Baker & Finnemore

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Baker & Finnemore's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Baker & Finnemore is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Amanda Giles, managing director
The VenueAware live
stadium dashboard
VenueAware is a market leader in facilities and resource
management systems. The success of the system has
been in its ability to adapt, allowing it to fit into different
and more niche markets with specific business demands. Most
recently, its focus has been on sport stadiums, with the ability
to provide solutions to the day-to-day challenges facing these
specialist venues. VenueAware’s innovative ways of working to
produce new software also mean parent company ATI gets a
real insight into its clients’ needs, while being able to perform in
a way usually reserved for much bigger companies – hence its
work with Emirates Stadium. What follows is a more thorough
account by ATI’s managing director, Amanda Giles.
Already well established in the US, VenueAware was founded in the UK in 2007
and has a strong reputation for delivering proven operational and resource
management systems. Still a growing company with bases in both Boston, USA
and Bromsgrove in the UK, our software and mobile applications have allowed
organisations on both sides of the Atlantic to optimise their operations, delivering
the best possible experience for their guests, casual workers and employees.
Our company is run by a small, closely knit team, the majority of whom worked
together in the City on early day trading systems. We are always looking to open
up new avenues and try new ways of working. Many of the team which now works
at VenueAware were also part of the team which facilitated the very first internet
FX trades. It is this diverse range of expertise and our ability to adapt which means
we can create the best solution for our clients’ needs. This,combined with our
»Managing director:
»Established in 2007
»Based in Bromsgrove,
Worcestershire with remote
»Services: Stadium
management software for
scheduling, incidents, work,
accreditation and inspections
»There is a client base of seven
in the UK and more than 20 in
the US
Highlighting best practice
domain expertise allows us to deliver
software to more niche sectors which
have struggled to find quality solutions
that fit their criteria. Our dedicated
support team ensures that the
common (and costly) implementation
roadblocks often associated with
rolling out a new system are avoided.
Working with Arsenal Football
VenueAware was an established
presence at Arsenal Football Club’s
Emirates Stadium when the club
found itself with a significant problem
around the operations and systems
which supported its management of
casual staff on event days. Looking
for a solution, it had been out to
tender, visited other stadiums and
come to the conclusion that a solution
which provided the functionality
they required using leading edge
technology did not exist.
It had become apparent there was
a large hole in terms of providing
solutions for the very specific
challenges facing larger venues,
particularly dealing with large numbers
of people in an environment as busy as
an event day. It is crucial that robust,
secure and transparent management
systems are in place for everyone’s
safety, but when Arsenal went looking
for that system, there simply were not
quality solutions out there.
So the team at Arsenal looked to
VenueAware, who already provided
trusted maintenance and incident
tracking across the venue on both event
and non-event days. They approached
us to see if we would be willing to
work collaboratively to produce a
management system that fitted thebrief.
It was a challenging brief, but we
relished the opportunity to develop
a new system. The software would
manage casual workers within the
venue, and due to the stadium’s
fixtures the deadline was set in stone
which meant we had 18 months to
build the system the club required
from the ground up.
A big challenge
We were under no illusions: this
was a big project. We are a small
company and have a product that
is well established, but to move into
new areas and to carry out greenfield
development with a very fixed go live
date in an environment as complex and
frenetic as a stadium on event day is
always likely to be tricky. But with that
said, it was also a fantastic challenge
and opportunity for VenueAware.
Arsenal Football Club’s
Emirates Stadium
It had become
apparent there
was a large
hole in terms
of providing
solutions for
the very
facing larger
Writing new, innovative software is
costly and writing business systems
is not a quick process. When large
companies need new software, they
go out to market and undergo a
procurement process, or they write it
in house. The same is true for large
software companies. They see a need
within the market so they set aside
the budget required and develop the
software themselves.
However, we are a small company
without the resources of our much
larger competitors, so we needed to
look at another way of working to
bring the product to market. Working
in collaboration with key clients such
as Arsenal provided the avenue we
needed to develop new, innovative
software by sharing the cost and risk
involved. It was agreed that Arsenal
Football Club would fund part of the
work developing the new software
and, if we hit the deadline, we would
be guaranteed our first customer.
The approach
Our team works with a select client
list, preferring to develop a strategic
working partnership rather than selling
in a completed product. We always
look to develop these key software
packages with clients which means, as
with all our clients, we could work on
the best solution for Arsenal’s needs.
By using agile development, starting
without a fully defined end product,
VenueAware focuses on a small but
highly skilled set of individuals. The team
has full stack development experience
and, by working from an initial set of
requirements, the product is developed
and refined by the clients on a regular
basis. The whole process means there
is a greater investment from both the
developers and our clients.
VenueAware’s innovative approach to
infrastructure also means we can provide
enterprise-level solutions with a much
smaller team than our competitors.
By finding the best class tools on the
market, investing heavily in automation
and best practice, the compact team
can provide an infrastructure which
bears a heavy level of scrutiny.
The outcome
VenueAware has found collaborative
working is not only mutually beneficial
with the cost and risk shared, but,
by working closely with a client, the
company also gains a real working
knowledge of the sector or business
the system is being designed for, and
the customer receives a solution that,
while generic, also fulfils all of their key
This collaboration meant we were able
to produce not only a product which
solved the challenges Arsenal faced,
but one that would provide a generic
framework for stadium venues. The
framework covers a stadium’s core needs
but could also be tailored to provide
custom solutions for individualvenues.
Since working with Arsenal Football
Club, the model has been extended, and
specific features developed for clients
including in all four major US sports
leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB & NHL) as well
as Manchester City Football Club.
approach to
technology also
means it can
solutions with a
much smaller
team than its
The VenueAware mobile

This article was sponsored by Baker & Finnemore. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy