FutureScot, 28 April, 2016 2 - Page 8

8 FUTURESCOT THE CLOUD 28 April 2016 The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers website is delivered by Cortex from its offices in Edinburgh If you thought the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were scarily impressive, just wait until you meet the Edinburgh team who help bring them to the world Cortex is pioneering a new way of hosting enterprise websites wall from Seattle Seahawks American football star Russell Wilson (the firm was brought in to stop the Superbowl’s website from repeatedly falling over last year). BY KEVIN O’SULLIVAN IT’S ALSO in the same building as It devours data at such a rate that it has become affectionately known by those who work on it as ‘The Ripper’. It tears up gigabytes of information, shreds images and lines of code and deposits it back into a new environment, faster, leaner, meaner. Technically, it’s termed an ‘ingest tool’ but The Ripper sobriquet is much more fun: a bit like the global legion of clients Edinburgh-based firm Cortex works for, which includes the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, by Saban. When I catch up with Peter Proud, the firm’s founder and MD, he’s in good spirits. After 18 months of rigorous development, design, build and testing work, he now has a platform which he can sell to corporations with a complex, global bank of digital assets. It’s a cloud-based enterprise delivery system which allows them centralised control of their many marketing websites with ‘near-instant localisation’. The ingest tool is just part of that process, more of which later. His office is also something else. Located at Waverley Gate, on Princes Street, the sprawling, open-plan floor features cosy seating pods, a gigantic boardroom and a signed jersey on the Microsoft, a company Proud knows very well, having worked for the world’s third-largest company for 14 years. They are now in fact a client, with Cortex responsible for delivering the enterprise architecture for Microsoft’s global education website, with discussions underway to begin hosting more of the Seattle-based company’s web services. It’s not something I had expected, to say the least, that a small start-up with 14 staff (albeit with some considerable weight behind them; WPP Group, the world’s largest advertising company is the largest shareholder), would be able to control some of the digital footprint of a $340bn company. “This is part of the reason we came into this building, because it’s close to Microsoft – we’ve all got Microsoft badges so we can get in, and we can go and control their DNS. We can control all of Microsoft.com’s infrastructure. It’s probably a bit too much power, actually.” But it’s clear Cortex are a trusted entity: Proud digs out an old group photograph featuring him and Bill Gates. We are unfortunately not allowed to publish it (Microsoft is very protective of its founder, and the