Cork IoT player rebrands as 8 West Consulting following MBO

10 Jan 2017

Eamonn Franklin and John Murphy, joint CEOs of 8 West Consulting. Image: 8 West Consulting

Cork internet of things (IoT) company DeCare Systems Ireland is emerging from a management buyout from former parent company Anthem and is to be rebranded as 8 West Consulting.

In November, reported that the management team at DeCare Systems Ireland, led by John Murphy and Eamonn Franklin, were leading a management buyout (MBO) from parent company Anthem.

It is understood that the MBO was entirely self-funded and no venture capital investment was involved. The transaction became official on 1 January.

‘With over 200 experienced software professionals working for 8 West, I am very confident we will continue to deliver on this vision’

The move is designed to secure the future of the operation, which employs 200 people as an independent technology start-up in charge of its own destiny, aiming to focus on innovative drone and IoT products.

The future of search and rescue

DeCare began as an IDA-backed investment in Cork in 1998. Over the years, it has evolved into a software development hub, specialising in insurance software, e-commerce systems and more recently, search and rescue apps and IoT products.

The newly branded 8 West will continue to provide software development services to all its existing clients, including Anthem Inc.

Working primarily in .NET and Java technologies, the company has been developing its own products in core areas like apps and services for the IoT world, specifically wearable devices and drones.

For example, a search and rescue product called SafeTrx was developed in cooperation with search and rescue professionals worldwide, including the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution, the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, the Norwegian Sea Rescue Society, the Royal Yachting Association and the Irish Sailing Association.

A future avenue for SafeTrx is a collaboration with another Irish start-up called DroneSAR, led by Oisin McGrath.

The plan is to develop systems whereby if ships or yachts are in trouble, or don’t reach a particular rendezvous point, drones will be automatically dispatched to find the vessels, record in 4K and even deliver medical supplies.

“Already in operation for almost 20 years, the creation of 8 West gives us the opportunity to realise our vision for the next 20 years of success,” Franklin explained.

“We will continue our focus on enterprise-level development and consulting, creating elegant solutions to address complex business and technical needs, as well as developing new and exciting products and services.

“Our experience of working with global blue chip customers on very large-scale projects, across a variety of technologies, has allowed us to develop significant business and technical expertise, along with deep and lasting relationships with our clients.

“With over 200 experienced software professionals working for 8 West, I am very confident we will continue to deliver on this vision,” Franklin added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years