Meet our Co-Founders

Posted by Clare Levy on 13-May-2019 10:00:00

Dentally was co-founded by Nick Davies and James Harker.   We took five minutes away from the busy world of dental software to find out more about how Dentally came about and what we would find them doing outside of the business...

James and NickLet's chat

Full Name: James Harker

Full Title: CTO

Describe your role...My role is focused on technology and customer support.  Ensuring our customers have a secure cloud-based product that is easy to use and saves them time through improved functionality and engineering new innovations.

Full Name: Nick Davies

Full Title: CEO

Describe you role...James and I obviously work very closely to ensure we are offering the best possible product and service to our customers.  Day-to-day I am always looking at building the business, the brand and growing Dentally as not only a company but also as a product.  Engaging customers in what we do and looking after our growing team.

So James tell us how you met and what led you to start Dentally?

We met at university. We were both studying Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College . After meeting we initially set up a IT support company for small businesses, we then added in website development.  I have always been surrounded by dental practitioners, so I could see from my family’s dental practice and other friends in dentistry how frustrated they were with the systems they used to run and manage their dental practices.   We also had a number of clients in our IT support business that were dental practices, which also gave us an insight into the issues they faced.  So, conversations with Nick, led to us looking at whether we could move away from web development and start building a software app to make things easier for dentists.

We started Dentally because we wanted to improve things for dentists by giving them a better choice of software - our mission hasn’t changed over the years and we are still passionate about what we do.

Have there been some key milestones in setting up Dentally? 

Nick explains...I think getting our first dental practice up and running and integrating their NHS work successfully in 2014 after 18 months of developing the software was a crucial moment.  It validated all the work we have put in to Dentally up to this point.  When we then reached 50-60 customers (about 12 months later) we had a better understanding of what we needed to do to provide a innovative yet user friendly practice management system - and based on everything we learnt we completely overhauled and redeveloped the initial build to ensure an easy to user interface.  We were very happy with this and over the last few years have continued to evolve the software based on the feedback we have received to produce something that anyone can pick up and use.  Today, we have over 5,000 users and we are still are growing - and importantly our ethos remains the same as it did when we first began!

James adds..another key moment for me was a few years after we started, I really started to appreciate the size and scale of what we were had set out to achieve.  Importantly it was also the realisation that no two dentists are the same, what could work for one, may not work for another practitioner. 

So the ethos behind Dentally hasn't changed but the market has? 

James; We started Dentally because we wanted to improve patient management for dentists by giving them a better choice in software - that remains the same. What has changed is how we go about it.

James continues...The dental software market has become even more competitive. Existing software providers are struggling to innovate their legacy platforms and so have been reducing their prices to try and combat this. On the whole the dental practices seem to be spending more and more of their time on compliance and “paperwork”.

So Dentally is a fully remote team, does that enable you to have more flexibility as a business? 

Nick; Yes absolutely, we are based all over the UK so our reach is fantastic.  We have enabled our team to work remotely and broken ourselves out of the traditional company mould of all being sat in a office.  We have the found the team are more motivated, more creative and can provide a better personal service to our clients.  We have enabled the team to work this way by really taking advantage of some of the exciting new cloud-based software platforms that are out there in the market.  Our software is reflected in this mode of working, we allow dentists to change the way they work too - we offer a better choice of software.

So finally what would we find you doing outside of Dentally?

Nick:  Cycling!

James: Cycling and house renovations!

And just for fun, tell us a random fact...

Nick:  An A380 aeroplane burns over 1.4 tonnes of fuel to get from the gate to the end of the runway at Heathrow.

James: I used to play roller hockey for the Welsh national team.

To ask James and Nick a question, simply email hello@dentally.co

Topics: Culture, Dentally