bSOLVe celebrates 13 years [ITWeb]
(ITWeb Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) bSOLVe. Software + Services = Productivity.
August 2014 will see bSOLVe celebrate its 13th of year business. The founders reflect on the company's history:
Says Simon Hepburn: "In celebration of bSOLVe's 13 years in the industry, we wanted to share our journey as an ode to our loyal staff, partners and customers without which we could not have achieved what we have.
"Few would have guessed that 13 years ago the three students who decided to join forces and start an IT business which sold hardware, software and did custom software development would grow into one of South Africa's leading independent Microsoft Service Providers. The odds were stacked against us and many times we seriously considered whether we were doing the right thing. We saw many of our peers come and go, but we remained committed to bSOLVe and our clients."
Martin Hattingh recalls how the bSOLVe name came about: "In the beginning (true to the bSOLVe way of doing things) we wanted to come up with a unique name. After surprisingly short deliberation, bSOLVe was chosen as a constructed name, where the "b" represented business, the "e" e-commerce and the SOLV represented us solving problems for our business clients utilising e-commerce. With this inspired name bSOLVe was incorporated in July 2001 by the three founders who all continue to run the business to this day.
"Like any start-up we spent a number of years 'finding ourselves' and really just trying to survive, with us all being fresh out of Stellenbosch University with our selection of Economics, Finance and Business Strategy degrees. Although we had no money, we did have time and ideas and as far back as this we spoke about how IT was changing the landscape of how information would grow in value in business. At a stage we starting playing around with products named SharePoint Team Services and SharePoint Portal Server 2001. Our fate was sealed."
With the market and Microsoft alike struggling to fully understand and position SharePoint and related technologies it took a number of years before bSOLVe could rely on SharePoint as its bread and butter. Charles Ritchie recalls: "During this period our services encompassed everything from infrastructure services to custom development and we learnt a lot, mostly about what not to do, but also about how to really understand what businesses needed; and translating that down to the last line of code.
"After a few years we got to a point where we had grown the business relatively successfully but we weren't really exceptional in any one particular area. We all agreed that there was a tremendous opportunity in the market for SharePoint and related technologies and we decided to focus our efforts, since we saw great promise in what we could provide for our clients as the information economy evolved."
As the SharePoint industry started to take shape, Hepburn remembers some of the earlier service offerings. "We spent a lot of time innovating and trying to make SharePoint easy to understand and implement for our clients. Some of you may remember our famous packaged SharePoint To-Go offering for SMEs which got us many a foot in the door for the technology. We were also constantly working at better understanding how the technology could add real value to the businesses we were involved with. This was not always easy with a product and industry that was evolving very quickly, in fact at that point SharePoint was the fastest growing product to the $1 billion mark in Microsoft's history."
All three founders echo the same approach to focus, agreeing that "Even during volatile times we stayed focused on doing things we really believed in and never only on short term gains. We back what we believe in and we adapt to ensure we deliver only the best to our clients over the long term. We are proud to say that due to this steadfastness our first official client from 2001 is still with us to this day, which is a testament to our commitment to those we work with.
"Over the years, bSOLVe has grown in leaps and bounds from selling a few computers to clients to now delivering successful global Intranets that serve up to 55 000 people. We are in a market where there has been a lot of consolidation and change over the years, but at bSOLVe we pride ourselves on our ability to remain adaptable and innovative while delivering top quality services over the long term to our clients.
"With Microsoft's stated new focus of "At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world" bSOLVe is perfectly positioned to be a leading Microsoft partner of the future. We look forward to the next 13 years!"
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