Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Andrews thrive as competitors fall by wayside

Divine intervention — GCD director, Andrew Cuthbert, who develops software for churches

GCD Technologies was established amidst the dot.com bubble in 1999. Yet, unlike many of its peers, the company has not only survived, but is doing very well.

Andrew Cuthbert and Andrew Gough were school friends who were still at university at Queen's when they were contacted by another old friend who had moved into business investment.

Knowing that the two Andrews were keen on IT and aware of the finance available at that time for high-tech ventures, he asked them |to build a website for his own |operation.

GCD started out by designing an e-commerce website for a business selling traditional Irish craft goods to the United States.

With the success of that initial website design, more orders for GCD followed and Cuthbert and Gough began developing further skills to produce specialist software that provided clients with websites that exactly met their needs.

The subsequent evolution of GCD has followed similar lines to the development of e-commerce itself. “We gave customers control of their own sites,” explains Cuthbert.

Customers then wanted to have full sales functions integrated and, eventually, the online management of orders and stock via a single integrated system.

GCD has enabled their customers to do all this.

More recently, GCD has also developed additional desktop software applications, including Omega Church and Omega Accounts, facilities that have been produced specifically for churches and charities. This is a key focus of the business given new requirements regarding the need for churches and charities to present their annual accounts to the Charities Commission.

In addition, two specialist databases have been produced for estate agents that are supplied via PropertyNews.com.

After a decade in business, the company now operates from Lisburn Enterprise Centre, with 15 employees including the two founding |directors.

Trade is strong and, despite the downturn, last year turnover exceeded half a million pounds with an expected rise this year to over a million.

“Eventually we want to see us working with larger names in Northern Ireland industry,” says Cuthbert.

“We don't want to become too big, but rather do things that bigger companies can't do.

“We want to move technologies quickly, which is one of our key market strengths.”

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