Solving challenges with technology.
“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.” — John Lennon
After graduating from college, Chris Kelly started working in the utility industry doing safety and compliance audits in the field — carrying a clipboard with paper maps, handwriting information —realizing there had to be a better way. So he created a database application and began entering information on a laptop (and backing it up on a floppy disc!). And though he quickly handed the programming off to far more qualified people, that first solution was the genesis of what is now Clearion: solving work environment challenges with proven technology.
A killer combination.
Chris met up with Mano Sadeh and Lianne Stewart when all three began working at a software startup that provided geospatial software for small-to-mid-size electric utilities. Together, they were a strong force of strategy, business development, product development, commercialization, and project management. And each was committed to doing what’s right for every customer.
Designing the culture of a customer-centric company.
What’s different about Clearion? We, the founders, attribute a number of factors to our success. In 2007, we started Clearion to concentrate on what we and many future customers saw as an unmet need: technology to address utility vegetation management challenges with a customer-centric culture backing it. From Chris’ unfinished attic, we began building field planning applications, mobile applications, asset mapping workflows, and software platforms that were broadly applicable beyond vegetation management. And we began attracting customers — electric utilities of all sizes, telcos, and contractors — many of whom remain with us nearly a decade later.
We started this business with a strong appreciation for how complex utility-vegetation management really is.
And we coupled that knowledge with the software engineering chops (and personal passion) to build a robust platform that truly simplifies life for our customers.
We’re forever grateful for our first customers.
Once we got our first few customers online, interest (and sales) began accelerating. But each new customer was looking to address different parts of their vegetation management business, and each customer had different ways of managing their work and different visions for optimizing their programs. This presented a major challenge, but it also pushed us to reach higher and led Clearion to our next phase.
We decided early on to standardize/productize our technology.
While our backgrounds were different, we all shared an understanding of the criticality and rarity of a design philosophy to build products:
- That are smart
- That are flexible
- Once and build them right
From early mobile planning tools and desktop work management solutions, Clearion has leveraged a common foundation in order to continuously improve and expand our software to be more powerful, easier to configure, and faster to deploy than other solutions.
We were smart enough to build on the Esri platform.
We had a solid background with Esri, but even with that history, we didn’t fully understand what a wise decision that was. As the Esri platform has matured, it has allowed us to accelerate our suite of applications with web portals, dashboards, and cross-platform mobile applications. It’s given us, and you, a new tier of people interacting with data and capabilities for wider, more rapid adoption. We’ve addressed the needs of stakeholders outside of your department or even your company – including external contractors and the general public – with open platforms.
We understood that automation at crew level was not just possible, but necessary.
By embracing crew technology, Clearion opened up a big user base and created opportunities for automation. When we started, the conventional wisdom said front-line field crews would never understand or accept software. By working with innovators and visionaries (and putting our shoulders behind the change), we have been at the forefront of a transformation that says it’s not only possible but the smartest way to do business.
We were introduced to Lewis Tree Service.
Many thanks to our first utility transmission customer (who was rolling out crew automation) for introducing us to Tom Rogers, the President of Lewis, who has a strong vision in technology. The rest is history. Clearion was acquired in 2012 and Lewis continues to invest heavily in our success. Today, Lewis Tree Service and Clearion remain independent sister companies with common missions and values. While we don’t share all customers, we hit the ground running on those we do!
The Clearion story is a story of fate.
Clearion is the perfect blend of the right founders meeting one another, attracting the right customers, making the right decisions, and finding the right home with Lewis. But the story doesn’t end there. Today, Clearion is an advanced and influential technology company at the center of a rapidly evolving business environment. We remain committed to innovation and the continued success of you, our customers.
It’s easier than ever to partner with Clearion while achieving unparalleled results. That’s why we employ the tagline: Simply transformational.
We look forward to writing the next chapters of our history with you.