The Irish company that lives permanently in the cloud

5 Oct 2010

Clavis Technology is deploying Microsoft’s cloud-based tools, helping it to hold its own in the global marketplace

Small firms face serious challenges in competing with larger companies in terms of areas such as finance, resources and scale. However, through leveraging the opportunities created by technology, small and medium-sized firms can achieve both the feel and performance of larger firms, enabling them to compete for business in global marketplaces.

Clavis Technology, a small Irish software company, is a perfect example. It provides a data validation solution for its clients. This enables its customers to instantly check whether a social security, company registration or barcode number, for example, is valid and provides an instant report to the client – a process it likens to an automatic spell-check system for business operations.

Clavis operates ‘in the cloud’ so it has no servers or dedicated IT support staff, thereby reducing its cost base and enabling it to compete more effectively in the market.

Delivering the right information at the right time

The company’s CEO Gary Moroney explains that in the UK £250m sterling is lost annually due to bad product information in the supply chain and it is Clavis’s mission to make sure the right information is delivered to manufacturers and retailers in the right way and at the right time.

“A survey carried out by the GS1 industry standards group found that 50pc of weights and dimensions in product packaging is wrong.”

Clavis’s solution enables organisations right across the network, from manufacturers and logistics firms to retailers, to essentially validate and monitor the integrity of product information presented.

“The people who care about this data are businesspeople who only have to subscribe via the internet rather than struggle with a major IT effort thanks to cloud computing,” says Moroney.

Clavis has employed Microsoft’s Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 as the key parts of its technology platform for managing internal processes and achieving efficiency benefits and cost savings in terms of sales and marketing activities. “We use the cloud as much as possible. We use SharePoint in the cloud for all our document sharing and the version we use allows us to control access to all documentation without any in-house IT resources or systems.

“We’re a small company and want to minimise overheads and concentrate on building our software as a service (SaaS) business and supporting customers.”

Moroney says that the use of Microsoft SharePoint in the cloud for document management is a ‘big company solution’ that is available at an affordable subscription. “It’s high quality but does not demand high overheads internally.”

Clavis also makes use of Microsoft Live Meeting, a cloud-based meeting tool, which Moroney says is ideal for selling to large global organisations. “Live Meeting is critical for enabling our business teams to sell to globally dispersed customers.

“We’re a small company but the cloud is useful to us in terms of selling to big global companies. In practice, we get things done quickly and efficiently.”

Philip Fitzpatrick, a Microsoft Solution specialist at Microsoft Ireland, says that Clavis is making productive use of SharePoint, Exchange Online and Live Meeting.

“They’ve realised what the benefits of the cloud can be and using particular Microsoft technologies enables them to deal effectively with large global clients.

“SharePoint in the cloud allows organisations to get up and running without an upfront investment and to pay as they go in terms of their usage of the service.

“From a business-model perspective cloud computing allows companies to go in different directions without having made a large capital expenditure. It also means you have a much greater reach to a larger audience base without a large salesforce or lots of offices around the world,” Fitzpatrick adds.

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