We’re pleased to let you know that August 2019 marks our 40th anniversary. In celebration, here’s a detailed look at our long and proud history:
Early Beginnings: Minicom Systems Ltd.
When we started out in 1979, we were not known as Ibcos. Instead, we were a company called Minicom Systems Ltd. – or MSL. As MSL, we were providing bespoke software solutions to customers from a wide variety of seemingly unrelated industries, including an agricultural dealership called Stanley Pond (known as C&O Tractors today).
Thanks to the success of Stanley Pond, it became clear that there was a need for our software solutions in the agricultural dealership market. So, by 1983, we were able to sign on 30 dealers. We were a nine-person team by that point.
Rivalries & the True Birth of Ibcos
By mid-80s, we became engaged in a sales war with PK Computers, our biggest competitor. Eventually, we stopped competing and joined forces to create Ibcos. After that, we continued to sell MSL and PK Computers’ individual software products, ADS and AGM, separately – for a time.
In 1990, we started developing Gold – an all-in-one business management software for dealers – using MSL’s ADS software as the foundation.
It didn’t take long for a new competitor in the agricultural dealership software market to emerge – Unicorn. Unlike PK Computers, Unicorn built its competing system by stealing our code for ADS. This led to a court case, which we won in 1994.
Following the lawsuit, we absorbed Unicorn, and by 1997, integrated its highly robust Wholegoods module with Gold, which is still in use today.
We expanded to other dealership industries as well, including groundcare, with the addition of Godfrey’s in 1986, and construction, with the addition of Kellands (Plant Sales) Ltd. in 1998. In 1996, we expanded beyond the boundaries of the UK by signing on Clarke Machinery in Ireland.
In the meantime, Gold continued to evolve, becoming our core offering. Over the years, we added modules to support virtually every aspect of a dealership, including workshop, plant hire, parts, wholegoods and accounting. In 2005, we launched the Windows version of the software, taking the entire industry to new heights.
Finally, in 2012, Constellation Software, an international provider of market leading software and services, acquired us to help us grow even further.
40 Years of Success
Since those humble beginnings, we were able to accumulate over 6,700 individual users across the UK and Ireland, encompassing more than 900 dealership depots. We have over 60 employees – a far cry from our early days.
We continue to expand our core offering, having added several exciting modules in the last few years, such as Gold Service, Postcode Anywhere, Fixed Asset Management and Making Tax Digital for VAT. For more details on all those, be sure to check out this online tour.
“We are extremely proud of how far Ibcos has come,” said Collette Convery, our Managing Director. “We certainly hope Ibcos goes on for another 40 years and beyond. To get there, we’ll need to keep the momentum going by continuing to grow and improve our product. So, a big thank you to all of our customers for their continued support!”
It’s been quite a ride so far – and we can’t wait to see what the future holds!