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.

Our 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 is the Founder of RealFlair in 2000 which merged with Available 4 to become NEXTRA in 2014. John is passionate about designing software and technology that provides clients with genuinly innovative solutions to their business problems.John is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the business with a specific focus on operations and product development.


David Stickland

Commercial Director

David heads up all commercial development activities across the NEXTRA business. David is responsible for driving high level commercial relationships and development opportunities including strategic growth and targeted acquisitions. Enhanced product development and pricing is also at the heart of David’s strategy for commercially growing the business along with identifying new market opportunities, strategic partnerships and Investor relations.


Paul Dale

Accounts Director

With 20 years’ experience of selling and implementing Workforce Management Solutions, Paul now heads up our Account Management function. Paul is committed to understanding how the customer experience impacts all customers and improving the ways that we can work better together to enhance the customer journey. Adopting the attitude of ‘what can I do to make a difference’ is the approach that Paul takes in all situations and with open and honest communications, anything is possible.


Gemma Kendrick

Head of Projects and Implementation

Gemma joined the business in 2012 to work on our help desk, but has quickly risen to the role of heading up the entire implementation and project management team. Gemma is passionate about delivery of projects to clients on time and within budget. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of the product and how clients use it which is highly influential in the development process for updates to ensure that the product always fits the client's needs.


Jennifer Doel

Project Manager

Jennifer has been with NEXTRA for over 2 years having come from a dynamic service background, she has a deep understanding of the challenges multi-site businesses face with complex contracts and T&A rules. She is committed to providing an expertly high level of service, guiding customers through the challenging end-to-end process of upgrading business practices as well as ongoing support and collaboration.


Tim Ellis

Chief Technical Officer

Tim has been with the company since 2006 and it was his first job straight from University. He joined us as a junior developer and has since risen to the role of CTO. Tim is often described as being the other half of John's technical brain and is unique in his ability to be able to discuss complex technical concepts with clients and then to be able to translate it into the technical terminology used by the development team.


Rachel Barton

Senior Business Analyst

As the company's Senior Business Analyst, Rachel is involved in the documenting of complex T&A rules which the customer requires for payroll purposes. Rachel works alongside the customer to obtain this information, assist in the completion of scenarios and successfully implement complex rules. Rachel is part of the ISO 27001 & ISO 9001 team who successfully gained accreditation in March 2021 and is responsible for the day to day management of all ISO processes.



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

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.