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Shropshire IT leaders win global recognition

Alex Whittles MVPA Shropshire business with a global client base has been marked out as a leader in its field after two key staff were awarded a coveted industry status held by only 21 specialists in the UK.

Purple Frog Systems Ltd is at the leading edge of developing and managing business intelligence solutions, which help to make firms more efficient and effective through understanding and using their data.

The Telford-based company, which works with clients around the world, now boasts two specialists who have secured Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) status for their work with the Microsoft Data Platform.

While it’s rare for industry players to have one MVP in their ranks, having two means the business is considered outstanding in the sector.

Company founder, Alex Whittles, first earned the MVP accolade in 2015 and has retained it since, while consultant, Paul Andrew, joined the MVP ranks in the latest round of awards from Microsoft in July 2017.

The pair are two of only 21 people in the UK who hold MVP status for their “Data Platform” specialism and just over three-and-a-half thousand throughout the world across all eighteen Microsoft disciplines.

Most Valued Professional status is awarded only to those with exceptional technical expertise who are working on the “bleeding edge”* of the technologies they specialise in and who are exemplary at sharing their knowledge with the wider industry.

Both Alex and Paul travel the world for speaking engagements, to demonstrate their innovations and share knowledge with peers, as well as running key conferences for their sector.

Alex said: “Being a Microsoft MVP does make you part of a pretty exclusive club and it’s a huge testament to Paul’s skill that he has been recognised as being so valuable to the industry,  and been invited to join these ranks.”

“Having two MVPs in one organisation is still very rare, but to do so in a business as small and agile as ours, and Shropshire-based rather than in a major metropolitan area, is something that we’re incredibly proud of.”

Purple Frog helps to transform businesses through bringing together all of their data, often from many sources, into a single data warehouse, and processing it so that critical information can be properly interpreted by business decision makers, often in real time, and acted on to increase the effectiveness of the organisation.

Paul explained: “What we are able to do opens the eyes of business leaders when they realise the wealth of information that we can put in front of them. All businesses generate lots of varied data, but it only becomes useful if you can turn that data into actionable intelligence and access it in timely and meaningful ways. That’s what we help them to do. Historically this has taken the form of management reports and dashboards, but these days we can also integrate Machine Learning in order to generate prediction models that are more advanced than ever before.”

Purple Frog Systems has a blue chip client base and has even worked with space agencies as part of its consulting role, though it is now looking to bring its skill set to bear for companies more locally.

Alex said: “What we do is at the cutting edge, but like any technology many of its applications are now becoming more mainstream and available to companies of all sizes, especially with cloud computing reducing the required investment costs significantly. To be able to visualise your business on a day-by-day basis and act on that intelligence provides a huge competitive edge, and I can’t think of any organisation that wouldn’t benefit from that. Being data driven is the new black, or purple, as we prefer.”