Is an IRMS worth it?

AXLR8 provide special IRM systems for

  • Freedom of Information,
  • SARs (GDPR requests such as access or rectification) and
  • EIR (requests under Environmental Information Regulations)
  • Appeals
  • Complaints
  • Data Breaches
  • and many more

This article and accompanying spreadsheet explain how you can measure the difference a system makes. That means you can calculate how much it costs your business ever month that you do not have a system!

AI developments

AI developments

AI can help us with all sorts of work. We have been looking for about five years at how we could integrate the power of AI into AXLR8 product lines. Here are a few examples.

  • One simple success came from batch OCR reading of visiting cards brought back from a trade show or trip. It works really well with competing offers from MS, Amazon, Google and others. The offers are provided on a Freemium basis. Last time we checked you could use 1000 searches a month before hitting a paywall. Nowadays, however, more utility when entering data into your CRM comes from customer enquiry forms on your website or AXLR8 Import Admin for, e.g. your LinkedIn contacts.
  • The exploration of using AI to help with SAR redaction was mixed and we will come back to that in future. For now, however, I would describe the results as worthy of a Khaby Lame reactions TikTok video.
  • ATS (applicant tracking systems) seems a good area. Applying AI to recruitment strategies could really speed up onboarding staff for rapid deployments or growth. We are also looking at spotting issues with vetting and rights to work.
  • Optimising staff journeys and bookings for shifts in security, field marketing, hospitality and counter cover where we have large data sources to earn from is proving an interesting area of study.
  • We have seen some success with selecting funders but none more than an experienced commercial finance intermediary.
  • The next stage of our marketing functions would be if they autogenerated content and knew and could learn from e.g. campaign timing. Most of our clients need quality with low unsubscribe rates in their mailings so care would be needed. Can you spot one of our blogs that was co-written by ChatGPT?

We will see how it goes. If you feel an area of our products could be automated, please let us know.

Web CMS market share

Why is this important? It matters because using a more popular platform can provide access to more tools, skilled exponents, experience, and integrated plugins and functions.

AXLR8 have provided may web integrations for 20 years. We have moved from HTML through Dreamweaver into Joomla, Drupal and latterly WordPress. Likewise for e-commerce platforms and many other functions we have moved with the times (but staying a little behind to trade reliability and ecosystem for new whizzy shiny things. This has given us a “hinterland” and the experience and skills to deal with any integration whilst moving to the platforms as their popularity grows and wanes

Our latest web plugins (for example in Job advertising Boards as part of our ATS) are now all built around WordPress. This CMS has a dominant market share now. We recently were asked to help with a Drupal project and have some integrations with Joomla. I always perceived these CMS platforms as very good but lost in history. So what are the market shares in CMS and who is growing and falling?

The request to help a team plug our API into a new Drupal basee public dislosure log for FOI queries for a local authority yesterday sent me off researching market footprint and also cross checked against  this table for CMS usage. Both independent sources seem to confirm the dominance of WordPress.


This link shows WordPress with about two thirds of the market. The rest range down from about 5%. There were suprises for me and I consider myself quite plugged in to this market. For example, Ithought WordPress must be 80% but is falling (65.5% to 63.3% in the last year from March 2022 to March 2023). Wix, Squarespace and Joomla are growing slightly. Drupal and Shopify are falling. The latter really shocked me as I see it everywhere nowadays.


This reference has some interesting stats. For example, they estimate 34,896,678 live websites using WordPress. The tiny fall in WordPress website marketshare mentioned above may just be a momentary slowing of the overall growth reported from 55.3%-64.2% between 2011 and 2022.

Choosing WordPress

WordPress websites will continue to be the most common platform for AXLR8 to work with this year and next. However, like all giants, it has its critics – especially for security.  I think this reputation is largely down to three things.

  1. The popularity attracts hackers like it attracts users, developers, etc. to, say Microsoft desktop products and servers.
  2. Its users are notorious for setting insecure passwords. Please use a complex three word password over 12 characters including numbers, upper and lowercase and symbols.
  3. People do not invest time or money in updating the free plugins with new security patches. As an example, you can probably get domain registration, hosting and support for £30/year or less for a WordPress site. If your support company does the security updates, you may need to budget £50/month.

Be realistic about #2 and #3 above and you will have all the benefits of WordPress and peace of mind on the security front. Do not be taken in by developers offering proprietary solutions promising they are more secure.

If you need any smart data systems behind your Website site, please call AXLR8 on 01344 776500 to speak to one of our consultants.



AXLR8 Maintenance App

Check out this video showing how it works on the mobile app and also in HQ office where jobs are managed.

The AXLR8 Maintenance App is perfect for reporting safety problems or just logging items for repair in your school, hospital, hotel, stadium factory, plant, power station, refinery or any facility.

It works on an app and the fault reporting is as easy as See Snap Send. You notice a problem (broken window, slip hazard, etc.) take a photo and hit send.

Then the central system takes over and a manager can allocate someone to fix it, deal with subcontractors or allocate it to site staff, insurance claims, prevention, risk and accident register and photo evidence of completed work alongside the pictures in the original report.

