In this case study, you can read about SkillPages, an Irish business that developed a platform to transform the way people with skills connect to the people who need them.
SkillPages is a social directory that brings together a member's real life social connections so they can find skilled people they can trust and also, get found by people who need their skill. Since launching just under a year ago, over 2.7 million people have joined the platform. SkillPages is a BizSpark One company and has built its solution on the Azure cloud platform. The company is registered in Ireland but has offices in Palo Alto too.
SkillPages was founded in 2010 by CEO Iain Mac Donald (previous track record includes founder of Perlico, the Irish telecoms provider which was sold to Vodafone for c. €70m) and Michael Gallagher in 2010 (a technologist with 15 years’ experience delivering major projects in the financial services and telecoms sectors). The SkillPages platform was officially launched in January 2011 and reached the 1 million member milestone within 150 days.
SkillPages is a skill based social directory that is transforming the way people with skills connect to the people who need them. The platform brings together people’s online connections to help them find skilled people they can trust, get found by people who need their skills and, also, collaborate with others.
Building a competitive advantage on a global scale
SkillPages positions itself as the only skill based directory operating on a global scale covering the full spectrum of human skills. Says Stephen Forbes, VP, User Operations & Product Development, SkillPages: “We have developed an advanced semantic taxonomy of skills which enables us to accurately match skills to the people looking for them. SkillPages creates a fundamentally more efficient labor market by connecting people with skills to the people who need them, within a trusted environment. By removing barriers to participation in the labor market, SkillPages enables everyone to participate actively in the labor market. SkillPages unlocks new opportunities for people of every skill type by connecting them with the people who need them. There are currently no other direct competitors offering the feature set offered by SkillPages. We operate on a global scale across all verticals.”
Reaping the benefits of cloud computing
“Being in the cloud is a game-changer for start-ups,” says Stephen Forbes. “For us, it helped us to get the company up and running quickly, without having to invest heavily in our own network servers. It also means we can scale easily and quickly to match our expansion, whether that is volume of users or additional countries where we are present. Cloud technology lets us focus on the running of the business, not technology infrastructure.”
SkillPages and Microsoft
SkillPages is part of the BizSpark program and is a BizSpark One company. Says Stephen Forbes, “BizSpark One continues to help accelerate our growth by providing SkillPages with customised technical and development assistance. This insight into complex challenges that we may face will be invaluable as our user growth accelerates across the globe.”