Behind the Doors of a Liverpool Technology Studio

Ten Years of Creativity and Digital Development

August 2018, 10 years of Citrus Suite, what comes next? 

Guest blogpost by Kerri Chamberlain.

Starting out back in 2008 as a digital production company, Citrus Suite have transformed into an award-winning design team; creating websites, mobile apps, digital health solutions and cloud-based software. As they approach ten years as a creative technology studio I spoke to the CEO of Citrus Suite, Chris Morland. We looked back at how they established their business, their transition to digital health products and what the future holds including their work on cloud-based software systems for startups.

In the early days Chris and co-director Steve Donovan managed a start-up team of four, but how did that same small team grow to be a very successful Liverpool based technology company? When given the question, Chris stated that he believes their breakthrough came when they won their first contract, with Penguin Books in the US. This win came after going head-to-head with some of New York’s biggest digital agencies, “It positioned us really well, it opened doors to other clients further down the line, and meant that clients like BBC and Disney had a reference point when we started talking about work.”

Mobile Apps, Digital Health & Creative Opportunities

Early projects with Penguin, HarperCollins, and others gave Citrus an advantage, with companies in the health sector and startups gravitating to Citrus to build their apps. Chris was happy to speak on the matter “we started to get a reputation in Liverpool, London and beyond, as a company that deliver quality creative technology solutions, products with great UX and gamification. Entrepreneurs with a success story in another industry, who want to build a new business with a digital element, do their homework and are really keen to work with us. A lot of our work in 2018 is building software systems for startups”.   

Read about Citrus’ tried and tested innovation processes here.

Back in the first few years the company matured and their own innovations became more to the fore, big projects with Public Health England, Innovate Dementia and Disney followed, and funding from Creative England. Citrus products included an mHealth platform, an app for people with dementia and family fitness app. In the time I spent talking with Chris, I questioned if funding from Creative England and Innovate Dementia helped, Chris concluded that “the funding gave us time to position ourselves, building an impressive toolset of features that enabled us to target the health market”. This helped Citrus Suite become one of the top suppliers of digital health solutions.

Read about Citrus Suite’s recent digital health work here.

Websites and Software Systems

The team at Citrus use all experience gathered from working with some of the world’s biggest companies and apply it to each new project, this is what makes them a more rounded agency, with satisfied clients for their websites and software systems, including those of; ‘The Mind Map’, ‘The Extraordinary Club’, ‘LocumTap’, ‘BBC Nature’ and others. 

Well what are Citrus Suite working on now? Right now, the team are in the midst of creating an app, in the mobile health space, that’s set to release in 2019. With partner organisations in Ontario, Canada the product is a cognitive, nutrition and reminder app, targeted at those living with dementia, clinicians and carers. With exciting times ahead of the company and a CEO who just wants to keep on delivering, I asked Chris one last question regarding the company – what direction do you see Citrus Suite heading?

Cloud Software, Chatbots and Innovation

“We have big plans, really exciting stuff, but without giving away our secrets, it’s about continuing to learn from everything we have done, from apps to web, to enterprise software systems, managing development and working with clients to create world class software products. We’re organically reinvesting profits into our software framework so we can build creative technology that powers the next generation of healthcare and business applications. We’ve also got a cloud-based chatbot framework, pushing content and apps aimed at people with health issues due to launch later in 2018, our first contract for deployment of the technology with a global pharmaceutical company – we want to become a world leader in the mHealth field, and this is an amazing step on the journey.”

So happy birthday Citrus Suite, with ten years of great success already behind the team, I among others am most excited to see what the next ten may hold and if speaking to Chris is anything to go by, I believe it will exceed our expectations.

In Part 2 of this post I’ll look at some of Citrus’ work over the last decade.

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