While the rest of the world was witnessing the birth of some terrible music and sporting even more terrible haircuts, the 1980s also saw the birth of a new way of working, as business computing moved into the mainstream.
At that time, in a quiet corner of Kettering, Northamptonshire, an insurance broker (Colin Stanley) and a computer programmer from cereal giant Weetabix (Johnny Johnson) were busy building a business plan to capitalise on a growing need for business accounting software, and soon after, established Pegasus Software.
Formed in 1981, Pegasus Software quickly became one of the largest suppliers of accounting and business software in the UK, and by the mid-80s, was selling its core product, Single User, as well as Single User’s successor, Pegasus Senior (designed for larger organisations which required software for multiple users) through over 300 resellers.
In parallel with this success, our own technology was in the throes of its own mini revolution. Pagers, which until the mid-1980s were used as the main way of office-based staff contacting someone when out on the road, had been replaced by the infamous car phone / mobile phone not only helping to extend communications outside of the office environment, but also to build biceps for all those who used them!
By the early 1990s, our first Windows-based software, Opera, was launched, quickly becoming the company’s flagship product. Opera catapulted Pegasus’ growth to a level whereby it needed a new headquarters, which were purpose built in Orion Way, Kettering in 1995. It should be noted that larger offices were also apt at this time, as mobile computers weighing around 20lbs were starting to move into the mainstream, providing true mobile working capabilities only for those who were happy to sustain back injuries in their commitment to the cause!
This pace of growth propelled Pegasus’ profile to a point whereby in 2000 it merged with Systems Union, a global provider of business software. Then in 2006 Pegasus became part of Infor, the world’s third largest provider of enterprise applications and services, with over 70,000 customers in 164 countries. As part of Infor, Pegasus Software today continues to develop innovative software, and in November 2010, launched the third generation of its flagship solution, Opera 3. Testament to our success is that despite a backdrop of economic uncertainty, Pegasus is increasing revenues year on year through a commitment to utilising web technology to enhance its products, alongside a range of flexible deployment models. This commitment has been increasingly recognised through a number of accolades and awards achieved over the last few years, including a top rating in the Payroll World’s Software Satisfaction Survey, and winning Sift Media’s Software Satisfaction Awards in 2007, a double win in 2009 and 2011.
Since its inception in 1981, Pegasus Software’s solutions have supported a number of fast growing companies and iconic names such as Paul’s Boutique, Superdry, Caffe Nero, Mint Velvet and Rigby & Peller, as well as manufacturers of products ranging from olive oil, ice cream and cheese, to lighting and electronic components. Of the first customers who bought the accounting systems
back in the 1980s, many still use software from the company today.
Having first joined Pegasus Software in 1985, I am proud to be a part of an organisation with such passion, energy and commitment to continually evolve and improve.
In the last 30 years, technology has changed exponentially but our ethos remains consistent – to provide our customers with business software that helps them to run their businesses efficiently, profitably, and in the most flexible way possible. The next 30 years, as the last 30 have, will no doubt bring surprises and revolutions. However I believe that as web-based and mobile technology continues to gain traction, our 24/7 ‘always on’ culture will continue to grow, business and consumer technology lines will continue to blur, and self service applications will dominate.
It is hard to imagine future generations mocking the iPhone or iPad as we do the iconic car phone of the 1980s but who knows – the exciting thing about this industry is that the only constant is change – and rapid change at that.
Stuart Anderson, Pegasus Software
Director, Sales & Marketing