Janus Technology have been a CW Founder member since October 2016. I first had the pleasure of meeting their Sales Manager, Charlie Mertz at Discovering Start-Ups Competition in 2016 where I found out they work with some very cool clients indeed (have you heard of Bose?) I sat down with Charlie and their co-founder Richard Caton to find out what they’re working on. For those of you not familiar with Janus, this spotlight blog (first in a series) should hopefully provide you with some interesting insight.
Janus is a consultancy specializing in technology integrations for Smart Home and Smart Buildings. They create systems using their customers existing platforms and provide high tech solutions within the Internet of Things (IoT) sector. The smart home and smart building markets are booming and for the Janus team, it’s an exciting time for the tech industry. The best way to describe Janus is to think of them as technical glue.
Charlie heads up the Sales team. He’s been with the company 3 years and was brought onboard to boost sales efforts and expand expertise into new, B2B markets. Although a modest sized team (there’s 16 full time staff in total), they’re operational in a broad range of verticals; smart home, smart buidlings, energy, IoT, AV, hospitality, system and infrastructure design for many more. He says "If you were to visit the Janus office, you’d probably come away with the impression that it’s very quiet. On the contrary, our development and test teams are so busy day to day with a wide variety of projects, they just don’t have time for anything else such as idle chitter-chatter. A serious team delivering serious solutions for our clients. In my business development capacity here at Janus, I’m constantly on the lookout for problems – problems that Janus can solve.
We’re so much more than a team of software developers; our aim is to be seen as a trusted development partner to our clients, indeed there are a number of them that regard Janus as an integral part of their organisation.
He continues "Our global customer base included only a small number of Cambridge based companies a couple of years ago, so we took the decision to join CW and network like crazy. That’s what we continue to do, and look forward to many more years of delivering Janus Technology solutions to the Cambridge Tech Cluster."
Co-founder Richard, unlike many consultants, lives and breathes electronics. He graduated from Queen’s College in Cambridge with a first-class Electronics degree before gaining a masters in silicon chip design and joined Scientific Generics (now Sagentia) in the late 90s which pioneered Video on Demand. This lead to his creation of Imerge, a spin-out company which brought hard-disk media players to the consumer – well before the iPod!
Throw in another stint of solo consulting, Richard founded Janus Technology with fellow Queen’s College graduate and friend, Matthew Faupel, 7 years ago. You might now appreciate (as I did) the reference to the Mathematical Bridge on their marketing collateral – the bridge that connects two parts of Queens’ College, Cambridge. With an excited look, Richard explains:
We’re creating an environment at Janus that allows us all to thrive both professionally and socially, which in turn means we deliver great cutting edge products to industry. Its testament to our vision of a smarter world; something Matthew and I have talked about since our days at Queen’s, we have built a passionate team that believe in this, it’s our lifeblood. There’s so much technology around in every walk of life these days, but who really understands it? What we’re doing is making sense of it all, allowing delivery of incredible innovation.
As mentioned earlier, Janus have 16 members of staff: 10 in development, 5 in testing and 1 in sales – all have a wealth of systems knowledge. Charlie reported they’ve doubled their staff count in the last 3 years which is testament to their retained client base but also to their international sales activity.
They have a good work culture in office which is supported by flexible working hours which they offer to colleagues. For example, one of their developers tutors computer studies at a local 6th form a few days a week.
Clients: include mix of national and international
Janus have a loyal UK client base but the sales teams are making good progress breaking into international markets which, as you can imagine, requires a lot of energy and attention. This is GREAT! Charlie and Richard make no apologies about this but one of the reasons for embarking on CW membership is to re-focus attention on Cambridge aka ‘the tech hub’. As with the majority of CW members, event networking is a great way to foster new relationships.
Janus work with US companies to bring their products to the UK market. A large proportion of this work is consultancy; advising best practice, aligning company goals and objectives, auditing their platforms and providing invaluable guidance on IP integration and a variety of. Richard emphasised how short-sighted a lot of international companies are so a large part of the consultancy involves educating clients on design processes. Can an international product break the UK market? A question they regularly ask clients.
Written by Lucy Woods - CW (Cambridge Wireless)