Making it Work

Large companies able to power ahead with Hanley Energy’s end-to-end solutions

The Co Meath-based business has scaled up from a two-person company in 2009 to a global team of 650, and aims to reach €180 million in revenue this year

Dennis Nordon, co-founder of Hanley Energy: business was started in 2009 and has grown to a team of 650 globally, with offices in the US, Australia, Germany, Sweden and South Africa. Picture: Keith Arkins

Hanley Energy is a Stamullen, Co Meath, business that designs bespoke solutions to ensure power availability for large-scale complex operations such as data centres. This involves both functional hardware and the software required to manage and maintain oversight of power usage and availability.

The business was started by Dennis Nordon and Clive Gilmore in 2009 and has grown to a team of 650 globally, with offices in the US, Australia, Germany, Sweden and South Africa.

“The customer can see, right down to millisecond resolution, what is going on,” Nordon told the Business Post.

“Now, rather than just controlling the power, we’re providing the equipment to take power in from the grid and distribute it throughout the building. That’s an end-to-end power path.”

Nordon worked with Gilmore prior to starting the business, and it was while building this professional relationship that they recognised the opportunity with power management for data centres.

“Back in the late 1990s there were a lot of buildings built with high power consumption that were affectionately known as web farms. They were the forerunners of data centres,” Nordon said.

“From around 2001 onwards, a lot of that space was left vacant following the dotcom bust, but it started getting bought up by companies like Amazon who needed that space. Google were coming in, then Microsoft were looking at spaces. We could see what was happening from inception because we’d seen it previously.”

The original idea was for it to be a spin-out from Hanley Group, hence the name, but then the 2008 recession happened and circumstances changed. Nordon and Gilmore spun out entirely to form their own wholly owned business.

The company has been supported by Enterprise Ireland for over a decade.

“They’ve been fantastic. When we met Enterprise Ireland in 2012, we were doing well. I told them that I didn’t want any money, that I needed them to show us how to scale our business. There were only three of us in the company at the time,” Nordon said.

“I can remember Sarita Johnson, the lady that was dealing with us, telling me it was bizarre because we were the first client company she ever had that told her it didn’t want money.”

Enterprise Ireland has helped the company grow its premises and staff along the journey to international scaling.

“We’ve just gone from strength to strength since then. We never put a cap on what we can do. Myself and Clive have already learned how not to run a business from our previous experiences, so we know the environment we want to create,” Nordon said.

“We’re facilitators. We provide the funding and encouragement needed to wrap around a good idea. I’ve always believed that I should surround myself with people that are younger and smarter and give them the space to be the best they can be. That approach has helped our growth. In 2012 we were a €3 million revenue company; this year we have aspirations to get to €180 million.”