When Alex Tearse first thought about moving to the Western Isles and continuing to work for his current employer, he didn’t really think it would ever really happen. But once Alex met Donnie Morrison from Work Global he quickly realised that teleworking was indeed a viable option.
The Work Global team introduced Alex to a wide range of individuals who were already doing what Alex had only dreamed about - carrying out high quality, well paid jobs in an idyllic environment and a really high quality of life.
"Looking back, Work Global helped me in numerous ways. They provided me with highly relevant information because they understood the issues and challenges I would face teleworking. After teleworking successfully for some time I decided I would like to work in a team environment, Work Global were on hand to help find a company that would benefit from my skills."
Alex’s in-depth knowledge of Internet development and marketing and experience in many areas including management, training, development and marketing were ideal for a new media operation, which was setting up in Stornoway - Eolas Media Ltd. Alex’s experience with VR software company, Superscape, and his blue chip experience with clients such as Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Lego, Exel Logistics and the European Commission, secured him the position of head of the New Media operation for Eolas Media Ltd.
Anne Buchanan, ReefNet's other founder, graduated from Lewis Castle College in 1999 with a degree in computing - the first to be run in the Western Isles. Anne worked as a key developer with Eolas Media Ltd with Alex until the company decided to focus on the television side of its operation and it decided to close its media operation, despite having provided their staff with training in some of the most innovative areas of media production.
Alex met Anne Buchanan and together they talked about having always wanted to start their own business. They had always thought that this would really only be possible if they were based on the mainland - (how wrong they were - they were to find out). Their first port of call was Work Global, who then introduced them to Western Isles Enterprise and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar - organisations which could help them with business advice, training and grant funding applications.
ReefNet was established in May 2001 to provide a range of Internet services. ReefNet’s core services included web site design and development, database-driven web sites, e-commerce solutions, web-based interfaces, server-side programming, marketing advice and training. Alex and Anne have never looked back. The company boomed throughout 2002 and they have collected numerous prestigious awards including Shell LiveWire ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2002’ for the Western Isles, ‘Champion of Champions’, in the Royal Bank of Scotland Business Growth Challenge and Winners at the Web 2002.
"The success of ReefNet really does show that living in the Western Isles presents no barrier when it comes to competing in the world of e-commerce. Many of our clients are mainland based and we are finding that businesses are delighted to find that they can get superb creative work and innovative e-commerce solutions which do not carry the cost of a city centre office overhead in the price."
The ReefNet team have now moved into office accommodation in Stornoway rather than working from Anne’s home and with their reputation and workload growing.
"We will continue to liaise with Work Global - we know they will help guide us through the next stages of our business development. The Work Global team are utterly committed to making businesses grow and prosper in the Western Isles and their enthusiasm and boundless optimism is just what every company needs, irrespective of whether they are setting up or are looking to relocate."
Visit www.reefnet.co.uk/gallery/ for a portfolio of their work.