a few words about us

Welcome to NEXTRA, a business whose aim is to save you money by managing your most valuable and expensive asset: your Workforce.



Company History

NEXTRA was originally founded in November 2000 as RealFlair and is a UK-based developer of the NEXTRA software suite. The company was originally formed to create the Platform Bee application engine that all our solutions are based on. This technology allows us to develop solutions up to ten times faster than using conventional software coding whilst still maintaining excellent upgradability and security.

We recognised around 2004 that our technology was particularly suited to Human Resource Management due to the it's ability to model complex business and contractual rules whilst still maintaining a single code-base to make upgrades easy. With this decision in place, we won our first major clients in 2005 and built from there

In parallel to developing direct clients, we also started to work with other software developers that produced complimentary technologies and created interfaces into a number of market leading software vendors such as Available 4 and Advanced

With sucessful deployments to a number of joint clients, RealFlair merged with Available4 in 2012 to become NEXTRA and has grown since to provide more than 30,000 UK and European users with our solutions.

NEXTRA helps companies reduce staff costs by up to 27% through more accurate matching of staffing levels and work patterns to customer demand. This improves customer service and can result in better working patterns for staff.

work team

Michael Curran

Chief Executive Officer

Michael has a successful track record of building high quality, outsourced support services businesses to the public and private sector. From 2004 to 2009, he was an Executive Director and CEO of the Professional Services divisions of Supporta PLC, which included managing the information technology services, design and architecture, consulting engineering, document and technology data management services to public and commercial sectors. Michael played an integral part in the development of the Company from start-up in 2004 to a £60 million turnover through organic growth and acquisitions.

John Thornewill

Managing Director

John has been involved with technology development for over 30 years and has worked for a number of technology companies having created a successful software consultancy company publishing games and educational packages before the age of 23. John has been involved with the commercial elements of business and the development of products used across the public and private sector, having managed and run a number of successful companies. John's significant experience combined with his technical knowledge and business acumen has provided him with the ability that allowed him to design and create a unique Application Platform used within NEXTRA to meet market requirements.

David Stickland

Commercial Director

David Stickland is the Commercial Director at NEXTRA. He joined the Company in 2020, with a remit to develop NEXTRA’s presence in the UK and beyond. David has over 25 years’ experience in senior management positions within IT related industries. His all-round networking and communication skills have developed relationships that unequivocally spans the globe. Prior to life at NEXTRA, David graduated from university and pursued a career in Sales & Marketing, before specialising in IT Solutions, particularly hosting and infrastructure, where he has held senior board positions, both in the UK and the Isle Of Man. David is married with 3 children and when time permits, he enjoys cycling and running in the mountains close to his home in Glasgow.

Paul Dale

Accounts Director

Paul has been with NEXTRA (RealFlair) since 2004 and has managed a series of roles from Sales through to becoming our Services Director due to his unique series of experiences of working with a wide range of NEXTRA clients. He is both technically aware and also very much in tune with the requirements of our clients to bring a balance to the deployment of our solutions.

Investment Team

Our company grows every year and we are backed by some of the UK's most experienced investors and business leaders.

Ray Horney

Raymond Horney is an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Treasury China Trust Board which is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange and he is also Chairman of REO, formerly known as Jermyn Investment Properties PLC. REO is listed on the London Stock Exchange, Irish Stock Exchanges and in the Channel Islands.

Bob Holt OBE

Bob has a remarkable record of developing very successful, high quality support service businesses and has operated in the UK support services sector since 1981, initially in a financial capacity before moving into general management. He is Chairman and Chief Executive of Sureserve Group PLC, Chairman of Totally PLC, and is a director of a number of other businesses. He was awarded an OBE for charitable services in 2016

Eddie Caplin

Eddie Caplin has a history of leadership in fast growing services companies in outsourcing, medical and finance - all with a strong element of software development and IT application. His early career as an investment banker (with UBS and Kleinwort Benson) led to working with a Chase Manhattan company. Here he led development of applications for investment analysis and for integrating and interrogating large databases for major banks and investment companies worldwide. This was followed as Managing Director of Definitech, where Eddie created a nationwide network of medical examiners and associated software.

Neil Auty

Prior to NEXTRA, Neil’s career has been in operational management, responsible for large workforces; this experience enabled him to conceive the technology solution that resulted in NEXTRA's original company Available 4 Communications. A previous career spent in agricultural and food production sector provided in depth experiences of scheduling staff and crops in 24/7 settings demanded for perishable goods supplied to UK and European supermarkets..