Andrew Dewdney and Jamie Casey established Galway based Armour Interactive last July. The company provides website and application design services to clients ranging from individual professionals to large companies.
Having worked together on a freelance basis for a number of years as part of a co-op, the pair decided to set up a business to formalise the services they offered.
‘‘We are passionate about good design and new technologies, so we decided it was best to get a proper structure in place. To grow a business over a number of years, take on employees and build up value, was a step we had to take,’’ said Dewdney.
Casey said having a small, flexible team working closely together on projects was a real advantage, even when dealing with sizeable projects for bigger clients.
‘‘Andrew knows exactly how to present the design elements to maximise the development end. That kind of thing only comes from lots of experience working together. A small group of talented people focusing on something can yield better results than a team of 15 people having to aggregate everything. If we lack certain experience or a skillset, we can bring someone in to bolster our team,’’ he said.
Armour’s biggest project to date has been AbairLeat.com.
An e-learning platform for students at Colaiste Lurganin Connemara,it is one of Europe’s biggest virtual classrooms.
‘‘The AbairLeat.com platform now has over 4,000 members, both students of the college and adults with an interest in the Irish language.
Teachers can go in, listen to their own students and provide feedback. The platform can be used for any language and we are in talks with some big Irish publishing houses about publishing their books this way,’’ said Casey.
Armour is currently developing at online business suite for SME network BizPal.ie. ‘‘That was originally a time management system for people. It has evolved over the last year into a mentor-driven application, whereby members fill out different surveys and identify goals and objectives. They are then assigned a mentor who gives them advice on the correct steps to take to achieve these objectives,’’ said Casey.
The duo are gradually developing the business skills needed to run a professional company. ‘‘We are not shy about looking for help, and we always try to take advice on board. While in the co-op, we had a mentor from Enterprise Ireland who met us for five or six sessions and discussed things like sales strategies and how to react to clients in meetings. We would have learned a certain amount of business skills in college, while Leaving Cert accountancy has been very useful, too,’’ said Casey.
Dewdney said that Armour would continue to develop its core strengths around Flash and related web technologies.
‘‘There is also a lot of demand for mobile apps and we are working on some stuff in that area. Ideally, though, we will stay within the web world and continue providing clients with solutions that satisfy their business needs.
‘‘Our core strengths are in designing and developing really cool, funky, interactive and immersive websites, and making applications which push the limits of the web,’’he said.
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