By Scott Wright

A GLASGOW-based data software specialist is closing

in on deals to expand its international reach, with the company on course to treble customer numbers this year.

Bellrock Technology is holding the talks with potential customers in the US, Europe and international companies based in the UK as it celebrates its 10th year in business. It recently secured a major new agreement with EDF to help the energy giant manage key assets.

Bellrock, which spun out of the University of Strathclyde, has developed a cloud software product, Lumen, which allows businesses to make better use of their data. The company says this can lead to more informed decision-making, greater efficiency, improved profits, and positive change in the way people are managed.

The product has helped Bellrock break into new sectors this year, with clients secured in construction, financial services, oil and gas, professional services, and transport.

Under a £1 million contract renewal with EDF, Bellrock is helping the French-owned energy company to manage key assets safely and reliably through the use of its data.

Bellrock’s other clients in the energy sector include SGN and SSE, which use Bellrock’s Lumen software to predict faults before they occur and dispatch emergency crews to where they are needed ahead of time. This allows the companies to reduce operating costs and improve customer service, Bellrock noted.

Adam Brown, chief executive of Bellrock, said: “We have enjoyed good growth this year, expanding into a range of new sectors, meaning more businesses and organisations in Scotland and the UK are benefitting from our extensive knowledge and world-class capabilities. This success is bringing us to the attention of prospective new clients and partners abroad, as the reputation for excellence of both the company and Lumen continues to grow.”

Bellrock was founded a decade ago by Mr Brown and Stephen McArthur.

The two met when Mr Brown was working at the University of Strathclyde’s research team, after graduating in computing and electronics from the institution.

Mr Brown said the research team was focused on the energy sector and how data could be used to improve performance.

Mr McArthur, who is associate principal and executive dean of engineering at the university, identified commercial potential in some of its work.

Mr Brown said: “He and I got working closely together. He spotted an opportunity for some of the technology ideas we had as a university research group, to potentially be investigated as something that could be commercialised.”

He added: “The real USP of what we do goes back to the technology that we spun out of the university with. And that technology was all around looking at how data software solutions could be built and could be built quickly.

“We do find that space is a very manual process. There is obviously a lot of focus on data and the opportunities data brings these days, and a lot of focus on data science. The step beyond that of actually implementing these solutions is very often the stage where projects can hit the buffers.

“What we have brought out to the market is a new approach to that, a new technology that can automate a lot of that building of systems, make that process a lot quicker, a lot more cost effective and really give companies opportunities to almost experiment and see what the art of the possible is.”

Although the company has been trading for a decade now, Mr Brown feels it is only “scratching the surface of the opportunity” he believes is open to the business. Its other clients include Angel Trains, which is using Lumen to improve how it monitors the condition of rolling stock.

Mr Brown said: “We are proud of it, and very pleased to be here and to be able to support the customers that have helped us get here.”

The company employs 20 people, and Mr Brown is keen to expand its headcount, though said recruitment is very competitive in the technology sector. So far, £5 million has been invested in the company, with backing from Stirling-based ESM Investments, the University of Strathclyde, and Scottish Investment Bank.

Mr Brown said: “We have had a good pool of investors since 2015. They have been very patient.

“I think they also see the longer-term opportunity. For us it is about capitalising on that and building a good business.”