Firm invests €1m in cloud computing software venture


SOFTWARE COMPANY pTools has announced a €1 million investment in a new cloud computing-enabled version of its web content management system.

The software, System6, has been in development for three years and was funded largely by the company’s cash reserves, with additional investment from Enterprise Ireland.

Cloud computing is the use of a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or personal computer.

Traditionally, setting up a system to manage website content involved paying upfront for the software, then buying the servers and related infrastructure to host it. With cloud computing, the software is hosted in a third-party data centre and it is paid for on-demand for a monthly fee.

System6 uses cloud computing infrastructure developed by another Irish company, Fort Technology. This allows web developers or businesses to choose the components of the pTools software to create a customised content management system.

“I hadn’t seen that functionality done as well anywhere else,” said pTools chief executive Keith Wood, who expects most initial sales of System6 to be to new customers. Existing clients are more likely to wind down current investments before upgrading to a cloud computing version.

“The model we’re looking at is three years [payback], so it’s a mid-term commitment,” he said.

While the global web content management market is mature and competitors are plentiful, Mr Wood said pTools tries to differentiate itself by meeting requirements about data security such as having strong workflow features and the ability to track changes made to content on a website.

Many of pTools’ customers are in the financial services, government, health and energy sectors.

If sales of the new software go as anticipated, Mr Wood said pTools hopes to increase employment to 25 by year-end. The firm employs 18 people between its headquarters in Dublin and offices in Canada and the Czech Republic.