When Norwich based IT professionals Duncan Cardwell and Greg Duffield met whilst undertaking contract work for a large corporate in 2002, it didn’t take them long to see the potential to build a business together. Having had successful careers as software developers individually, they became business partners and decided in 2003 to establish their own IT Services business, P1 Technology Partners, which later became Proteo Ltd.
Over the next 3 years Greg and Duncan grew the business, providing custom software and IT solutions and services to clients from a variety of sectors. In 2006 a custom development project with a client in the haulage industry led them to identify a niche market requirement – one which they knew they had the capacity to exploit.
Proteo Managing Director, Duncan says: “Our business was doing well as a broad base solutions provider but when we developed our first software product for the haulage industry its success led us to think about where to concentrate our efforts and it became obvious to us that the natural path was to focus on products rather than services.
The team recognised that the mobile workforce was already rapidly increasing and that predictions were for this to continue well into the next decade. “If forecasts are correct,” continues Duncan, “by 2015 mobile workers will account for over one-third of the global workforce. Whether it be integrating office based business processes with mobile devices for field workers, or using our sophisticated vehicle telematics systems to allow fleet managers to keep track of their fleets and drivers, Proteo aims to be at the forefront of this revolution, which we call Businesses on the move”
The latest development in Proteo’s offering, the Tough Touch, is a rugged touch screen mobile computer that combines the typical features of a smart phone, a tablet and handheld terminal.
As Duncan explains: “It is specifically designed to fill a gap in the market for a device that can be both vehicle mounted or handheld and offers the usability advantages of a 7” screen while being lightweight and having a long battery life.”
To assist in bringing to market this latest creation, Proteo have secured £200,000 of funding from the East of England Regional Growth Loan Fund and the team at Finance East. Senior Fund Manager, Stuart Ager sees a bright future for Proteo: “With Tough Touch Proteo has created a product combining features and services that no other device currently offers conjointly, building on their strong market position and ultimately helping to propel the growth of the business. This is just the sort of opportunity that Finance East is here to support and we look forward to seeing this product and the team at Proteo prosper.”