Meet our Founder – Richard Willis

26 April, 2022

Meet our Founder – Richard Willis

Richard Willis is the Founder and Chairman of SalamanderSoft and started the company on his own in 2007 after a successful career as a software developer.

Today, the rapidly growing team now supports almost 4,000 schools in 27 countries, while our solutions manage 2.8 million accounts daily.

We caught up with Richard to find out more about what has driven him over the last 15 years.

Watch the full interview here.

What led you to start SalamanderSoft in 2007?

Originally, I was a freelance programmer and I ended up doing a contract for Nottingham City Council for the local education authority. I was working on moving data from their school management systems into the central LEA database.

When that contract came to a close, a group of us decided to set up a company. After a couple of iterations of this, it didn’t quite work out.  

At that point, I’d got quite a lot of experience in the education sector and it’s a great sector to work in, so I thought “Right, let’s try this on my own”.

And it worked!

I did everything on my own for the first five or six years and then started expanding the team as the workload just got too much. 

Why are you passionate about working in the education sector? 

I’m passionate about working in education for two reasons. 

It’s a worthwhile industry, where we can really make a difference in the way schools are run. 

Secondly, working with schools and the people in schools is really rewarding – they really appreciate what you do.

Has the recent rise in the demand for online learning impacted the company?

The growth of the business in the last few years has been quite amazing. 

It’s great to see how the team has grown, allowing us to serve many more customers and give them great support. 

What’s next for SalamanderSoft? 

One of our values is excellence. And, from the very start we’ve always tried to give the customer not only what they want, but also exceed their expectations.  

Now the team is bigger and as our customer base grows, it’s still vitally important to instil this in our culture.  

As far as I’m concerned, the future for SalamanderSoft is to keep giving a great service to our customers and help them in the day-to-day running of their schools.

Talk to a member of our team today to find out how we can support your school or trust with our Salamander Integration Suite that automatically synchronises user accounts, groups, permissions and more from your School Management Information System, allowing teachers and students to instantly access the tools they need to teach and learn.

Jon Atkinson

Written by Jon Atkinson

Managing Director

Jon joined SalamanderSoft in November 2013 and heads the teams that build, deliver and supports the company's products and strives to ensure the highest customer satisfaction in everything that the company does. Having spent almost 15 years supporting the needs of Schools and other academic establishments, Jon brings a broad range of technical experience and passion to the role.

Outside of work, Jon volunteers with the Scout Association.

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