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“Drupal,” says Mike Carter, the managing director of Ixis, “is one of those unseen success stories.  Chances are you interact with it frequently, but never knew.”

He’s referring to the open source content management system that sits behind millions of websites – and in which Ixis has become one of the UK’s leading exponents.

Reaching such giddy heights was a gamble, however.  In its infancy, there was no guarantee that the system would take off – but it did and since those risky days Drupal has established itself as the leading platform for large enterprise websites.

“The enterprise sector is our space,” explains Carter.  “It’s where our expertise sits and we’re able to offer the market a multi-skilled team that can support them across all facets of design, development, hosting and management, with a 24/7 support service.”

In the thirteen years that Ixis has been working with Drupal, it has seen the market migrate as the platform has been developed by its user community.  It’s now matured and clients have learned what system best suits them, says Carter.

“Originally Drupal appealed to SMEs and the not-for-profit sector because it was free and easy to build something with little technical knowledge, but as Drupal has evolved its capabilities for larger-scale enterprises has taken it in a new direction.  And we’ve followed,” he explains.

The company now has fifteen staff plus a stable of contractors that allows it to flex its numbers as workflow dictates.  Included in the team are several apprentices, working in software development and digital marketing – and, says Mike Carter,  locating in The Base has been an advantage as far as staff recruitment goes.

“We’re only a couple of minutes’ walk from the train station, which means we can tap into the Liverpool and Manchester labour markets.  It’s ideal in that regard.”

The extensive networking activities hosted by The Base are also bearing fruit, says Mike, with several business opportunities arising from attendance, and the building’s business support team also helped steer the company towards funding sources for its apprentices.

Growing turnover remains the greatest challenge, he adds, and his current focus is on establishing links with branding and marketing agencies.

“We want to be their technical partners providing an overall technical resource and help desk for their clients.”

The move is already paying off and helping the business broaden its client base.  “A year or two ago we were perhaps a little dependent on a few large clients but that’s changing now.  We’ve got an interesting mix, from major international PLCs like IBM to public agencies such as NSAN  and onwards to a range of clients in multiple market sectors.  Whatever they’re doing, we never lose sight of the fact that our job is to give them a competitive edge online.  Keep doing that, and we’ll keep growing.”


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