Today marks the 10th anniversary since SLI Systems was incorporated. So we’re celebrating. We’re having parties, giving gifts to our staff and I though I would take a little time to reflect on the past decade.
In the beginning
SLI started from the ashes of NBCi. We had sold our search company, GloblaBrain to NBCi in 2000, only to find that it was closing down in about April of 2001. We saw then that there was an opportunity to use the GlobalBrain technology to improve site search, which at the time was either non existent, or extremely poor. So we formed SLI Systems, bought our technology back from NBC and started selling our software as a service site search, which we called Learning Search.
When you look back it is amazing how quickly a decade seems to have passed. We now have over 300 customers, and almost 500 sites that we run the search and/or navigation for. Our product suite has broadened and we have over 70 staff in 4 countries. We are growing as fast now as we ever have, with our last quarter being our best ever.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing. We started in the depths of the dot com crash. September 11 happened soon after the company formed. They were tough conditions under which to run a company. It meant we really appreciated any customers we were able to acquire and we did anything we could to keep them satisfied so we could keep them as a customer. This has helped form our culture of a fanatical focus on customer satisfaction which is now one of our core differentiators. I am constantly hearing from our customers that we are one of the best vendors they deal with.
In more recent times we have come through the global financial crisis strongly and, in the last nine months, survived the earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand. We are still unable to access our office in the middle of the city and the fate of our building is unknown. But we are working productively from temporary offices.
The knowledge that we have weathered these storms means that we are we are confident that we can survive anything that the future will throw at us.
Our secrets to success
- This sounds like business 101 – but our focus on our customers has been key. Ensuring that they get great service and value for money is core to what we do.
- Our willingness to change. We are constantly seeking to improve our product and the way we do everything in our business. It’s part of our name and part of our DNA.
- Our staff. We employ smart people. We stimulate them and ensure that they enjoy being part of the company. As a result we have a great team that is dedicated to our customers.
I’m very proud of what our team has achieved. We have huge opportunities ahead of us and I’m looking forward to the next 10 years.