• Power to the people

    Sally Croft

    When we plug in an appliance or flick a light switch, we take it for granted that electricity will flow safely and reliably. Industry and businesses, too, expect power to be available on demand. Yet the high-voltage electric power transmission network across Great Britain, owned and operated by National Grid plc, is today an ageing system. Computational models to optimise its efficiency are becoming increasingly important. OCC is working with National Grid to provide the innovative software solutions its operators[...]

  • React JS on the hack day

    Alex Bokii

    Last month we had our Innovation Delivery hack day where the whole team had fun developing small projects outside of their usual everyday work. For our project we wanted to explore React JS, in particular creating a React JS table component and open-sourcing it. You can see the results here. We have recently started using React JS at Oxford Computer Consultants (OCC) for a major redevelopment of our core social care finance product – called ContrOCC – that allows local[...]

  • Embedding UX into software development

    Mariana Morris

    Last Wednesday, Reynold, our projects director, and I gave a talk at ACCU Oxford. We shared practical UX techniques to embed UX in development cycles and talked about the importance of a good user experience in tech. Abstract Good user experience is essential to the success of your product, it creates a competitive advantage and saves you money by reducing wasted development time. But how do you know that what you develop are the features that users will care about?[...]

  • What the design team is working on

    Mariana Morris

    The design team at OCC has been busy with some really interesting work. In fact, we’ve been so busy that we’re recruiting. We are a team of user experience designers and front-end developers. What excite us are projects that make positive contribution to the world. We love working with complex projects in terms of data, user engagement and user interactions. Our aim is to create user experiences that delight users and make our clients, developers and designers proud. Here are[...]

  • The process of creating our design principles

    Mariana Morris

    I’m very pleased to publish our first version of the OCC’s design principles. This is a set of values and principles that guides our design approach, processes, and decisions for every project. Coming up with these principles was a collaborative process. I wanted these design principles to be something that we built together and that captured what we at OCC believed in. The applications we design are complex, in terms of data and interactions so working as a team was[...]

  • Going for gold

    Mike Buckle

    In sports like running, athletes strive to complete the fastest lap in the hope that they can win Olympic gold. At Oxford Computer Consultants, high performance is just as important. In computing, as in running, high performance is about using the available resources to achieve a specific goal. Computing performance is often measured by the time it takes to make complex calculations or process large amounts of data. Software performance can be improved by scaling up and scaling out. Scaling[...]

  • A question of sport

    Mike Buckle

    How quickly do you need to find out what the legacy of the London Olympics is? Answer: very quickly. Sport England is a non-departmental public body answerable to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and funded by central government and the National Lottery. Each year, it surveys the population to collect data on attitudes to sport, including what sports are played, who plays them, where and how often. In 2010, Sport England refreshed its questionnaire and ended up with[...]

  • The night shift

    Mike Buckle

    Performance may seem like an abstract concept until it involves the care of some of society’s most vulnerable people. ContrOCC is OCC’s finance management software. It is used by about 50 local councils, has more than 1,000,000 lines of code and took over 10 years to build. The software is used by local council social care finance teams to manage contracts and budgets, make payments to suppliers and collect contributions from service users. ContrOCC payment calculations are complex. As the[...]

  • OCC at UX in the City

    Matthew Standage

    Last week Oxford welcomed its first conference dedicated to UX – UX in the City. A collaboration between the organisers of UX Cambridge and UX Scotland, and the organisers of UX Oxford the conference promised to be two days of learning and networking. We sponsored the event and our Head of Design Mariana Morris (@marianamota) was part of the team from UX Oxford who helped to put together the event. Mariana, Ben and I went to promote user experience and[...]

  • Upcoming design conferences we are attending

    Matthew Standage

    As a design team we love attending industry events. We are fortunate that Oxford has a number of great events on our doorstep for user experience designers and front-end developers. Here is our roundup of events we are attending over the next few months. Smashing Conference Oxford Smashing Conference is back for its third year in Oxford Town Hall. The main conference, spread over two days, is set to be a thought provoking mixture of design and front-end development. Talk[...]

  • Designed by design

    Mike Buckle

    Imagine the scene: two people are seated at a table in the conference room of a council office or hospital. One wears a microphone and faces a camera. The camera records everything that is said or done as a script leads the way through an app on a tablet. You are not on the set of Mission Impossible. You are a user experience (UX) designer at OCC, exploring how users interact with a prototype application or their existing system. The[...]

  • Oxford Computer Consultants and Infoshare selected to help detect fraud in Warwickshire

    Mike Buckle

    Warwickshire Counter Fraud Partnership select Oxford Computer Consultants (OCC) and Infoshare Limited to provide Data Matching Software for Fraud Prevention Warwick January 2016:  Following a competitive tender, Warwickshire Counter Fraud Partnership WCFP are delighted to announce the award of the contract for Data Matching Software for Fraud Prevention jointly to Oxford Computer Consultants (OCC) and Infoshare as part of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) counter fraud initiative. By bringing together and matching a number of key datasets[...]

  • Walk for Parkinson’s – Oxford

    Laura Walton

    Oxford Computer Consultants has long links to Parkinson’s research, being involved with a number of EU projects including Parreha, ParkService, PERFORM, and CuPiD. A group of OCC employees and their families decided to take part in this year’s Oxford Walk for Parkinson’s on Sunday 25th October. On a sunny Sunday morning, Rosalind Ravelli, Laura Walton, John and Marie Boyle, and Reynold and Liz Greenlaw all walked the 4 mile course in under 2 hours. James Greig, Andy Muddiman, Julie Mabbett[...]

  • The security standards you need to consider when handling sensitive data

    Damian Payne

    At OCC we have been building and hosting software that deals with sensitive public sector data for over a decade. But where do you start if you are embarking on a project/business that has sensitive data at its heart? ISO 27001 The basic standard you need to look at for a company in this sector is ISO 27001:2013. You can purchase a copy of this standard online. If you go along this path the one thing I will say is[...]