Enable — Success Stories — Archive

New Year brings double success for Enable

Filed as Company NewsPosted January 3, 2014

Enable, a software company based in Stratford-upon-Avon, have double the reason to celebrate as we have been recommended for certification to the ISO 9001 Quality Management Standard and the Information Security Standard ISO 27001.

Sue Cook of First Quality Solutions has supported us through the process of achieving both standards and we are delighted with this success.

Managing Director, Andrew Butt says “We build custom software to meet the specific needs of our customers businesses which enterprise systems and off-the-shelf software can’t. Therefore high standards of quality and information security are important for us and our clients. We are delighted to have achieved these standards and would like to thank Sue and First Quality Solutions for their hard work.”

Consultant, Sue Cook said “We enjoyed working with Enable and have been very impressed by their standard of commitment to achieving the Standards. No non-conformances were raised during the audit which is a real achievement. In fact, the auditor commented that this was the first time in 85 audits.”

Marston Holdings selects Enable as ‘collaborative software development partner’ to deliver a 21st century user experience

Filed as Client NewsPosted November 12, 2013

Marston Holdings, the UK’s largest provider of judicial services, has announced its selection of Enable, a leading UK software development company, as a collaborative development partner.

After a comprehensive review of its IT strategy, Marston identified the need to initiate a systems redevelopment programme that would support the business more effectively in delivering its growth ambition in terms of diversity, flexibility and volume.

Marston’s aim is to maximise the contribution of its IT systems to the rapidly growing business and develop its suite of software applications to the next level. One of the key requirements is to benefit from recent developments in mobile technology, specifically around responsive design, smartphones and tablets.

A company for the cost of a person

Filed as ArticlesPosted October 15, 2013

Outsourcing of application development is increasingly seen as a preferred option to support growth, rapid delivery, and to ensure that companies remain focussed on their core competencies.

Before progressing with this approach a company needs to consider a number of factors such as — when to outsource, what to outsource and then find the right company to work with. Some companies also bring in contractors, but this can be difficult to justify with the potential that exists to have a ‘company for the cost of a person’.

As a leading provider of bespoke software development, Enable provides outsourced application development and has found the following approach as key to delivering high quality solutions that deliver return on investment for its clients. An outsourced approach to application development has the following advantages over using contractors.

Sign up to attend our September 2013 executive briefing

Filed as EventsPosted July 16, 2013

We are pleased to announce our second executive briefing event, which is being held at our offices on Friday September 6, 2013.

At Enable we see the organisations we work with as business partners and not just customers. A key part of this relationship is sharing with you our knowledge of the changing technological landscape and the opportunities within it.

With our new headquarters in Stratford-upon-Avon now officially opened, we would like to invite you to a special briefing.

During the session we will present the latest opportunities and demonstrate how we make businesses and their departments more successful by developing custom applications to meet specific company needs.

Spaces are limited so please book now via our website.

Ride the wave of opportunity — developing the ‘mobile enterprise’

Filed as ArticlesPosted July 10, 2013

Mobile technology is changing all aspects of our business and personal lives. The way we communicate, conduct business and seek to improve the ‘customer experience’ is being transformed through mobile technology. There is an increasingly wide diversity of devices (smartphones and tablets) that allow users to access, communicate and utilise data at a rapidly growing rate.

As users get more engaged with mobile applications they also see more benefit. As a result, usage is increasing exponentially and the demand spiraling upwards. Greater awareness of mobile technology capabilities with business and consumer users is also creating greater expectations, and new ideas for applications are emerging across a wide range of devices.

So how can organizations ‘ride the wave’ of opportunity and respond to the growing demand for innovative mobile based applications and services reliably and at pace, to deliver the ‘mobile enterprise’?

Enable has identified three key areas to consider when planning mobile application development, based on our experience of working with a wide range of organisations:

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.”

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