An East Midlands company has successfully developed a revolutionary new web-based alarm receiving software, thanks to collaboration with experts at one of the country’s leading universities.
Video Domain Technologies (VDT) Direct Limited based in Mansfield, has been working with the University of Leicester during the development of the software, WebEye CMS. WebEye is the first and only software of its kind and allows for mobile security guards to monitor remote sites and receive video alarms whilst on the move.
As a result of the collaboration the company’s turnover has increased by forty percent, is taking on extra staff and is considering the export of products to the American market.
The company anticipates a further 60-80 percent growth in turnover next year.
The development of this pioneering software represents the first in-house researched and developed new product for VDT, transforming the company from a distributor and reseller of other people’s goods and enhancing its marketing and sales functions.
WebEye CMS, hosted on the world wide web cloud infrastructure and readily accessible to many different cable suppliers, promises to revolutionise the mobile and static guarding industry.
It requires no other hardware than a 3G enabled phone, tablet or PC and can access video intrusion alarms live, as they happen.
Over fifteen months the University support for VDT grew from an industry secondment to a Masters (MSc) project and most recently a graduate internship through Innovation Partnerships project. A Knowledge Transfer Partnership is expected to follow.
Managing Director of VDT, Mr Clive Mason, heard about the support available from the University of Leicester through his Growth Consultant.
He commented: “I was looking for help to move my company forward in a software environment and to have intellectual property rights on an idea that I thought would have a commercial potential.
“The collaboration with the University of Leicester has made a huge difference to the company. Firstly we worked at a technical level, sending our employee – a graduate we had employed – to the University of Leicester for knowledge transfer in some very technical areas where we didn’t have the skills to produce the software.
“As a result, our employee has developed a commercial piece of software that went on the market a few weeks ago.”
Customer feedback has been highly encouraging and VDT has already started to make money from this product.
Mr Mason added: “The most valuable thing we gained from the University is knowledge. We’ve also gained more business and more profit, but knowledge is the most important thing.
“I would recommend other firms to work with the University of Leicester because this country needs to keep high level, highly skilled people in the UK to benefit UK industry and help keep this country ahead of other countries in the world.”
The collaboration between VDT and the University of Leicester is one which has been of benefit to all participants.
Sophie Mason who is the Innovation Partnership Graduate Intern, in charge of marketing and sales at VDT, learned a great deal about the transferability of her own skills as a journalist graduate, as well as more technical information related to the products she was working with.
Her experience on the internship has now helped her to get a full-time job with the company. She said: “I would encourage other recently qualified graduates to think about internships because you really get a chance to get your foot in the door somewhere and you can learn a lot from business people and academic staff, to develop yourself and become more employable.”
Anjuu Trevedi, director of Innovation Partnerships and Head of Regional Business Engagement at the University said: “It has been a real pleasure to work with and support VDT Direct. They knew from the start what they wanted to achieve but didn’t have the skills in-house to do so. I have been very impressed with the company from day one; they were passionate about supporting their employee to gain new skills and in growing the business. Their desire and commitment to grow and innovate has been very contagious. VDT is a good example of what can be achieved through partnerships working with the University of Leicester. I wish them continued success and look forward collaborating with them long into the future.”
More information on Video Domain Technologies Direct Limited and WebEye CMS is available from the company’s website: http://www.vdomain.co.uk/index.php5
Details of the different types of business support the University of Leicester can offer can be found on: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ebdo