8over8 in Londonderry invests £3m to grow software exports

8over8, the Londonderry-based software development company, is to invest almost £3 million to bolster its commercial management, software development resource and marketing initiatives to double international sales.

The company, which is supported by Invest Northern Ireland, sells over 90 per cent of its licenses for sophisticated contract management software to customers outside Northern Ireland.

The new investment, which will support a variety of 29 new jobs, was announced by Leslie Morrison, Invest NI Chief Executive, during a visit to the company. Invest NI is providing £218,000 towards eligible costs of almost £1million.

Mr Morrison said: “8over8 is an innovative company that has developed a strong position as a supplier of comprehensive contract management solutions to the global oil and gas industry.

“This strategic investment in management and marketing will enable 8over8 to further strengthen its presence in the Middle East and North American regions.  It will help secure new business in these key oil and gas markets for ProCon, 8over8’s leading-edge contract-management software solution.

“Our assistance has been geared to help the company develop its capability and scale up its operations, particularly in terms of marketing its products and services in its target international markets. The support demonstrates our commitment to assisting technology-led companies to develop their own products for international markets.

Clare Colhoun, 8over8’s Chief Executive, said: “Our objective is to establish the ProCon Solution as the industry standard for contract management software in the oil and gas industry with a view to subsequently developing business in related vertical markets.

“This will require an aggressive marketing drive and involve ongoing investment in product development for a global market that invests in excess of US$350bn annually.

“Competing in such a dynamic industry as oil and gas requires continuous investment in the development of solutions to meet the requirements of each market participant which can vary from region to region. Innovation is embedded in our corporate culture. It’s a focus that enables us to stay ahead of competitors in a volatile and exacting industry.

“As a direct result of our strong customer focus, we are now the preferred supplier to industry majors such as BG Group, (previously British Gas), BP and Shell. Contracts from these and other global oil and gas companies have led to our turnover more than doubling over the past three years, giving us a prominent position within the industry,” she added.

8over8 was established in 2000 and currently employs 30 people - 19 at its software development headquarters on the University of Ulster Magee campus and eleven in London and the Middle East.