Celebrating 40 Years in Business
Providing IT services to all types of industries since 1980
Over the last 40 years we've seen a lot (and fixed a lot)! From Typewriters to AI Powered Digital Assistants, at some point they've all been in pieces on one of our desks. We've compiled a list of some key moments during our time in business so far...
7 Feb 1980
Following on from a successful sales career with Olivetti, Peter and Jeannette Sutton strike out on their own to offer Business and Accounting Solutions to local and small to medium Businesses. The same small to medium businesses remain our primary focus after 40 years.
7 Feb 1980
Olivetti Main Dealers
SEBS become Olivetti main dealers, offering VRC’s (Visible Record Computers) programmed by magnetic card or mini disk (8k) for accounting applications. We also sold a small electro-mechanical accounting machine, the Olivetti A4 to vertical markets to including laundries and wholesale fruit and veg merchants (becoming the UK’s largest resellers of the machine).
Olivetti introduced the first IBM compatible desk top PC, the M24, with an Intel 8086 fast 8.0 MHz processor running MS-DOS. The first step towards todays main PC skills of Wordprocessing and Spreadsheets (Lotus).
A New home
We moved to new larger premises, and are still here! Focusing on selling, installing and supporting Multisoft Accounting network systems to the SME market. We became one of Multisofts largest dealers by the late 80's !
Growing our team
SEBS continued to grow our user base and established SEBS as one of the leading suppliers of network accounting systems in the South East. We increased our support team due to demand and provided remote support via our newly established help desk.
Windows 3.1 Launched
Whilst not offically an operating system but just a Graphical Interface running on top of DOS, Windows 3.x needed a minimum of 1 MB of RAM and 8 MB of drive space. Very different from todays minimum specifications required! It also offered multitasking although how good this was depended on how much RAM you had.
The following years saw growth in the Multisoft market with the introduction of SCO Unix and Netware versions and Streamlining Multiuser accounting using Serial Terminals.
Windows 95 is launched, bringing us the Start Menu, Multimedia skills, Internet Explorer, long file names and the instantly recognisable startup chime, which was actually composed on a Mac!
The Millennium bug
Y2K saw a lot of firmware and software updates to ensure all systems could cope with a 4 digit year to prevent any confusion between 1900 and 2000 dates and also recognised 2000 as a leap year. No meltdowns or end of the digital world occurred!!
Windows XP Released
Microsoft Windows XP was the first mainstream business and consumer operating system released by Microsoft. It will be remembered as one of Microsoft’s most successful operating systems, living well beyond the intended ten year lifecycle.
IBM / Lenovo Partnership
After many years of offering our own in house (Ocean) PC's. The time was right to add some big brand names to our hardware portfolio. We successfully partnered with IBM and started to resell their product range. Today this range is sold under the Lenovo name.
With businesses always looking to cut costs and increase efficiencies, Voice over IP was the lastest emerging market. We moved our own in-house phone system to VOIP and started making calls over the internet. We partnered with 3CX, who at the time were just a startup company, but have since become a leading VoIP PBX platform and remains our preferred platform.
Having witnessed a significant increase in Virus and Malware activity, we choose to partner with Panda Security to enable us to offer best in breed protection across our client base. Intelligent zero day protection at it best!!
Before Cloud was a thing
Identifying a need for true Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, we developed our own in-house Onestore Backup solution. We were probably the first in the UK to offer Small to Medium Businesses a cost effective option of remote backup, utilising their internet connection to copy all the data changes to an offsite location removing the need for daily tape swaps. Of course, today we know this as Cloud Backup.
Windows 7 Launched
Windows 7 had sold more than 100 million copies in its first six months, which made it Microsoft's fastest-selling operating system. A few months later it became the fastest selling Operating System ever, at 7 copies sold per second.
Microsoft ended support for their Small Business Server product. This meant the loss of a low cost email server for small businesses. Again recognising the need for SME cost effective and tailored solutions, we developed our own hosted exchange platform allowing clients to subscribe for a low monthly cost. Although there are now many alternatives available this remains one of our flagship products with a better uptime than some very major competitors!
Windows 10 Launched
Breaking away from the traditional new version of Windows every few years, Windows 10 instead gets two major updates a year. Windows 10 brought back the Start Menu which disappeared in Windows 8, its own voice assistant, Biometric login, Virtual Desktops and a whole raft of improvements under the hood.
Becoming an ISP
We found ourselves frequently dealing with issues with third party internet and telephone line providers. Rather than deal with 3rd parties, we decided to offer our customers a better and more reliable service and we became an ISP providing our own internet connections and telephone lines.
Change of Management
After a long and successful career, Peter Sutton retired from running SEBS. The mantle was taken up in-house by the existing long serving staff. For our clients this was transparent and simply business as usual.
Over the past 40 years there have been immense changes in all aspects of technology and SEBS have been at the forefront of it all.
What the next 40 years will bring, we can only imagine, but we look forward to the challenges it will bring and welcome you on the journey with us.