We reach our 22nd birthday this week, and that’s clearly a cause for celebration, but looking back over just how much the company has changed, is it really true to say we are 22 years old?
Back in 1991 Datastart Wales started out in the seaside town of Tenby with a handful of staff and a dog. The system at that time was written for MS DOS and offered a simple solution for payroll and billing for recruitment agencies. It worked well, and word-of-mouth soon saw dozens of recruitment agencies selecting it as their system of choice. By 1997, the company went through a management buyout and rechristened itself ‘Merit Software’. A whole new company was created, but are we really in fact 26 years old?
By 2000, the company was given a new focus as the last customer was moved off the MS DOS system and onto Microsoft Windows. The company had a new premises in a new town and a whole new team structure as it grew. So are we really only 19 years old?
In 2007, Merit expanded its product range to service the fledgling ‘composite company’ market which then became the Umbrella Company market. By 2010 the system had moved much of its worker-facing elements online with the release of iMerit. The team had grown to around 30 staff by this time with a new management structure. Perhaps we should only claim to be 9 years old?
In 2016 Merit expanded its online team, brought in new directors and the company evolved again with Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings and the team reached 46 employees. Should we only be celebrating our 3rd birthday?
So, here we are in 2019 celebrating 22 years of operation. The products and company is nothing like the one we had back in 1997, but the people and systems behind it continue to grow and adapt.
When we walk through the office and hear discussions on things like AI integration, using machine learning and investigations into Edge computing to handle big data, we do wonder what the company will look like tomorrow!