In case you cant access the URL from the Sunday Business Post website here is an extract of the Article.
Many Thanks to Danielle Ryan fir writing
Startup Spotlight: FireCloud365
Kevin Boylan and Ryan Bradley, co-founders of FireCloud365
Founders: Ryan Bradley and Kevin Boylan
Founded: June 2014
Support/Funding: Personal funding and a grant from the Donegal Local Enterprise Office
What it does: a cloud-based, paperless system for the management of fire-safety checks
Firecloud365 is a Donegal-based early-stage startup which offers a cloud-based system for the management of statutory fire safety checks, vendor management and preventive maintenance.
The software, which is operated through a single pane of glass, allows the customer to schedule, record and report all fire checks within a building in keeping with the region’s fire safety legislation — which ultimately lets customers reduce risk and ensure compliance with regulations at all times.
“It’s a paperless system which allows you to build your fire safety calendar based on tasks — so you can look at the month ahead see when items are due for checking, when a person’s fire training ends or when a building insurance or fire certificate is due for renewal,” said Ryan Bradley, co-founder of Firecloud365.
“Ultimately the software is a tool for the business to use to ensure people are safe in the event of a fire. It’s for you as a building manager or responsible person knowing that if you have a fire at your premises, you know your doors are being checked, extinguishers checked and the fire panel is operational.”
Bradley, who has 15 years experience as an IT engineer, met his co-founder Kevin Boylan when they were working together at another company, where Boylan was a facilities manager.
“He [Boylan] just had a huge number of headaches around scheduling fire safety checks within the building — recording when the checks were done and by whom, managing which vendors were coming on-site and ensuring those vendors had sufficient insurance and contracts in place,” Bradley said.
Bradley and Boylan came up with a way to scrap the paper-based and labour intensive system, which has made the process more efficient and totally cloud-based.
One of the company’s earliest sceptics, a business Bradley and Boylan approached to offer their product to, shot the idea down almost immediately, citing the sufficiency of a paper-based system. When probed on how well their system was working however, the potential customer found some holes in his own argument.
While the paper-based system was in place, numerous checks on the building’s fire exit doors had not been completed for the couple of days prior. This kind of thing can be a major headache for businesses and checks are regularly forgotten.
“They had all the processes in place but nobody was doing any verification on it,” Bradley said. “With our system the responsible manager would have received an email straight away advising that a series of checks has been missed and they could then action this straight away”.
It was bad news for that business, but good news for Firecloud365, who ended up supplying their software to the company.
There are plenty of companies which offers facilities management systems, Bradley said, but Firecloud365 focuses specifically on aligning its software with statutory fire regulations.
“One of our real challenges isn’t these other systems on offer, it’s getting people away from a manual paper-based system. Everyone can use Microsoft Word to make up a check sheet or create a calendar entry for reminders — but is this what a business or school should be relying on to ensure their fire compliance? We don’t think so,” Bradley said.
The company is currently working with a number of businesses, hotels and Government agencies, including some that operate from multiple sites and want to be able to manage and monitor their fire compliance remotely.
Bradley and Boylan are now putting the final touches to their web and Android applications after a testing phase with its trial customers. They expect the product to be ready for the market within the next few months.
Firecloud365 has had initial startup costs of €20,000 and has been mostly self-funded so far, with a portion of the funding coming in the form of a grant from the Local Enterprise Office in Donegal.
Bradley said the company expects to have five full-time staff within the next year.
“We’d like to get a real foothold in the market in Ireland, both North and South, and then gradually roll the product out to other jurisdictions — our natural progression would be for the UK, North America and then Australia,” he said.