Dayholi 360 degree 8k video live streaming

Dayholi 360 degree 8k video live streaming

Had the great pleasure to meet up with client of more than ten years, Fjolla Holzleithner at Jaks in Kensington yesterday for lunch.
Her team were over from Austria setting up the 360 degree Live stream 8k video feed and I was able to trial it myself. The detail is stunning and the applications are endless for brand marketing. You could see the cellars where your champagne comes from or visit the forest where your perfume started out in nature.
It could help with any number of other business goals. For example one of the demonstrations was of a large festival. I felt as though I was actually there. Imagine the applications in crowd steward safety training. I saw the live 8k streaming of ice hockey in Graz (Austria) in 360 degree surround vison and sound. What a tool for event directors who can be in several places in real time.
The Dayholi roadshow is in London till 23rd Feb if you can make it.

I know. 8K 360 deg video live streaming across Europe should be impossible. However, I saw it. I guess they have special pixies in their hardware.

Cyber Essential Plus 2023-4

AXLR8 are delighted to have achieved Cyber Essential Plus again this year. The standard has risen due to an increased international growth in cyber threats. So AXLR8 have also had to work even harder to meet the challenge.

Thanks once again to our team at Right Cue who have advised us and helped us raise our game and improve internal processes and systems to be better prepared.

Cyber Essentials Renewal for 2022-3

We have just passed our Cyber Essentials audit for this year. This year’s assessment was much tougher than last year but we were given notice about that by our assessor 12 months ago and have upgraded many of our resources to overtake the evolving threats.

AXLR8 Cyber Essentials 2022-3
AXLR8 Cyber Essentials 2022-3 certificate

Thanks as ever to the clear guidance and explanations from RightCue.

Next we have Pen Testing and following that in Late December, we start our Cyber Essentials Plus preparatory scans and physical audit. If you have not been through this process with your company, please think about it. The cyber threats are real and we highly recommend Cyber Essentials for cyber peace of mind and now use it for the more stringent Cyber Essentials Plus exercise each year.

Audit trail

If you need to know who did what and when on the AXLR8 system, you can refer to the comprehensive audit data that is recorded as your users work.

This article from our public sector website demonstrates an example from workflow in a business area with very strict compliance compliance requirements. There are examples from our finance and staffing clients, as you can imagine.

However, the monitoring is mostly used not for compliance or establishing who was responsible for a change or for “Big Brother” staff monitoring. It is mostly used on a day-to-day basis for training and occasionally for diagnostics.

Audit trail data is also used for KPIs examples we have put into AXLR8 Reports (also spreadsheets, pivot tables and Power BI models) recently, include:

  • recruitment applicant tracking progress (time in different job application stages from application to interview, to hiring, etc.
  • sales KPIs – client contact activity rates, follow ups, etc.

Please let us know if there are audit data you need and your AXLR8 consultant will assist you to find an existing report or create a new report using AXLR8 RB.

Start up companies using AXLR8

Start up companies using AXLR8

It is an old adage that more companies go bust coming out of recessions and depressions than during them. So now there are very competent managers who are starting out with their new businesses and using AXLR8 from the very beginning.

AXLR8 packages for startups

We have responded with a start up pricing package. It is summarised as: “Start at a low cost whilst you need to keep costs and risks down. Pay us more when you get richer”. So we are effectively investing in start ups. Obviously, some make it and some do not – for all sorts of reasons.

Many are staffing companies where their previous employers went bust. Most are successful. See this article. There are no surprises why some succeed and some fail – hard work and keeping lots of plates spinning.

We are just exploring and testing different offers customised for startups. It really started when we had to lend money to clients during the recessionary period in order to keep their systems going. The reason for this was that their services have not been required for two years! Thankfully, most of those have recovered and are paying us back as their shift numbers increase.

Others have come across from competitors who have been left with balance sheets tens of thousands underwater and in two cases a quarter of a million under. So make sure you check out the financials of any prospective supplier before gambling your business future on them!

Paxton Net2 Integration improvements coming up

With the arrival of the new football season and other stadium management challenges, we have a short window of dev time for major enhancements.

We will be using the new Paxton development and test kit we have purchased. This will speed the programming and testing cycles up enormously.

This is a mature integration. It has run at live high traffic staff check in locations for several years now. However, it needs to evolve with changing business and systems requirements. We have identified many areas for improvement.

We will be focussed on robustness, reliability, auto restart to heal problems caused by onsite systems maintenance, power failures, etc. Also, we are improving the alerts system telling us when something has gone wrong at a client site.

We have many new ideas including utilities to match up card data which is sometimes not the same in AXLR8 as in Paxton – a common problem we know happens in other stadium systems. So that will be a great step forward. A recent site visit identified 12 ideas that would make the system better for the end user both during the high pressure match day and also in pre- and post-match administration.

Thanks to our clients for their patience and diligent feedback and understanding.

Thanks also to our great partners like Computer Care, FSL and Paxton. Without your help and specialist expertise, this would have been tough. We really appreciate the open discussions and constant attention to detail and cooperative, problem solving approach.

Please read more on our specialist staffing website.