Jonathan Craton, a software engineer, says telecoms technology has become so complex that many specialist engineers are struggling to keep up. ‘You need a PhD just to install the technology,’ he says. Craton founded Cramer Systems in 1996 to demystify the latest technology. It has built its success on making it as easy as possible to use for engineers. The Bath company has won contracts with the likes of British Telecommunications and Cegetel, the French mobile-phone operator. It claims to spend 25% of revenue on research and development to keep ahead of rivals. Sales grew 169% a year from £321,000 in 1997 to £6.2m in 2000. Like many in its sector, Cramer Systems has had to cut staff – from 245 early this year to under 200 in September. But it expects to double sales this year and has raised £17m of venture capital from Broadview.
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