Meet James Fry, Managing Director of Blue Frontier, winner of the Best Tech Support Service category at the Techies 2019.
Tell us the Blue Frontier story.
Blue Frontier was set up by Luke Harrington and I in 2005. We both had a desire to build a tech company and had some great software concepts and experience in data architecture and system design to start. We first began work in my dining room and quickly moved to offices in Netherhampton. We soon started to offer technical IT as we responded to a market need (it was never part of the original plan) and we have continued to build out our service offering from there.
Which clients did you work with when you first set up?
We have always worked ‘business-to-business.’ Our work tended to be local initially, and we began by offering software development, data reporting and technical IT services. We were in Salisbury where there are plenty of small independent businesses and we worked largely for companies involved in construction, manufacturing and professional services.
How has the business evolved? And, what do you think has been key to your success?
We have expanded significantly, both in terms of size, but also in the diversity of our services. The culture of a business is so important. We all work hard to keep clients happy, and the culture of the business is to ‘go the extra mile’, this reputation often leads to new clients and new work. The other key thing is that we have an incredible (and generally very happy) team. We have been lucky enough to assemble a group of people who are truly dedicated, talented and hardworking – and in turn, we work hard to keep them. Without this extraordinary team, we simply have no business.
We now employ a team of 60 people across our offices in Salisbury, Southampton and most recently, Bristol.
How has 2019 faired for Blue Frontier?
Our financial year ends in September and 2019 has seen us report almost 20% growth in the business to an annual turnover of £3.65m – a new record for us. Our biggest highlight has been a new software implementation in Zambia. This is a pioneering project designed to help combat the spread of anti-microbial drug resistance (what makes antibiotics ineffective). It’s really important work and could have a wide-reaching impact – we are very proud to be involved.
In terms of the team, the best thing we did this year was our sports day – it was great fun.
How is Salisbury for business?
Salisbury has had a tough time recently, but the city is bouncing back strongly. We are proud to be headquartered here and we have some wonderful and very loyal clients.
Most of our work comes from outside of Salisbury, but most of our team are from the area. We are invested in Salisbury and we want to do our bit to help the city and its reputation grow.
What are your plans for 2020 and beyond?
Much more of the same – creating technology to support vulnerable communities, helping our clients grow and succeed, adding more services and expertise, and having great fun together…and maybe another award win!
How did it feel to win the Best Tech Support Service Award at the Techies 2019?
It was great for the support team to win an award – we were delighted. It was the first award in ‘support’ we have ever tried for, so we have a 100% success rate!
What did you think of the Techies 2019?
We loved being involved. And if they do fish and chips on award’s night, I’d definitely go again!
To find out more about Blue Frontier visit: www.bluefrontier.co.uk The Techies Awards 2020 opens for entries on Monday 6th January 2020.