has been our operations director from the very start, and has lead the evolution of Enable into one of the most respected and high-quality software development businesses around. David has an uncompromising passion for design, quality and excellence.


Last week, we launched a new subsidiary business called DealTrack. DealTrack is a software solution that helps organisations manage complex trading agreements involving retrospective payments, such as rebates, retrospective discounts, royalties, purchase income and back margin.

In this article, I’ll guide you through some of the more interesting techniques used by the website we built for DealTrack.

1. SVG graphics

Almost every image on the DealTrack website is delivered in SVG format. SVG has been around for a long time, but browser support is only now nearing a level where SVG can be considered a worthwhile option. As someone who is enthusiastic about design, SVG has some upsides that excite me.

  1. High resolution displays are going mainstream: products such as the Apple iPhone 4, third generation iPad, Retina MacBook Pro, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Nokia Lumia 920 have introduced displays to the marketplace that are capable of displaying 250 to 350 pixels per inch. Artwork designed for conventional computer displays looks blurry on these devices. SVG is a vector image format and therefore images authored in this format look beautifully sharp not only on these new high-DPI devices but on older displays too.
  2. Editing tools such as Adobe Illustrator allow SVG to be edited natively. There is no need to hold a “master” version of your website artwork in addition to an exported “published” version. An SVG file can be opened directly, edited and saved. It’s a slick workflow.
  3. SVG is based on XML. It is therefore dead easy to create SVG output programatically. For example, a status icon that needed to be coloured red in some cases and green in others would typically require two separate versions of the same image. With SVG you could create a single version and alter a colour attribute on the fly — driven by your application’s business logic.

Introducing DealTrack

Filed as ProductsPosted October 3, 2012

Stratford-upon-Avon based software company Enable has today launched a new subsidiary called DealTrack Ltd. The new company has been created by entrepreneurs Denys Shortt (who also owns DCS Europe) and Andrew Butt who have combined forces with fellow directors David Hunt, Andy James and Dan Wood.

DealTrack will be located in the new £1 million Enable headquarters in Timothy’s Bridge Road and will create up to 5 new jobs over the coming year.

DealTrack creates web based software that simplifies business-to-business trading, unlocks hidden revenue and maximises profit in trading agreements.

For over a decade, Enable has helped distributors, wholesalers and buying groups manage the income they receive from suppliers and customers. Denys and Andrew have identified a key area where businesses are continually throwing away hard earned revenue.

Denys Shortt comments: “I am delighted to be announcing DealTrack — an exciting new business created in tough economic times. We have found a niche here. DealTrack will transform how companies manage their business deals and help them lock down profits. It has been tried and tested.”

Growth and jobs at Enable in Stratford-upon-Avon

Filed as Company NewsPosted August 15, 2012

Stratford-upon-Avon based software development company Enable has made a £1 million investment into 7,000 sq ft of new freehold offices in the Stratford-upon-Avon Enterprise Park.

The Managing Director and 29 year old award-winning young entrepreneur Andrew Butt commented “This is a milestone for Enable—it is our first freehold headquarters! We see it as an investment for the future and key to our plans for continued growth.”

Denys Shortt, CEO of Enable commented “Enable is expanding and will have its best year in history this year. We are winning orders from big firms and employing locally with graduates from Warwick University.” He continues “We are also delighted to have had several banks offering us funding for our growth—a good sign that the banks are lending.”

Denys Shortt started Enable Software in 2000 with 16 year old Andrew Butt who he made the Managing Director. Since then Enable has grown to almost £2m sales and now has 24 employees.

Enable visits Silicon Valley

Filed as ArticlesPosted June 10, 2012

Directors of Enable have recently returned from a Study Tour to Silicon Valley. Organised and run by Mike and Linda Portlock of E-Vision Consulting Ltd, the focus of the Tour was “Transformative Technologies for Business IT”, exploring how emerging technologies can be deployed to help organisations build a better future.

The 2012 visit was the 16th annual IT Directors Study Tour organised by E-Vision Consulting, and was full of fascinating insight. We live in an age where empowering technologies are increasingly available first to individuals rather than to enterprises and institutions. Employees and customers are getting the good stuff first and this is increasing pressure on IT leaders.

Those involved in IT are used to rapid change but harsh economic conditions combined with new consumer focused technologies, such as mobile, social media and cloud, have created a new environment with fresh challenges for both IT and the business. It is inevitable that groundswell technologies will continue to shift information power to customers and employees. IT leaders must shift their mindsets for a world where technology projects can come from anywhere and IT is a key advisor, not necessarily the manager, on those projects. This power shift cannot be stopped, but IT leaders can take advantage of it.

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