Get To Know the Blockworx IT Director, Will McIlmoyle with this little snippet from his recent Blocktalk podcast. You can listen to whole podcast on Spotify, iTunes and Google. Or you can catch it on the CPL Software YouTube channel.
Will, has been with CPL Software for over 10 years, in his recent Blocktalk podcast, we asked Will, what has changed since he started at CPL?
In terms of the industry as a whole, I think since 2010, which was when the first iPhone or maybe like the second or third generation had come out. But it was at that point, smartphones were really starting to pick up and, you know, if people didn’t have one, they would have been getting one or would have had one soon. And so I think that’s been one of the biggest changes in the industry – the move to mobile devices.
And the continued uptake of people using the internet for their services, as opposed to the old school methods of sort of telephone or post. And so that’s been a big change. And I guess with that the product set that we work on, or create has changed as well. So before, when I joined the company (CPL Software) in 2010, we didn’t have any mobile apps, we did have a web portal, but we didn’t have any mobile app to go along with that. So that was something we introduced, I think, in 2013, or 2014. So a few years later. So we moved into that market.
And then also, we’ve got a whole raft of program technologies, which are ever-changing in the background, which our clients might not see or realise, or the users of our software might not see. But the sort of backend stuff is always changing and improving. So for example, we rewrote our web portal, I think in 2011 or 2012. And to move away from something that’s just a bit more old school, which is called a SOAP API, we moved it to become a REST API, which to most people, that wouldn’t mean anything but to a programmer, they’ll understand that that’s a much more efficient way of working. It enables us to build our programs more efficiently.
We’re spending less time writing code and more time implementing features and getting stuff into the product. So that’s something you have to keep up with. You know, every day, that’s always changing. In the last 10 years, our product has grown massively, we’ve got so much more functionality in there from things like the In Tray, I mentioned the app, we’ve got other applications like INSPCT and Blockworx, which now integrate with CPL Software.
So we’re always building up and that’s been really good to see. Along with that, our user base has grown as well. We’ve got a lot more companies using our software. So speaking to them, finding out what they use the software for and what they could benefit from, in terms of new features being added. Yeah, it’s all just grown and grown. And it’s been really, really fun to be a part of that and see it happen.
How is the Blockworx project going?
Yeah, it’s going really well. And you’re right to say that I haven’t been developing on it because I have always been more of a project manager role for Blockworx. And so we have a really great development team that do all the hard work, making it work and look nice. Yeah, they’ve done a great job of it.
So, yeah, it’s been really fun to work on a project that connects two areas of the industry that work together. We’ve got our property managers that use our office software, and we’ve been able to connect those to the contractors who are out doing the work on-site.
And that’s been really exciting to see how we can help streamline that process. It’s been quite a long project and we’ve kind of gone back over a few things. We realised that actually, no, that wasn’t the way to do it. And we’re going to change that and do it the correct way, or what we think is the correct way. So that’s been good to do as well, there’s been a bit of a learning process there.
We’ve got an operating system and we’re still in our beta testing at the minute, and we’re seeing it’s running very smoothly, The data is getting updated to the contractor almost instantly, which is really great to see, especially when the guys are putting so much work into it, it’s really nice to see that it’s all working smoothly.
The Blocktalk podcast is the podcast for the property management industry. It is hosted by Brian Welsh, who has delivered industry-leading software solutions since 2010. You can connect with Brian at brian.welsh.co.uk