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Laois businessman looking to bring jobs to his home county as his global IT business continues to grow

A Laois man who employs close to 100 people in his IT business Nostra, based in Dublin, is looking to create a number of jobs in his home county.

Kevin O’Loughlin, who is originally from Rosenallis, has plans to create 10 jobs in the new Webmill Digital Hub in Mountmellick as he seeks to expand the business he set up in 2007.

It has been some journey over that time – with the recession kicking in in March 2008 when it was, as Kevin says, “a daily grind to survive”. That lasted until the end of 2011.

Nostra oversees the IT responsibilities for companies in Ireland and across the world.

They now look after 250 Irish companies and are in 750 locations, 60 of them outside Ireland. They’re on course for a turnover of €12 million this year, up from €9.5 million in 2018 and €6 million in 2017.

They’ve clients in the manufacturing industries, aircraft leasing and numerous Credit Unions around the country. The Dawn Farm Food group, Boyle Sports and Image Magazine are among some of their clients.

It’s quite the success story for Kevin who set up the company with Senan Finucane, Gary Byrne and his brother Barry.

Over the last two years Kevin, who was a finalist in the hugely prestigious Ernst and Young Entrepreneur programme, has overseen two acquisitions and there’s more on track for the next year.

“We’re growing every month and we’re as focused now on growth as we have ever been,” says Kevin, whose father Tom was hugely well-known in Laois through his involvement in Laois GAA and in the meat industry.

One of the great challenges now is recruiting staff and a base in Mountmellick would be of huge value to the business.

“A good base in the midlands would give us easier access to Galway and Limerick,” explains Kevin. “95% of issues can be sorted remotely but we have engineers dotted everywhere and a four-hour promise to get to our clients if we have to.

“We are looking for applications. The belief is there are a lot people driving to Dublin that are suitable for these roles.

“Our staff retention is good and we have done well in recruitment but one of the challenges is getting new people.

“We want to open a remote office and attract staff from that area. Our family being from the area is important to us too.”

Kevin grew up in the family pub and farm in Rosenallis in the 1980s though Tom’s meat business brought them to Carlow and the family moved to live in Graiguecullen and he went to secondary school in Knockbeg College.

His first job was collecting glasses in the pub in Rosenallis; in the 1990s as a teenager during the school holidays he was measuring the fat on pigs in his father’s factory. Hard work and having a head for business were in his genes.

After the Leaving Cert he went to DCU to study Computer Applications but that course wasn’t for him and he dropped out and got a job with an IT company called Typetec.

He was a while there when he re-applied to go back to college. But he was offered a permanent position, a company and a laptop and he stayed.

The entrepreneurial streak came to the fore after a while and along with his work colleagues Finucane and Byrne, they went out on their own and brought a handful of staff with them to start their new company.

Things got off to a great start and though the years from 2008 to 2011 brought huge challenges and stresses, they got through to it and now are powering on.

“We’d like to think in the next 10 years we can grow to a substantial company.”

Nostra are currently recruiting for Support Engineers at various levels to be based in Laois, including a team lead as well as Level 1, 2 and 3 roles. 

To apply email careers@nostra.ie. 

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We transferred to Nostra for managing our network in October 2016 and immediately felt confident that our system would be brought up to the best possible standards of monitoring and maintenance.  We are happy that the latest in best practice guidelines are now in place and that our network is now on a fully stable footing.  Business continuity is obviously a key priority and they have put in place a robust system of replication and backups with a regular monitoring system.

The staff in Nostra know their IT and they have expertise in every aspect together with relationships with Microsoft and other key partners in the industry.  They manage everything IT for us apart from our core banking system and they have built a relationship with that provider also.

I am happy to recommend them as a strong network services provider

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“We have worked with Nostra as our Technology Partner since 2011. During that time we have moved our mail to Microsoft O365, upgraded our servers, and deployed Microsoft Virtualisation. In tandem with Nostra we have reviewed and upgraded our Business Continuity Plan and have put disaster recovery failover in place. All of these initiatives have been accomplished in a seamless, efficient, and hassle free manner with no down time to the company. Nostra always conduct due diligence before any move and come up with business driven and cost effective solutions. They are very adept at providing the latest software solutions and advice with a customer centric focus.”

Office Manager

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“Although Nostra have committed to 30 minute support, the support engineers are usually online and fixing any issue within 5 or 10 minutes and we’re generally back up and running within the 30 minutes. They provide an excellent service and more importantly leave me with more time to focus on my business.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Nostra to any company who wish to cut IT costs without jeopardizing any service levels.”

Managing Director

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“We chose Nostra as our IT provider because they understand our business and give a proactive approach to managing our IT. They provide the fastest response time from any IT company in our market but much more than this they advise us on keeping our systems stable and our costs down.

They engage with our other vendors to ensure that once we make a call to Nostra any IT worry will be resolved.

The efficient running of our technology systems is crucial to the smooth running of our business. They have become a key IT manager to our business. From analysing our systems they have saved us a lot of money, we run more systems from less machines and we do so in a stable fashion. Our employees are an integral part of our business and our employees choose Nostra Systems.

The service we receive from Nostra Systems is unlike that given to us by any previous provider.”

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