Sydney MSP OBT has celebrated the 20th anniversary of its founding and revealed it is preparing up to a dozen new products.
Founder and managing director Shane Muller yesterday addressed staff, customers and friends of the company on a lavish yacht chartered to celebrate the occasion.
Muller recalled how the arrival of a Sinclair ZX81 in his home was the catalyst for his career, as he used the primitive PC to create a payroll application for his family’s business. OBT’s genesis came during his time at Professional Advantage, when he became frustrated at not being able to work remotely and so designed a business to make it possible.
The company’s early days saw Muller and collaborators create garage data centres – not much more than a collection of PCs, modems and powerboards. The MD recalled how one of the company’s first upgrades involved buying shelving for the PCs!
Muller also told of his ups and downs in business over 20 years. He recalled the year in which 90 percent of staff departed, and a two-month period during an economic downturn during which 40 percent of clients left.
Those tough times, he said, have made the business stronger.
He also attributed the company’s success to having a purpose. OBT supports three charities and Muller said he is unapologetic for sometimes being a few percent more expensive than rivals and happy to explain to customers why the company charges a little more.
Looking to the future, Muller said OBT is working on a dozen potential products, but singled out three as closest to launch.
One is a cross-cloud identity management tool that he said will tackle the issue of having personal data spread across multiple sites and services. Another will take OBT into the smart building and internet of things market.
The third was described as “AI-driven mental wellness apps”. CRN didn’t ask if that’s a business or consumer product, because by then the yacht was starting to rock!
The author was a guest of OBT.