My Startup: RotaCloud, York

Charlie Spargo's picture

The team at RotaCloud provides simple-to-use rota planning software for businesses.

Businesses as diverse as dentistries and cafes, to shop and professional services providers use RotaCloud to keep track of when their staff are working - using the platform to plan and assign shifts, and track hours worked.

Compared with the traditional way of completing shift planning by hand, business owners can save up to 66% more time using the intelligent system.

Founded: 2013

Founders: James Lintern, Joel Beverley and David Brandon

Website: rotacloud.com

We talked to the RotaCloud team to learn more about the product.

Why did you start RotaCloud?

The original idea for RotaCloud was inspired by our own experiences working with staff rotas. There wasn’t a staff management tool out there that did what we needed it to do, and so RotaCloud was born. Our software provides businesses with a straightforward, user-friendly way to create sophisticated rotas and manage their employees. 

Tell us more about the tech behind the product.

We employ a number of technologies to deliver our core web and mobile applications. The RotaCloud web platform makes use of cutting-edge web technology frameworks such as Angular, an open source framework developed by Google, and is globally distributed by CloudFront, and a top tier CDN provider that utilises modern browser caching in order to provide a cross-browser, cross-device accessible application.

Our backend infrastructure uses a microservices architecture to deliver a highly available and scalable API that powers all of our client platforms. We operate a range of technologies including; Node.js and PHP fronted by Nginx for compute, MySQL and DynamoDB for storage, Redis for caching, and serverless for a number of background jobs.

We orchestrate our infrastructure using CloudFormation, enabling one-click zero downtime deployments, and allowing for a fully integrated CI/CD pipeline across our web and platform native mobile applications.

All of this means that we use really innovative, leading-edge technologies to deliver a simple, easy-to-use tool that saves people a lot of time, and alleviates a lot of headaches.

Where are you at right now?

We’re very much at the growth stage right now. We’ve been through all of the new business, new technology teething problems and now we have a cutting-edge product, a very talented team, and are firmly focused on expansion.

We’re investing in new technologies and premises, we’ve just taken on another 12 staff and are looking to double the business in terms of team numbers again in 2020. 

RotaCloud in action
RotaCloud in action

What are your aims for the next year?

One of the most exciting things happening in 2020 is the launch of a new product, RotaCloud Pro.

We’ll be rolling out advanced features that will allow people to manage their teams more effectively, but still keep things simple for the people that don’t need that extra functionality.

We haven’t announced RotaCloud Pro officially, so you’re getting a sneak peek, and we can’t go into specifics quite yet. However, RotaCloud Pro will be launching in early 2020. So keep an eye out for it.  

What's been the hardest thing about getting RotaCloud off the ground?

The first year was tough, not only having to learn on the fly about certain aspects of running a business, but not being able to pay ourselves a salary for the first year made things difficult. We were lucky though, we had a great product and the business started to scale quickly.

Why should more people be using RotaCloud?

Because it genuinely makes people’s lives easier. It eliminates the need for endless spreadsheets and rotas on scraps of paper, and it saves both SMEs and larger businesses significant amounts of time, money and stress. 

How much will it cost users - and why is it worth the investment?

There are no setup fees or charges to get you started, and no surprises or hidden costs. It’s one simple, monthly fee, and you can leave whenever you like. It’s just £10 a month per 10 employees.