Two major awards won by local company

30th September 2002
from from Loch a' Tuath magazine

laptop hell

It has been a busy year for e-business company ReefNet. The company was established by Alex Tearse (Outend, Coll) and Anne Buchanan (Aignish, Point) in May 2001 after they were made redundant from local media company Eolas. Since then, ReefNet has gone from strength to strength, adding many new clients along the way.

The pair received recognition early in 2002 when they won the regional final of the Shell Livewire award, and went on to compete at national level in Edinburgh. More competition success followed in June when ReefNet scooped the Highlands and Islands regional prize in the Winners at the Web competition. This annual competition, run by Scottish Enterprise, aims to find and reward the country’s most dynamic and innovative e-businesses.

Anne’s reaction to the competition wins is positive, "To win not one, but two major awards in our first year of business has been a great sign that we must be doing something right. The process of entering the competitions and meeting other competitors has been very valuable to us, enabling us to assess where we are and focus on where we want to be. "

Alex isn’t keen to dwell on competition success, "It’s not all competitions you know, we have been doing some real work!" he insists.

Indeed they have, since May last year ReefNet have produced over 30 web sites for a wide range of customers. They recently finished a suite of 10 sites for the Western Isles Tourist Boards Visit Hebrides initiative (

This years Hebridean Celtic Festival web site, another ReefNet project, featured online ordering for the first time this year and helped to secure the festivals record number of bookings.

As well as working with local companies, ReefNet have been involved with many mainland based companies over the past year including recent work for London based training company Communicashone, and Nairn lighting designers i-Light Productions.

"A significant proportion of our work comes from mainland based companies" explains Alex, "and it is important to us to keep this trend going to try and bring money in from outwith the island, and to show people that you don’t have to be based in a big city to produce work of the highest quality."

ReefNet also provide e-business training and they advise on technology integration for a wide range of customers.

Alex lives in Outend, Coll with wife Rachel a practise nurse in Tarbert and near to completing her PhD with UHI.

"Living in Coll has many advantages", says Alex "here we’re near to family, we have great neighbours and beautiful scenery."

ReefNet currently work from an office in Anne’s house in Aignish but are looking for premises to allow them to expand.

Anne explains, "we’ve outgrown my house now, and need room to allow us to start thinking about taking somebody on. As out reputation spreads, the volume of work is steadily increasing, and it looks like we’ll be even busier this year than we were last year!"

To find out more about ReefNet, contact them on 01851 700080 or see their web site at


Shell LiveWireShell LiveWire winner: Western Isles

W@W Winner : Highlands and Islands

Shell LiveWire



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