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Our story: The Accidental Flatplan


January 2006: The search begins

Magazine editor, Jon Barrett, searches for simple, low cost, flatplanning software without success. Would it be possible to develop a solution?

February 2006: Seeking help

With no software development experience, Jon approaches Business Link which suggests contacting the Innovation Hub, University of Kent, Canterbury.

March 2006: Dragon’s Den competition

Jon is invited to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition under the Great Ideas in Science and Technology (Grist) programme, wins a place on the programme and development planning begins.

April 2006: Potential of the web emerges

Chance meeting with another Grist member highlights the potential of new web-based applications. Decision taken to develop the application as a hosted solution.

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May to August 2006: Building the development team

A chance conversation highlights a past acquaintance working in software development. Dr James Densem and his team are contracted to produce a prototype and work begins.

December 2006: Disaster, the prototype fails

Tests reveal the application’s design brief exceeds the capabilities of a pure HTML user interface and the first prototype is abandoned.

January 2007: Success, the prototype works

Work starts on a second prototype, merging the capabilities of HTML and Flash. Tests show Flash’s capabilities exceed the design brief and the prototype migrates to pre-production.

January to March 2007: Beta testing begins

Application introduced to selected customers who adopt the system as their planning and communications tool.

March 2007:  Outside interest emerges

London-based contract publisher reads a University of Kent press release and asks to trial. The application’s wider potential becomes clear.

April 2007: Commercialisation begins

A new limited company, Pure Labs, is formed to commercialise the technology which is formally christened: The Intelligent Flatplan.

May 2007 to February 2008: Development accelerates

Decision taken to launch the Intelligent Flatplan at Publishing Expo 2008. Development accelerates, adding new features, refining existing features and debugging.

September 2007: Pay-As-You-Go commercial model finalised

The Intelligent Flatplan settles on a page-based Pay-As-You-Go commercial model, offering a fair, low-cost payment method accommodating different publishing models.

February 2008: Launch!

The Intelligent Flatplan receives its world premier at Publishing Expo 2008, Olympia, London. The stand is mobbed, with one visitor purchasing a year’s access following a demonstration.

March 2008: Intelligent Flatplan goes international

Customers start steadily arriving from publishing hotspots around the world including the USA, Italy, South Africa and Australia.

February 2008 to February 2009: Customer base grows

Publishing Expo, a Google Adword campaign, public relations activity and word of mouth help accelerate new user registrations, averaging two-a-day between February 2008 and 2009.

January 2009: Enterprise Mode introduced for publishing giants

Giants of the publishing industry request a corporate pricing model and the Intelligent Flatplan responds with Enterprise Mode comprising a discounted fixed monthly fee, leggi di piu paid via Direct Debit.

February 2009: Back to Publishing Expo

The Intelligent Flatplan returns to Publishing Expo with new features, new benefits and the experience gained via 800 registered users, 1,000 flatplans and 60,000 pages.

February 2010: Back to Publishing Expo

Third consecutive year at Publishing Expo, this time demonstrating the beta of a new integrated advertisement booking facility.Total users 2077, total flatplans 3771, total pages 273428

Users Total number of users: 6076 Flatplans Total number of flatplans: 35015 Pages Total number of pages: 2525364