WE CAN all talk until the next ice age about the wealth of tools for businesses being developed in the North East, but that talk is worthless unless businesses can actually find them.
While software is a global business in which a start-up can potentially plunge into markets from Brazil to Bromley, it’s still sometimes handy to know what’s springing up on your doorstep. To that end, Sunderland Software City and the Centre for eBusiness have collaborated to create Supplier Search, a search engine which aims to link businesses with the best locally developed tools for their needs.
The search engine – which has been developed by Sumo Design and is available at www.sunderlandsoftwarecity.com/matrix – allows companies looking for a certain service in a certain sector to find an appropriate partner from the North East.
Bernie Callaghan, chief executive officer of Sunderland Software City, said: “Some businesses don’t always appreciate how the right software can transform their business and the impact it can have on profits and productivity.
“One company we’ve worked with has saved themselves £250,000 a year with a bespoke software package, but we know that many firms aren’t always aware of what software can do for them, or are even sure where to start looking for the right software company to meet their needs.
“Supplier Search makes it really simple for a company working in a sector like energy, health, or leisure looking for, say, a piece of software to help them keep track of their assets, to immediately identify a local company with knowledge of their industry and experience developing those kinds of business solutions.
“Both the Centre for eBusiness and Sunderland Software City have often acted as an impartial link between suppliers and consumers, and we hope that Supplier Search will allow us to build on this work.”
Local suppliers can enter their details using an online questionnaire and, in three months’ time, businesses looking for digital and software products will be invited to begin using the tool.
It is targeted at businesses searching for software solutions in sectors such as health and life sciences, logistics, retail, manufacturing, defence, automotive and pharmaceutical. It will allow digital suppliers to publish testimonials from previous clients, and could also uncover areas in which business demand is not being met locally.
Centre for eBusiness chief executive Pascal Fintoni said: “Supplier Search will be a brilliant way of showcasing the innovation of the North East’s growing digital community to the companies looking to invest in software and digital solutions.
“It promises to be a priceless way for bringing new business to the door of local ICT suppliers and I’d encourage all local digital firms to take five minutes to enter their details."