Were you looking for Digital Steps and got redirected to the EnergySys site? Have you heard the names of both companies and you’re simply curious about the relationship between the two? Maybe you don’t care about either company, but you need to kill time and this blog is providing a momentary distraction?…..
For those looking at the evolution of small businesses I think the history is interesting, and potentially instructive, although I wouldn’t like to oversell the message on either of those counts.
We started as Digital Steps around the year 2000, and our original goal was to be an extension of the Sun Java Centers that existed in each of the major Sun Microsystems offices around the world. Together we could provide an enlarged pool of highly skilled and highly specialised individuals delivering architecture and java consulting services to industry. In addition, Digital Steps could develop software for customers, something that the Java Centers were reluctant to do at that time. This marriage of convenience never fully blossomed, but it did have considerable successes in the early years and resulted in our rapid and profitable growth. However, all good things come to an end.
As Sun began the introspective phase that was to result in the long period of restructuring that have characterised recent years, we found ourselves without our main partner and unable to adequately differentiate ourselves in the market. Being great at Java software development, even if we allow ourselves the luxury of designating ourselves thus, does not provide clarity in either target market or niche speciality. In truth, the business had really lost its reason to exist.
Notwithstanding this, during these years we had won and successfully executed a number of custom software projects for oil and gas clients (in production reporting and hydrocarbon allocation) and in professional regulation. We decided to build on this business, and we wanted to ensure that the market understood the new focus and priorities. We already had the EnergySys subsidiary, and we simply strengthened the branding around the web site (http://www.energysys.com:8080/) and ENERGYSYS product. We did the same for our NetRegulate brand and product for professional regulation (http://www.netregulate.com/).
In all of this, Digital Steps remains the parent company and we report on the group as a whole under its accounts. However, the brand itself is less important now, and we’ve chosen to deprecate it. What’s interesting is how hard this has been on an emotional level, as the team felt concerned that some of the original characteristics of the company would be lost. It’s clear, though, that our principles and values are unchanged, and our team remains committed to the production of brilliant software products for our customers.