American secret agents rely on computer systems developed and run in Stowmarket

The FBI centre in Quantico where Stowmarket-developed technology is used for computerised 'to do' li

The FBI centre in Quantico where Stowmarket-developed technology is used for computerised 'to do' lists. - Credit: Archant

American secret agents rely on computer systems developed and run in Stowmarket.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - which is comparable to MI5 in the United Kingdom - is the domestic intelligence and security service in the United States.

Halo ITSM provides computer software used to keep track of workload by creating 'tickets' - basically a computerised to-do list - for the agent's training school in Quantico, Virginia.

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But how did one of the most famous organisations in the world end up employing a firm based in a Suffolk town? Boss Tom Petley said: "They found us on the internet."

"The reach a software company has when you don't have to ship anything is crazy."


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It is just one of a growing list of clients for Halo which has now been in the town for 15 years.

The firm helps companies work more efficiently by helping them to log and manage enquiries and quote and bill their customers.

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In the past few years it has grown from a team of six to 27.

It is still rapidly expanding, eight people joined in the last year alone, and more are likely to join this year, according to Mr Petley.

The company is close to outgrowing its office in the centre of Stowmarket but is looking to remain in the same area.

Last year they opened an office in Silicon Valley, California and they also have an office in Melbourne, Australia.

This enables them to provide 24/7 troubleshooting support to the users of their products who are spread across the globe.

"We're quite simple in our view. We just want to be the best in our area of the market," added executive Mr Petley.

"We're never going to compete with the really expensive tools developed by the big companies and there are some very good cheap tools out there. We are mid-market and want to offer a lot of functionality for a good price."

Stowmarket may seem an unlikely location for the global HQ of a technology company, but Halo is happy in Suffolk.

Mr Petley said: "It works well, everyone is based around here. For our line of work it doesn't matter where you are based as long you've got an internet connection.

"In terms of recruitment, that is where it gets harder. But the benefit of being one of the only local tech companies is that if people don't want to travel to Cambridge or Martlesham they can work here."

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