Thursday, June 07, 2012

Inside CSI: 40 years in business - part one of three

Building a foundation for the future: 

CSI timeline

Many of the people here at CSI have had long tenures within the organization. Half of the current staff started here pre-1995, when we were transitioning from manufacturing control software to the call center. The younger people all have been here since 2005, creating their own tenured careers. We hire great people. They fit in, they excel, they stay. Originally a UNIX shop, we brought our manufacturing control software to Windows with Version 6. It was a big deal, as the user interface was overhauled to take advantage of the graphical capabilities.

“We actually were very ahead of our time: we had come up with a model to “rent” the software and make most of our revenues from customization. It was kind of a precursor to the "freemium" marketing model which so many technology companies use today, especially in the SaaS world,” said Rich Marcia.
“I can also remember our top sales guy walking out of a first sales calls with a check. These are such different times, 40 years later.”

Everyone was so terrified of the Year 2000 “problem”, except for our developers. They tackled the issue with swift and confident logic, making sure it was a non-issue for our JSM customers. Dan McGrail, now our Director of Product Development, even wrote 3 books on the subject. It was a challenge which the CSI team handled admirably.

We’ve seen a number of milestones and achievements over the forty years, in terms of major development efforts, like the initial creation of Virtual Observer (VO) in the call recording and quality monitoring space. We had largely been a custom programming consultancy and developers of “Job Shop Manager”, an MS-DOS based solution which enabled many of the smaller manufacturing job shops and defense suppliers, as well as injection molders, with a way to automate their billing & inventory processes. We did it with a low-overhead, nimble, “simple, effective and affordable” operating philosophy which established a formula for how we would disrupt the call center industry. Read Part Two of "Inside CSI: 40 years in business"
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