Another Year Over – 2017 From The Eyes Of Zircon

As we approach the end of 2017 I would like, as is the tradition for these things, to take a look back over the year at Zircon Software.  This has been my first full year heading the company and one that has proven to be our busiest year ever. We’ve been fortunate over the past few years with an increase in sales but this year particularly has seen our revenue grow almost 20% with a mixture of existing and new clients. 

Despite the uncertainty introduced through events such as Brexit, many of the Industries in which our clients operate have continued to thrive. Indeed, the Rail industry has seen a resurgence of life with several large infrastructure and Rolling stock programmes. But it hasn’t all been plain sailing. Political uncertainty and continuing austerity have changed the way in which the Highways industry chooses to operate. This is, however, counteracted by the rapid rise of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. This technology will change the way we live our lives in the future and is something that Zircon has been very fortunate to participate in. We hope to continue that into 2018 and beyond.

2017 saw the return of the ever-popular Railtex exhibition at the NEC, with companies from all aspects of the rail industry showing off their wares. For Zircon, this was the perfect opportunity to demonstrate some of the amazing Vision Recognition and Analytics technology that our R&D team have been working on. In fact, over the course of the year our R&D activities have culminated in a number of Patent applications, which reflects the in depth knowledge and experience we have built up in regards to this technology. This is an emerging area for Zircon with a multitude of possible applications, particularly within the rail industry.

This year we’ve been focused on introducing our skills in Software Development to a range of new customers. Which has included working with a number of overseas clients based in locations such as the US and Europe as well as in the UK. From embedded real-time safety critical systems, to PC applications, to Data Visualisation Web services, in C, C++, C#, Java, Python and a myriad of others, our success in winning these clients demonstrates the value that Zircon can bring to all our customers.

All of this activity has also required an increase in our staff, and as such we have had the pleasure of introducing several new talented engineers to our team. They have settled quickly and are now flourishing within the unique culture that is Zircon Software. With all of these changes Zircon has continued to streamline and improve working practises, with the aim to ensure that we continue to be World Class and capable of delivering great value to our customers.

Our commitment to developing talent has also seen us recruit a number of apprentices for the first time in our history. These young engineers are already making outstanding progress and showing us a glimpse of the future. Of course, our commitment to excellence through training for all our staff is equally important and we were able to deliver all staff training days in each of the quarters of the past year. Something I really hope to continue in the New Year.

We’ve also supported a number of other initiatives such as the Women in Engineering event held at Wiltshire College. Sadly, our Industry is massively under represented by women and as such we are only able to find the best talent in 50% of the population as a consequence. Hopefully events such as these will increase female participation in Engineering and in particular Software development.

We also continued our aim of encouraging school children into Engineering through the attendance at various local schools. Developing and encouraging talent for the future is important to the long-term sustainability of the UK engineering sector and we are glad to do our bit. It’s also great to see the raw enthusiasm as we get our “Geek on”!

All that remains is for me to thank our many customers, our amazing team and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I look forward to seeing you in 2018.