‘Top companies will need access to talented staff from around the world after Brexit’

David Richards, CEO of wanDISCO.
David Richards, CEO of wanDISCO.
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BRITAIN’s fast growing companies must continue to have access to talented staff from around the world after Brexit, according to one of Yorkshire’s best known businessmen.

David Richards, the chief executive and interim chairman of WANdisco, the Sheffield-based software company, made the comments as the firm reported a period of “significant progress” over the half year.

Revenue for the six months ended June 30 2017 increased 71 per cent to $9.7 million. The statutory loss from operations reduced to $3.8 million, from $17.9 million in the same period last year.

However, Mr Richards acknowledged that it can be hard to find people with the right skills in the fast moving software sector.

He told The Yorkshire Post: “I don’t think it makes much difference between hiring in Central London against hiring in South Yorkshire. “The markets are moving so quickly that it’s hard for the universities to keep up.

“In our Sheffield office we have people from St Petersburg, Italy and the Dominican Republic; it’s multi-cultural and multi-national.

“It’s very important to be able to bring talented people into the UK.”

The company’s results were boosted by a number of significant contract wins.

The major wins for WANdisco Fusion included a $4.1 million contract with a major financial services multinational firm.

Fusion also secured its first contract in retail with a $2.0 million order. There was also a $0.65 million order from a US healthcare corporation, which is Fusion’s first win in the healthcare sector.

WANdisco is at the leading edge of Big Data technology - data that is so large and complex it cannot be processed using traditional desktop computers.

Big Data is used by internet giants such as Yahoo, Netflix, Amazon and eBay to keep their operations going.

Mr Richards commented: “The first half of 2017 has been another period of significant progress for WANdisco, in which we achieved record bookings, continued to reduce our cash burn and more importantly delivered a positive Adjusted EBITDA performance.

“This outstanding performance is down to the hard work and dedication of our team combined with increasing demand for Fusion in the Cloud and Big Data markets.

“The order book and sales pipeline continues to gather pace and our recent new business momentum demonstrates the broad appeal of Fusion across multiple verticals coupled with the excellent traction our products are receiving through our channel partners.

“Against this backdrop of positive momentum, the board has ongoing confidence for not only the second half of the year but also in our progress towards achieving profitability.”

Over the half year, WANdisco secured a new facility with a Silicon Valley bank, “providing both a term debt facility and a revolving credit facility”.

The company’s performance is also being boosted by a strong order book and second half sales pipeline, which is underpinning its medium term growth expectations, WANdisco said.