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bluQube Celebrates 10 Years of Cloud Accounting

July 2021 marks the 10 year anniversary since our first customer system went live on our market-leading cloud platform. Reflecting on the past decade, we look at what went into launching our cloud accounting software and pick the brains of bluQube CEO.

 

A Pioneer in Cloud Accounting

With cloud hosting now the norm throughout the software sector, bluQube was an early pioneer in cloud technology.

Founded in 1996, we chose to develop our cloud platform way back in 2008. Migrating our internal systems to the cloud in 2010, we subsequently saw the first customer system go live in July 2011, long before many other accounting software providers.  

 

“The IT sector has cycles that relate to new ideas. Personal computers, mobile phones, the internet! Some of them come and go without any real impact, some of them develop and become the de-facto standard. The trick is to spot the ones that are here to stay”
Simon Kearsley, Symmetry CEO.

 

The IT sector was a different place 10 years ago. If you wanted a finance system, you had no choice but to host it on servers internally, but that came with its own challenges and costs.

 

“We realised that a lot of our time was spent sorting out problems for customers who simply weren’t managing their IT infrastructure properly. That resulted in the customer perception that the product was poor when actually it was their own systems that were causing the problems – if we manage our product for them, then all that goes away.”
Simon Kearsley, Symmetry CEO.

 

The Bunker Data Centre
bluQube Cloud is hosted in the UK's most secure data centre

 

Overcoming Security Concerns

Once we were clear that cloud computing was going to be the way forward, a lot of the physical requirements still needed to be figured out. Although early on, there were some public cloud platforms available that software providers could simply ‘bolt on’ to. However, we felt these platforms didn’t offer the level of security that would be required for a financial system, often offering little more than a Windows Firewall and no clarity on where your data would actually be held.  

Instead, we opted to develop a platform internally, built from the ground up for the high security requirements of financial data. And with international data laws still lagging behind the fast-developing technology, we knew our system needed to stay 100% UK hosted. This lead us to partner with the UK’s most secure military-grade data centre, The Bunker, allowing full control over all aspects of the platform's security environment.   

Building the technology however, was only the first step. With a new way of hosting software came new requirements for how it would be sold, priced, and implemented. All challenges we had to overcome alone, without existing models to duplicate.  

 

 

bluQube mobile accounting
On the go access enabled by cloud

A Market Resistant to Change

Despite the benefits of a SaaS model being blindingly obvious to Simon, the market wasn’t quick to accept the new technology.

 

“The main concern was expressed as worries about data security, but I think it was really just resistance to change”
Simon Kearsley, Symmetry CEO.

 

Initial uptake of cloud accounting was slow, but when thinking back to the first customer system going live in 2011, Simon recalls:

 

“I have a funny feeling that the first customer didn’t really understand it all and so wasn’t worried at all!”
Simon Kearsley, Symmetry CEO.

 

Over the next 5 years, cloud solutions became more of the norm throughout the IT sector and even the initially cautious began to see the benefits. By this time, the bluQube platform was tried and true, boasting 99.99% uptime, while many other accounting software providers were scrabbling to bring a cloud offering of their own to market.  

 

“In some ways we were perhaps a little TOO early to cloud in that we had to do lots of work to overcome that resistance, but at least we then had the experience that we needed unlike a lot of our competitors.”  
Simon Kearsley, Symmetry CEO.

 

Where Are We Now?

These days, we are proud to have 80% of our customers hosted in the cloud, with 300,000 accountancy items processed each month.

Clearly, the market has caught on to the benefits a cloud system brings. When speaking with prospective new customers, an on-premise solution is rarely on the radar, opting to outsource tech worries and instead focus on the job at hand.

If you want to take advantage of a cloud accounting solution that's been leading the way for a decade, get in touch to arrange a demo.

 

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