A Digital Collaboration Success Story


Photon Fire and Cloud Data Service are two SME tech businesses from opposite ends of the digital spectrum that have come together to jointly develop a product for the internet-of-things. Both being located in The Core on Science Central in Newcastle is the reason they have come together to collaborate – “Co-location makes joint working so-much easier, folks from different disciplines clustering like this creates a whole range of different opportunities.” said Bill Shepherd, MD of Photon Fire.

After feedback received from occupants, The Core ran a ‘Meet Your Neighbours’ style event to showcase what was going on in the building. “It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own little silo of work, but hearing about what others in the building were working on, including hearing what Bill and Photon where working on highlighted some of the common problems that we should be coming together to solve collaboratively.” said Thomas Lloyd, Director of Cloud Data Service.

Inspired by a customer need they came together to develop a specialist instrument for environmental monitoring in a Health and Safety application. The main issue for the customer was that there was little or no infrastructure in place on the sites that they worked on, to be able to to send the results to monitor the data effectively. But now the businesses have jointly worked together to produce a system that meets those needs.

Photon Fire have made bespoke instruments, forming part of an ad-hoc network that includes wireless data transmission, that sends analytical data to a centralised hub. Data from the hub and from multiple other sites is then pushed into the cloud and rendered onto a single dashboard, made by Cloud Data Service. The data-owner can see the status of all the whole operation to make informed decisions and fulfil their health and safety requirements.

Photon Fire and Cloud Data Service both recognise that due to their size, it is best to be experts in one area rather than a Jack-of-all-trades. Both business choose to keep to its own domain of expertise but co-operate in defining the overall system specification and the interface to be used between the two realms.

“It is important to recognise what we are really good at and play to our strengths.” said Bill. “Working together, we have been able to offer a complete solution to the customer,” added Thomas.


Photon Fire is an electronics and embedded software business that designs analytical instruments mostly for the Oil & Gas and Environmental Monitoring sectors.


Cloud Data Service is a company that develops bespoke web and software applications particularly for health and wellbeing.


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