1E provides software solutions to large organisations and turns over around £15m, with a staff of 118 people. “There are many more large companies in the US,” he explains. “But generally US companies take on technology innovation in a much more positive way. They tend to be further ahead in terms of innovation. It’s just been easier to sell into the US.”
Karayi is seeing a change in the UK but notes that most businesses would still prefer to do things in-house. “In Britain, with large organisations you get the argument that ‘we can write this ourselves’ and you’re thinking ‘you’re actually a bank or telecom company or whatever else – that’s your core business’. In the States, most businesses want to be as agile as possible and want to focus instead on their core business.”
When it comes to the environment, Karayi likewise says UK businesses are more apathetic compared with their American counterparts. 1E wrote its first energy reduction solution eight years ago and its popularity has skyrocketed in the last few years. However, Karayi says the mentality of UK companies is that they expect regulation will eventually force them to become more green-focused. In the US, corporates are driving the agenda because they can see the bottom line-benefits.